In 1952 the exchange program for young farmers was founded and since then over 7500 people from 14 different countries has successfully completed the leadership training and practical farming abilities and skills learning program. The program was founded by Mr. Koda, a Japanese immigrant and rice producer in California, with the purpose of educating young Japanese farmers, teaching agricultural techniques used in the US to improve the Japanese farming conditions at the time.
In 1982, IFAA was created to continue Mr. Koda legacy of contributing to the success of many youth farmers and students alike, from different parts of the Globe, with its on-hands training program.
These young “ambassadors” have been hosted by inumerosos American farmers on different commodities, sizes, and locations in the US. IFAA host farmers are a very important part of to the success of the program. The American farmers are willing to give their time and knowledge to teach these young men and women to improve their knowledge into American Agriculture, American culture, costumes, and language, and foremost given them a practical experience on how to successfully run a agriculture business in the US.
After this long life exchange experience many of the former participants became respected leaders in many different areas thanks to their experience with their American friends. Most of them are working now in farms and other agricultural business in their own countries and helping to contribute in the world food production.
IFAA is a private non-profit organization with headquarters in Northern California, USA. The fund to operate the program comes from the participants and American host farms and it’s used to cover the administrative expenses, educational programs (Orientation and educational Seminars at US Universities), medical insurance and services.
IFAA has a designation from the US Government to conduct a J-1 exchange program (Intern Category) in the Agriculture area and has the ability to issue DS2019 forms for the participants. The J-1 visa is mandatory to participate into IFAA program and the final decision to grant a J-1 visa is exclusive to the US Consulate.