Ronnie Viljoen was interested in working in America and he accomplished his goal when he was hired by MacFarlane Pheasants for a 10 month job on our farm. After lots of paperwork and working with the American Embassy to obtain a visa, he arrived in America all the way from the Great Karoo in Eastern Cape Province in South Africa.
The Great Karoo is well known for its agriculture and sheep farming. The land is very fertile. The climate is very cold in the winter and very hot in the summer. There are many large mountains and lots of grassy plains. It is interesting to note that, though South Africa has much more wide-open spaces, Ronnie says that the landscape in America is not much different from his homeland.
Ronnie also told me that on the family farm where he grew up, and in the area, in general, they are well known for tasty and healthy food. A typical lunch is usually organic and you can expect to have three vegetables, rice, potatoes, and lamb or beef.
Ronnie’s life in South Africa is quite different from his life in America. He lives on a farm that has been in his family for five generations. His family farms ostriches, mainly, in a feed lotting system and they export meat and skins. On his farm, they have someone hired to do the day to day chores in the house as well as other staff members to do farm chores. At MacFarlane’s, Ronnie enjoys being a part of the staff and learning how things are done in other countries and industries. “It makes a person think,” he told me. At MacFarlane’s, Ronnie works in the hatchery where he does everything from traying eggs and setting up the incubators to shipping chicks.
Ronnie owned his own business in Great Karoo. He sold security cameras for farms and shops and also sold cell phones and laptops. Ronnie understands how to work hard at a variety of tasks!
Last but not least, Ronnie’s mother, dad and same age brother and sister still live in South Africa. You heard me right; Ronnie is part of a triplet! He will return to his family and work in his homeland in January 2018. Until that time, we are lucky enough to have a great employee and to learn about another part of the world.