National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

29 January 2020

Staying with four families in Colorado through YFC Travel was like being in a movie says Adam Ringrose, 27, from Leicestershire.

Who did you stay with in Colorado?

I spent seven weeks with four different families and it was the experience of a lifetime.

The families I stayed with were all different – one managed a John Deere dealership, another had a small holding where I milked goats, the third was a tree farm in a remote rural location and the fourth family lived on a cattle ranch.

With one family I got to see inside a massive meat processing plant, where they process 5,000 cattle a day. My family have a livestock farm and butchers so this was really interesting to see something on this scale.

The families had a lot of questions about farming in the UK and about the butchery where I work. Mainly though they wanted to know what life is like in England. We got Google Maps up and I compared the grid system of roads that they have with our “higgledy-piggledy” roads. They thought that word was hilarious!

How did you travel to each family?

It was all arranged through 4H and IFYE (The International Farming Youth Exchange) program. They coordinated al

l the families who would help me get from one location to the next. I did catch a train through the Rockies, which was amazing, but the rest of the time the families helped me.

Did you work?

I worked with most of the families. I didn’t have to but you’re expected to do a bit. The most work I did was at the tree farm as I was able to be quite useful there. Most of the time I did what I wanted to do and tried to help out as much as I could as they were doing me a favour.

For a lot of farmers work is their life so that’s how you become involved in it.

What were some of your highlights?

It felt like being in the movies! You look around you and all the small details are things you only recognise because of films. Seeing water dispensers on the side of roads and finding a gun counter in Walmart!

My highlights though have to be:

  • Working with a cowboy for a week with one of the families. He taught me how to lasso.
  • Going to the Greely Stampede, a huge rodeo, which was fantastic as it was absolutely huge. You can’t believe that people still do these things but it’s a real sport there.
  • Camping in the mountains.

Did you prefer the YFC Travel experience to being a tourist?

There is no way I would have had the breadth of experiences I had if I’d have gone as a tourist. Camping in the mountains with the ATVs was on off-road routes and you wouldn’t have known where to go. The visits I had, such as going to the meat processors, were swung by the families I stayed with.

I went travelling afterwards on an epic road trip, which highlighted how different YFC Travel is from being a tourist. The experiences can be a lot richer as you get access to places and activities you can’t do on your own. There’s stuff I did you just can’t do as a tourist – like the rodeo and lassoing with the cowboy.

How much did it cost?

I spent around £400 in total and that includes my flights, insurance  and expenses. I got help from Leicestershire County Federation to help with the costs of my flights so that brought my spend down a lot. It doesn’t cost you much at all. I spent more money on my road trip afterwards!

Would you recommend YFC Travel?

Absolutely, without a doubt! You learn so much, you grow as a person. It’s a different way of seeing another culture. 

It has been described as Young Farmers’ best-kept secret by a number of people. It baffles me that more people don’t apply because the trips are fantastic. I went to Germany a few years ago with YFC and all of my experiences have been brilliant. I’m off to Slovenia this year!

You get everything done for you, it doesn’t cost you as much as it would if you travelled alone and you get the real richness of the culture. 

Find out more about YFC Travel, which is kindly supported by the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust.  

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