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WISE Foundation

About

WISE Foundation offers many different Internship and Training positions available in the field of Agriculture. We have all different kinds of row crop positions, as well as animal science and livestock management, horticulture, and vintage work.
We work hard to ensure that we place students with the best possible host to fit his/her skills.

Founded
1990

Reviews

Default avatar
John
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

AWESOME PROGRAM

I had an absolute wonderful experience. I got to work with wheat, canola, lupins, vetch, cotton, and sheep. The general farming practices were similar but the whole aspect of living and working abroad was completely different from what I expected.
This experience broadened my view of agriculture by seeing first hand the difference in commodities, climate, landscape, and the approach farmers took while planting/growing.
Every local farmer I knew growing up always took a slightly different approach towards farming. This experience allowed me to take what I already knew, and expand on that in different ways. So this allowed me to expand on my diversity and I learnt more tricks and trades that I will be able to use the rest of my life to help me become more productive and efficient.

What would you improve about this program?
I enjoyed the program and the staff both locally and overseas. It would have been a bit nicer if there were more American students involved with this program. That way I could have had someone to relate to from my home country.

Programs

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Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Jake Lay

Job Title
WISE Foundation’s Program Manager
Jake Lay is the WISE Foundation’s Program Manager for International Agriculture Work-Study Programs. From childhood Jake has been involved with the production of agriculture. He worked as a horse trainer, farmhand, and wildlife manager while earning his degree in Agribusiness at UT Martin. Following graduation, he spent six months in this program working on a 5,000 acre cotton farm in Australia. He knows firsthand the challenges and excitement that await you as an International Ag Training and Internship participant.

What position do you hold at WISE Foundation? What has been your career path so far?

man holding a kangaroo australia

Jake: I am the Outbound program manager here at the WISE Foundation. It is my job to not only recruit Ag students from across the states to participate in this program, but to also find them the best placement. This is one of my favorite challenges.

I enjoy talking with the student and figuring out his/her skills and personality. This comes from understanding the student’s background, experience, and deciding what future goals they plan to accomplish. From there, I am able to find the best placement we feel they will have the most success and happiness at.

Did YOU intern abroad?! Which intern abroad destination is most underrated?

Jake: I was fortunate enough to be able to participate in this program myself after I graduated. I have always been involved and loved every aspect of agriculture even though it seems to be a fading trend in today’s youth. But without our substantial agriculture in the United States, where do you think this country would be? So it was an immense pleasure to be able to travel abroad and experience the same type of agriculture, but in a completely different aspect in Australia.

family in australia

Australian agriculture is in a category of its own. The efficiency and productivity of the farm ground is different from our own, but the interesting quality about Australia is dramatics changes in landscape. You can be in the flat dessert to the rolling plains to the flourishing rainforest all in one long drive.

If you do so, you will be able to not only see the different landscapes, but also able to see the different farm practices and cultures as you travel across. Australia is extremely vast and diverse in all aspects.

Describe a time when you felt especially proud to be part of the WISE Foundation team.

To me, one of the greatest pleasures I can have with my position is knowing one of my clients is having a good time and they are happy.

Jake: I enjoy my job the most when I get the chance to hear feedback from students. There is a since of accomplishment in doing my job when I get to see the pictures and post that students send out while they are there.

Being able to read their post about enjoying their time there or seeing pictures of them enjoying their selves on the tractor, at the beach, or a picture with their host family allows me to relive my experience and think back on the good times and great memories I had while I was participating in the program.