An experience of a lifetime

In November 2018, we had another student visiting us at Fuhrmann. After Nick from Australia spent time with us in February of 2018, we now had the honour of having Philippe Strehle visiting us from France.

Only a few months prior to his arrival to Patagonia, Philippe embarked on a world tour visiting different countries and sectors of the wool industry. Philippe’s goal of the trip is to learn about sheep farming, wool production and to get a better understanding of the wool supply chain. His travel destinations include England, South Africa, Argentina, Uruguay, New Zealand, Australia and China.

Philippe knew little about sheep and wool production prior to his journey around the world but quickly was very much intrigued by it all. He quickly discovered his love of working outside in nature and working with the animals. This newly found interest was the reason why he has spent most of his time working and helping out on different sheep farms across the countries he visited.

During his time in Patagonia, Philippe was fascinated to learn about the life of the Gauchos. He was impressed by how the Gauchos managed enormous farms with very dry surfaces, a reality very different to farmers in France.

Philippe was not only visiting the farms but also working along with the Gauchos which included getting up at 4 am in the morning and working with the sheep until 6 pm in the evening.

Besides the Patagonian landscape, the sheep and the Gauchos, Philippe was also impressed by the Patagonian Assado, a meal consisting of grilled meat, beans and fried bread. A hearty meal the Gauchos tend to eat three times per day, something unusual for continental Europeans.

In addition to spending time on different farms across the country, Philippe also got to know the early stage processing of the Fuhrmann operation in Trelew. At the end of his visit to Argentina, he attended the IWTO Wool Round Table in Buenos Aires, being able to connect to different international stakeholders of the wool industry.

It is a journey of a lifetime, “travelling is a way of discovering new places, understanding other cultures, learning to cope with new surroundings and a lot more”, explains Philippe. “What I gained so far from my trip is a love for wool and a special attachment to sheep. 5 month ago I knew absolutely nothing about wool, I now know way more, even if there still is a lot more to learn!”

Once Philippe’s journey ends in a few more months, he wants to decide about his next career move and he is certain it will be something related to wool.

At Fuhrmann, we always enjoy spending time with our visitors from abroad. We like to share with them our philosophy and show them the Patagonian way of life.