Agriventure? of a lifetime

By JULIA ILES

julia.iles@dailyexaminer.com.au

THE travel bug is a common affliction for many young people who lust for international adventures.

But often there are hassles associated with backpacking holidays such as finding seasonal work and suitable accommodation.

As an alternative, two 21-year-olds have arrived in Grafton on a farm-work exchange as part of a specialised agricultural program called Agriventure.

Vicky Parker arrived in mid-September from her family's farm in Central Alberta, Canada, to spend nine months working with livestock and crop farmer Ray Hayes.

Karsten Jorgensen, from Denmark, will also work with Mr Hayes and is in Grafton for seven months.

"I've had them doing harvesting, tractor work and hands on activities since they came," Mr Hayes said.

"It's been exciting to give these guys an opportunity to come and live in Australia, and learn how things are done without being tourists. Everything is so different here, especially the weather, but it's good to learn new things," Ms Parker said.

Apart from doing farm work, she is also an adrenaline junky and holds a college diploma in adventure activities.

"I'd really like to check out bungy jumping or white water rafting," she said.

Mr Jorgensen has found the experience less stressful than backpacking.

"I don't know if I will be a farm worker in the future, but it's just a good way of getting life experience," he said.



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