UMI Boltaboyev says he feels at home on a Colac district dairy farm despite being a world away from his homeland.
The 23-year-old from Uzbekistan in Central Asia is working as a farmhand on Tim and Helen Gibson’s Pirron Yallock farm, west of Colac.
Mr Boltaboyev said he had enjoyed his first month on the farm.
“I’m very happy here, the Gibsons are very nice and I love it,” Mr Boltaboyev said.
“I like everything, the milking and the cows and the calves – I like to do all the work that I can,” he said.
“Colac is really beautiful too.”
Mr Boltaboyev said the work had helped him improve his English skills.
“I came to Australia to work and to improve my English, so I’ve been talking and reading English books, children’s books and watching movies,” he said.
“We have dairy farms in Uzbekistan too, but working here has made me love farms.”
Dairy Australia’s People in Dairy program leader Pauline Brightling said overseas workers were popular employees among the state’s dairy farmers.
“There are a lot of good stories out there from farmers who have had overseas workers, obviously there’s a few considerations for farmers first, like ensuring they have the time for any additional training that may be needed and ensuring everyone has the right visas to work,” Ms Brightling said.
“But after that’s taken care of, it can be really great for both parties involved – we’re always looking for win-win situations where everybody gets the most out of the experience,” she said.