Ahead of the first-ever K9 Ninja Challenge at the 2019 Melbourne Dog Lovers Show this weekend, we discover why Farmer Dave fell in love with Mongolia.
Where is your favourite holiday destination?
Mongolia. I went there 20 years ago when I toured 30 countries in one trip. It was the most free I’ve ever felt in my whole life. It changed my outlook on life. I found more in common with nomads than people in Australia. Mongolia was similar to my childhood living on a station in outback NSW. Most Mongolians under the age of 60 had never seen a white person before. Children were freaked out by my blonde hair and blue eyes. I fell in love with a Mongolian herdsman and I had to get out before the cold came.
What’s your top tip for holidaying in Mongolia?
Prepare yourself for having no vegetables whatsoever – their diet is completely animal-based. Take pencils and note pads for the children – most children there are illiterate. Make sure you accept an offer from the Reindeer People of northern Mongolia to try their creamed rice made with pure cream from reindeer milk, mixed with rice. It’s their staple food. I found that funny because a staple food of mine back home in Australia is also creamed rice!
What do you always pack when you travel?
I pack very simply: Two pairs of Hard Yakka cargo pants.Three t-shirts, rolled up. A phone charger with a battery pack. And it all goes in a little backpack I take onboard. Nothing ever goes under the plane!
What’s on your travel bucket list?
North Korea – before it changes from the world’s last totally isolated dictatorship. I’m booked to go in August. My life goal is to visit every sovereign and self-declared nation on earth. I’ve visited the micro-nation called the Hutt River Province in Western Australia, ruled by Prince Leonard of Hutt. It’s not recognised as a country by the Australian Government. He’s legendary in the micro-nation world.
Have you got a travel disaster – or near-miss – that stays in your mind?
I was in Northern Laos during the civil war when roads shut and I had to get out quickly. We were stopped several times by rebels and our plans to wait out the war were dashed so we had to get on a plane which had broken seats and when we took off the plane filled with smoke. Another time, I was travelling between Lithuania and Latvia and I was detained in a Latvian prison for three days.
About Farmer Dave Graham
He started out in life the youngest of 11 kids on a sprawling outback cattle station and splits his time between there and in the educational entertainment industry, in both the US and Australia, as an announcer at Arena events. This intrepid life combines the tranquility of the isolation of the bush with the onslaught of humanity in massive events across the globe… just the right amount of extremes.
Farmer Dave knows dogs. He’s bred, raised, trained, coached and loved tens of thousands of dogs throughout Australia and around the world. From National Champion, Indian Street Dogs, Wild Dingoes, International (Performing) Stars to the best little work mates to keep a stockman company; this fun loving larrikin has worked with a huge variety of dogs in his time and brings his unique hosting style and abundant love for dogs to the 2019 Melbourne Dog Lovers Show.
You can see Farmer Dave at the Melbourne Dog Lovers Show this weekend at the Royal Exhibition Buildings. Farmer Dave will present the very first K9 Ninja Challenge, with dogs racing across ladders, bouncing between platforms and jumping through hoops.