Practical Training

MAST International offers training and internship programs in various areas of agriculture and horticulture throughout the USA. These placements are typically 3 to 12 months and can be complemented by a semester of study at the University of Minnesota College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. This experiences gives participants hands-on experience and new skills in their chosen field by training with an approved and qualified host trainer. 

Crops
From planting to harvest: experience America's wide open spaces

Collage of MAST participants on crops farms

Row crops and small grain farms range from small (1000-2000 acres), to medium (2000-5000 acres), to large (5000+ acres). Row crop farms include corn, soybeans, sugar beets, potatoes, edible beans, etc. Small grain farms produce wheat, oats,, barley, alfalfa hay, etc. Farm machinery may vary in size and age. 

Training activities include preparing soil, applying fertilizer and pesticides, seeding, irrigation, harvesting, machinery upkeep and repair, storing crops, and hauling seed. 

Typical placement period is from March/April to November/December. June, July, and August placements provide harvest-related activities. 


Horticulture
From plant care to pest management: your future sprouts here

Collage of MAST participants on horticulture placements


Greenhouse/Nursery/Garden Center

Products include ornamental flowers, shrubs, and trees. On small operations, trainees take part in all activities; large operations may have separation of duties. Each operation may have a different focus (retail, wholesale, growing, or a mix). 

Training activities include preparing soil, planting, propagation, watering, insect and disease control, weed control, pruning, retail sales and customer service, and shipping. 

Typical placement period is 5-8 months beginning in January/February. Limited number of longer placements available throughout the year. 


Fruit and Vegetable Production

Crops include tree fruits (apples, stone fruits, etc.), berries (strawberries, blueberries, etc.), or vegetables (tomatoes, onions, lettuce, etc.).

Training activities include planting, fertilizing, irrigating, weed and insect control, pruning, propagation, harvesting, processing, packaging, and distribution. Prepare, package, and sell fruits, vegetables, and other agricultural products.

Typical placement period is from March/April to November. Limited number of placements available at other times, focusing on harvest-related activities.


Livestock
From animal care to breeding: raising livestock and raising opportunities

Collage of MAST participants on livestocks farms


Dairy

Farms may specialize in milking, genetics, herd health, or a combination. If you are on a dairy/crop farm, you will likely not work in the field. Farm size can range from small (75-150 cows), to medium (150-400 cows), to large (400-2000+ cows).

Training activities include milking, calving, ration formulation, treating disease and injury, feeding, artificial insemination, cleaning barns, and building and equipment repair.

Typical placements are 6 to 12 months in length and may start at various times throughout the year. There are a limited number of 3 month placements available.


Beef

Most beef farms are cow-calf or feedlot operations with crops. There are very few placements without crops. Small beef/crop farms (50-200 head) are located in the Midwest. Large beef/crop farms and ranch/beef operations (200-1000+ head) are located in western states.

Training activities include general care and feeding of cattle, calving, treating disease and injury, castrating, branding, artificial insemination, fencing, building and equipment repair, and activities related to crop production.

Typical placements are 11 to 12 months in length, starting in January/February and lasting until December. There are a limited number of placements at other times.


Swine

MAST offers confinement operations in breeding, farrowing, and finishing. On many farms students participate in all activities; on some larger farms there is separation of duties.

Training activities include general care and feeding, cleaning, treating disease and injury, artificial insemination, castrating, building and equipment repair, and selling animals.

Typical placements are 12 months in length and begin at various times throughout the year. There are a limited number of 6-8 month placements available.


Equine Husbandry

MAST offers placements mostly in western riding. Equine placements are entirely self-selective.

Training activities include foaling, general care, feeding, ration formulation, treating disease and injury, cleaning, exercising and training, preparing animals for sale, and building and equipment repair.

Typical placements are 12 months in length and begins at various times throughout the year. There are a limited number of short-term placements.


Winery
From vines to wines: add a vintage from the USA

Collage of MAST participants at winery placements

Most winery placements are cellar experiences. There are limited placements in laboratories and viticulture. MAST offers small operations to large production wineries located in various regions throughout the U.S.

Training activities include cleaning and sanitizing equipment; preparing and crushing fruit; pressing; performing punch downs and pump-overs; filling and topping barrels; making additions; monitoring fermentations; racking and bottling.

Winery placements are short-term only from August/September - October/November. There are a limited number of viticulture placements starting March/April until November/December.


Specialized Placements

Collage of MAST participants on specialized placements

If you have interest in a specialized placement, please contact MAST for guidance before you apply. Current opportunities include beekeeping, organic farming, crop consulting, and research. Very limited number of placements for highly qualified trainees. Excellent English is required. When applying, be very specific describing your specialized request.

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