By C.F. David
Lost Trail Dairy Manager, George Torres, right, listens to questions from Jane Bennett, a dairyman and cheese maker, from Tasmania. Bennett and ten others from Canada, Australia and New Zealand toured agricultural sites in Oklahoma and Texas. Ms. Bennett is acquainted with John and Chauncy Hammond, formerly of Boise City now living and farm/ranching in Tasmania.


Mary Chris (Swinburne) Barth, of Beaver County, working with OSU, helped to host several ranchers and farmers visit her home county last weekend.

The farmers were from New Zealand, Tasmania, Australia and Canada.

The group toured a grain elevator east of Keyes owned and operated by Jerrod Stewart, and the Lost Trail Dairy plus watching grain being harvested and spending the night at a Bed and Breakfast at one of the working ranches near Kenton.

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George Torres, the manager of Lost Trail Dairy, explained that he contracts for 30, 000 tons of silage from 12 to 13 crop circle corn fields in farms close by the dairy.

A farmer from New Zealand asked about any problems with finding a labor pool.

Torres explained that it was difficult keeping a labor force and that most were Hispanic. The work day for the average employee at Lost Trail is nine hours at a daily rate averaging $125.

Torres himself began milking cows at eight years of age.

The new Zealander said that he had to create two-year contracts with laborers from India and Russia to keep a workforce.

The visitors as well as being from a number of different nations, have a variety of reasons to visit and learn.

Craig Mackenzie from new Zealand, is a grass, wheat and dairy farmer.

He wishes to study and learn how to lessen agriculture’s carbon footprint, in particular that of a dairy.

Ali Undorf-Lay, of New Zealand and wants to study the increasing tension between rural and urban areas.

Jane Bennett of Tasmania is interested in regional product development and branding.

Annabelle Coppin, Left, of Australia will study the live export cattle trade.

Graham Finlayson, Right, of Australia is studying national resource management.



Tim Harslett, of Australia will study mechanized harvesting and grain disease control.

Jason Jarvis of Australia is interested in the increase of quality and yield in organic fruit products.

Lester Marshall, is interested in aquaculture, and regional branding of products.

Matthew Munzberg is a vinter and will study how to maximize returns without sacrificing quality.

Simon Tiller, is studying biofuels.

Greg Bruan, of Canada is interested in Holistic Livestock Healthcare.



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