About MAST International

Picture of Dr. J.O. Christianson

Dr. J. O. Christianson, founder of the University of Minnesota MAST International program, was a man of great stature and vision. He dedicated his life to inspiring young agriculturists to become the best that they could be. It was his vision for a better and more meaningful world through agriculture that prompted him to establish the Minnesota Agricultural Student Trainee Program in 1949.

MAST International is an extraordinary program, designed to provide young agriculturists from around the world with the opportunity to come to the U.S. to live, learn, and study with Americans. Today we continue to provide young people with opportunities to learn and to interact with each other throughout the world. Together we live out his vision and dream of a better and more meaningful world through agriculture.  


“I envision a time when young agriculturists from all over the world can productively interact with each other to share ideas and common values; working together for better agriculture, greater world understanding and cooperation.”  - 
Dr. J.O. Christianson,1949 speech establishing MAST International 

MAST International became the fourth program to be designated by the U.S. Department of State as a J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program under the Mutual Education and Cultural Exchange Act. This Act is the very core of MAST International and under it we:

  • Increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange.
  • Strengthen ties with other nations by demonstrating the educational and cultural interests, developments, and achievements of the people of the United States and other nations, and the contributions being made toward a peaceful and more fruitful life for people throughout the world.
  • Promote international cooperation for educational and cultural advancement; and thus to assist in the development of friendly, sympathetic, and peaceful relations between the United States and the other countries of the world.

MAST International is dedicated to promoting mutual understanding and building long-term international relationships by organizing paid agriculture training and internships in the USA for non-U.S. citizens. The program combines a practical, hands-on learning experience with an optional classroom experience through the University of Minnesota - College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Science

Meet the MAST staff

Contact us

Translate this page