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An exchange program for youth leaders in agriculture is preparing to send eight new participants abroad for three months.

The IFYE Association of the USA, formerly known as the International Farm Youth Exchange, will immerse young leaders in European and Asian countries. Participants will live with three to four host families and spend time at the U.S. Embassy for a first-hand trade relations experience with U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agriculture Service staff. They’ll meet with in-country government agriculture officials, other country agriculture leaders, and may visit soybean processing facilities.

The young leaders selected for this USB program will be placed in Poland, Germany, Thailand and Taiwan from June to September 2021.

The exchange program for adults 19 and older

The application process began in October with orientation to start in early March 2021. If travel restrictions continue, the organization plans to take alternative actions.

Candidates for the program will follow the IFYE application at www.ifyeusa.org/foreign-exchange-program/become-participant.html and interview process with final selections confirmed by the United Soybean Board.

The United Soybean Board (USB) recently gave the program $124,110 in support of its mission.

“USB recognizes the value an extended international experience can bring to our board,” USB spokesperson Mace Thornton said in a news release. “The proposal submitted by IFYE aligns well with our leadership expectations to do all we can to open new markets abroad and increase the value chain for U.S. soybean producers.”

“The IFYE program has had more than 5,000 young-adult participants. Research has shown that those who live internationally and interact with families in those countries have a greater appreciate for cultural diversity. This enhances leadership capabilities,” IFYE President Victoria Fehrmann Warren said in a news release.