I spent six weeks in Switzerland over the summer with the International Farm Youth Exchange (IFYE) through Macra na Feirme. Heading out on my own was daunting but exciting at the same time. On this trip, I was placed with two families on farms; where I lived and worked with them. The aim of the exchange was to live and learn about the country through the eyes of a family.

My host family was Andreas and Daniela Popp who live in the northeastern part of Switzerland in the canton of St Gallen. The family have three children between the ages of 17 and 22, Sven, Reito and Janine. This family participated in IFYEs for the last 20 years so they are well experienced. The farm has 6ha of land and two hen houses for the 9,000 laying hens. On the 6ha they have an intensive apple orchard growing nine varieties of eating apples. My first impression of the farm was amazement.