Shane Halpin, a 25 years old Irish man, who was born in Lusk, North County Dublin, started his internship in the US on March 6th, 2018.
Shane was growing up on his grandfather and uncle's farm since the age of 3. From playing in the field to helping with harvesting, he has been involved in all aspects of that farm from a young age. Before starting college, Shane went to New Zealand for a short term work experience at Balle Bros. Then he joined Institute of Technology Blanchardstown (itb) to study horticulture. Shane took a late-shift part time job during the last two Christmas seasons to gain experience about Christmas business. In summer of 2017, he worked for Carroll Produce, a large salad grower in Co. Dublin, Ireland. Over the past few years, Shane also has grown a small scale of his own pumpkins for the Hallowe'en market.
So when The Ohio Program received Shane's application, we knew that this young man was definitely fully ready for the internship in the US. On March 6th of 2018, Shane finished his orientation at The Ohio Program office in Columbus, OH, with other 12 interns from Philippines, South Africe, Mexico, Peru, Guatemala, Brazil, and Vietnam. The next morning, Shane got on the plane to North Carolina, where his host, the Bottomley family were waiting for his appearance.
Bottomleys Evergreens & Farms
In 1990, Mr. William Blan Bottomley and his son Mitchell Bottomley started Bottomley Evergreen Farms in northwest North Carolina. Just like Shane Halpin, the Bottomley family have stronge passion for farming.
Back in 1980 when Mitchell was just 8 years old, he and his grandpa, would spend hours in the basement tying evergreen garlands to earn a little extra Christmas money. Even if Bottomleys Evergreens & Farms was just a cottage family business at the beginning, things have grown considerably. The farm now consists of approximately 4000 acres of Frasier Fir Christmas Trees and White Pines, 150 acres Boxwood, 275 acres of cabbage, 1600 acres of pumpkins and 2250 acres of corn. There are 145,000 square feet of cold storage and 460,000 square feet of work area. Today Mitchell and his family continue to make this business a glowing homage to his Father and Grandpa.