Trainee Week: Where are they now? | Torsten Thomsen

Torsten was a trainee in 2016 on Vallotton Farms.  He spent the 2017 season in Saskatchewan and this summer is on an exchange in Montana.  


1. Where are you from?

I was raised on a small farm in the southern part of Denmark close to the german border.

2.  Why did you decide to do an agricultural exchange?

Both of my older brothers have been on exchange programs and came home telling all these stories of what they had seen and the people they met. I made up my mind when i was about 10 or 11 that i wanted to try something similiar once. After working on farms in Denmark for a couple of years I wanted to see how they do it in other parts of the world and decided Canada was my first destination in 2015. 

3. What is the main differences you have noticed about farming in Denmark/Canada/United States?

Size of the equipment is the first thing you notice once you get here, most of it, but not all of it, is alot bigger than what we're used to at home.  Back home we have regulations as to how much fertilizer we can put into the ground which might not be enough for the crops to reach their full potential. Farmers here still decide how much they want to put in, and have to find the "sweet spot" for their own farm to have the best yield and quality and also not wasting money.

4.  Favorite piece of equipment?  

Combine - when you find out if all the hard work you put in all year pays off.

5. Favorite on the farm job?

Harvest - see if all your work pays off, alot of equipment working in the fields, alot of people come out to help/talk, then when you've been working for a long time and you get a day off, everyone sits down and have a couple of drinks and have a good time.

6. If you could work on, or own a farm anywhere in the world, where would that be & what type of farm/farm size?

If I were to have my own farm it would probably not be in Denmark since its pretty hard to get into farming back home. I would most likely just have a straight grain farm without any animals. I like working on farms at home and doing the jobs that come with it.

7. As a repeat ag exchangee what have you learned on each exchange?

The biggest differences I've noticed is that every farm is different and the people also. I as a trainee need to adapt to how they want things done and what is normal for this farm. I also think that the host families need to be able to adapt to the person they get, if the person is skilled enough to run the equipment, fix it or talking to local mechanics about issues etc. - to let them do it. But all in all every placement has been good and been a good experience, and I've met a lot of great people.