In the summer of 1997, LB Pork became a host family for foreign agricultural student trainees. This was through the MAST (Minnesota Agricultural Student Trainee) program at the University of Minnesota. LB Pork has since also used the Communicating for Agriculture and the Self Employed, program. These programs typically bring students on our farm for 12-18 months. With the MAST program, the trainees after completing their training at the farm, are then able to attend the University of Minnesota for one semester of study.
LB Pork provides room and board and pays an hourly rate for their compensation. They live together in three different houses within one mile from the home farm. Trainees will usually spend their training working in the wean-to-finish facilities, but some will also work in the nurseries, the feed mill, and assist with field work.
The trainees have been an excellent source of labor for us, and a benefit to our operation. Getting to know the trainees, their families, operations, and the cultures of their countries has been valuable learning to us and our workers. Normally we are staffed with six to eight trainees.
Since 1997, LB Pork has hosted over 120 students at our farm.