Mission & History

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Our Mission

To improve global understanding by providing educational and cultural enrichment through international exchange

Our Goals

MAST International provides work-based learning opportunities for young agricultural professionals from around the world. Our participants come to the U.S. for 3-18 months to train in various agricultural sectors, and they bring those skills back to their home country to create long-lasting global impact.

FOR OUR PARTICIPANTS, our aim is to provide opportunities that allow you to:

  • Gain hands-on experience and new skills
  • Develop your English language skills
  • Experience American culture
  • Broaden your understanding of agriculture and horticulture

FOR OUR AMERICAN HOST TRAINERS, we hope partnering with the MAST program will:

  • Bring a global perspective to your organization
  • Provide a mentoring opportunity
  • Develop global connections within your industry
  • Foster your own cross-cultural growth and understanding

Our Purpose

MAST International is a J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program designated by the U.S. Department of State. The Exchange Visitor Program was created under the Fulbright-Hays Mutual Education and Cultural Exchange Act. This Act is the very core of MAST and under it we:

between the people of the United States and other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange.

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.

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.

Our History

Portrait of Dr. J O Christianson

MAST International was founded in 1949 by Dr. J. O. Christianson, who was the superintendent of the University of Minnesota’s School of Agriculture. He dedicated his life to inspiring young agriculturalists and sought a more meaningful world through agriculture and international exchange. When the U.S. Exchange Visitor Program was created under the Mutual Education and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, MAST was the fourth exchange visitor program designated by the U.S. Department of State.

"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 in his speech founding MAST