Johan Jacobs Interview

Recently we have been interviewing our newest workers at MacFarlane Pheasants. They came to our farm all the way from South Africa! Johan Jacobs applied, through an agency in South Africa for an opportunity to work in the United States. MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc. was the first job that popped up and Johan jumped at the chance to work in America.

Johan comes from a small seaside town called Lamberts Bay in the Western Cape. He says the weather is beautiful, but they don’t get much rain. It is a seaside village about 2.5 hours from Cape Town. This small town (around 6000 people) is a popular tourist destination with its wide expanses of white sand and delicious seafood. Johan, with his parents, owns a 100-seat restaurant, next to the ocean, called Weskus Kombuis.

Johan was off to work at 6:00 a.m. in his hometown. He would open the restaurant, check to see if all the cleaning was done, and stock the bar. He would check on the kitchen throughout the day, visit with customers, and in the evenings, would play his guitar, in the music corner, for the customers who came in to eat. He would close up shop at 10:00 p.m. and go home to prepare for another day. Like most of the gentlemen from South Africa who are working here, Johan said long days of work are typical in South Africa.

Though Johan works very hard at MacFarlane Pheasants, his work hours are typical 8-hour days with overtime on an as needed basis. Johan works in the hatchery on our farm, and gets to do many different jobs. His responsibilities change on a daily basis.  He told me that the variety is one of his favorite parts of his job!

Typical Week 

  • Hatch chicks
  • Sex chicks
  • Fill orders
  • Clean and disinfect the hatchery
  • Make sets for the week
  • Tray fresh eggs
  • Test egg fertility
  • Candle eggs
  • Organize for the week

Johan will be here till the middle of January and he hopes to visit some small towns while he is here. “The real beauty is not in the tourist attractions but in seeing how the country lays,” he said. Johan told me there are significant differences in Janesville, WI and Lamberts Bay, South Africa. The biggest difference here is the constantly changing weather.

Like most of our South African employees, Johan misses food from his hometown, but he has grown to love Mexican food like tacos, burritos, and enchiladas. When preparing food here, though, he has noticed that it is more expensive to shop for food than in his home country.

Another difference Johan has found quite positive in America is the ability to order online and get your order the next day. I think he has figured out one of American’s favorite pastimes!

Johan loves biking around “beautiful” Janesville, particularly off the beaten path. He also enjoys the people he works with and from what I have heard, they have enjoyed getting to know him! Thanks for sharing, Johan.




















Johan Jacobs Interview


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