Brenda Campbell sends greetings from Denmark

We introduced Grainews readers to Brenda Campbell in the November issue. The 22-year-old from a cow-calf farm near Sundre, Alta., is in Denmark for a six-month working visit on a dairy. We asked her to send regular reports to tell us what she’s doing, how farming in Europe is different from farming in Alberta, and what farming tips she learns that she’d like to try back home.

Here is her first installment:

I live on the mainland, Jutland, in a town named Outrup, which is about 15 km from the North Sea. One of the most interesting things I have learned so far is how many rules and regulations the Danish Government places on farmers. As my host father jokes, “The only thing they don’t have a rule about is which direction I can plow my field!” One of these such regulations which I found different from my experiences on my own Canadian farm is that ALL animals need to have access to shelter after early November until about early May. This ensures the animals can seek refuge from wind, rain, snow or other elements. If a farmer does not abide by this, any citizen can call the police. A fine will be issued and the farmer will have to meet the mandatory shelter arrangements.

The shelters do not need to house all the animals at once, but many do. There are so many dairy farms around where I live that most cows stay in the barn at all times. I can’t say this is recommended for Canada as this would be quite an undertaking and very expensive, but understandably has some merit. I also must remember that the majority of animals in Denmark are dairy cattle, which is not the case in Canada.

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