Hey, my name is Verena and I’m one of the seven Austrian trainees this year. This is my second practical training in a foreign country. Last year I interned in Sweden for fourteen weeks, together with Elisabeth. We were at a dairy farm with about 200 diary cows, a lot of calves and many heifers. Our tasks included milking the cows and caring for calves, including feeding them and refreshing their boxes. The calves were extremely cute and funny, as well as curious and a little bit clumsy.
We cleaned the cowshed regularly, put the heifers out to new pastures, did gardening work as well as construction work as the family was building a new barn during the time we were in residence. On occasion we cooked Austrian dishes for the family we lived with or baked cakes for our co-workers, who seemed to be addicted to sweets. But our main duties were outside in the barn.
The cows were milked three times a day, once in the morning, once in the evening and once in the middle of the day. For the milking in the morning we had to get up very early at about 4am --- which was pretty hard in the beginning as you might imagine, but we got used to it. At the end of our practical training we were quite good at milking cows and completed our work faster, too.
In general, we had to work a lot which was often extremely exhausting, but we also gained many new skills and learned a lot – not only about farming but also about the country and the people. Our leisure time was spent either outside in the beautiful Swedish countryside or visiting cities like Stockholm or Göteborg.
It was an amazing time there, which I talk about often because I really enjoyed it, even though the farm schedule was grueling.
I love to create beautiful memories as I did there.
This is the reason I’m very grateful to be here in Maryland now. And I’m already very curious about the work in the vineyard and everything else we will do here. I´m really looking forward to the next 4 weeks and hope to see many new things and places, get new skills and learn as much as I did on my last internship.