PHOTO SLIDESHOW: Farmer extends America's dairyland internation - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

PHOTO SLIDESHOW: Farmer extends America's dairyland internationally


Cadott (WQOW) - Wisconsin's reputation of America's dairyland extends all around the world, thanks in part to ties close to home in Cadott.

A family there has hosted international exchange farming students for generations.

"I think it's not easy to copy all the things that you can see here and you can find here in Wisconsin," says exchange farmer Alejandro Garavito Henao.

That's because Wisconsin farmers have been perfecting their craft for generations.

On the Polzin Family Farm they've been sharing that knowledge equally as long.

"All my life we've had foreign students here just about and I and my wife have been hosting students for about the last 15 years," says George Polzin.

"He has a very, very good idea about the business of dairy.  I think it's an important point of view," says Alejandro.

This year's student is from Bogota, Colombia and has more than a decade of experience in dairy and beef animal production.

"That's one of the main objectives, to come to the U.S.A., the United States.  To know the ways of the people working the farm, to know how is it day by day in a farm," says Alejandro.

The eagerness to learn is the key connection on this farm.

"If they have the right personality and the right willingness to learn, the language is never a problem," says Polzin.

So far this summer, the major takeaway for Alejandro has been the use of technology and equipment, "We have to improve the technology.  But you have to find a way to do it, adapt it to the conditions of that country.  It's not the same to work in a country that almost is flat like here in Wisconsin."

That's because in Colombia equipment is very expensive and often ineffective in the mountain farming regions.

"I just think that agriculture is smaller there and that it's so large here and it's so expansive," says Polzin.

Techniques and technology may be the primary lesson during the exchange, but the Polzin family also shares the best of Wisconsin.

"We've done the rodeo.  We've had deep fried cheese curds, that's a Wisconsin thing, brats are a Wisconsin thing.  We're just getting him culturized to the Wisconsin culture.  All the good stuff," says Polzin.

The Polzin family says they're contacted by interested students and professionals each year to take part in the exchange.

Students have come from all across the world and the Polzin's have even traveled to France to do an exchange of their own.

Alejandro will be staying with the family until this august before he begins his trip back to Colombia.

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