CAEP Host Spotlight: The Bocksell Family with Swede Heir Dairy

Since 2004, Angie and Paul Bocksell have owned and operated their fifth-generation dairy farm, Swede Heir Dairy, in Pepin, Wisconsin. Their family farm, nestled on 600 acres, is home to 200 dairy cows, Hereford beef cows, and Boer goats, alongside crops of alfalfa, corn, and soybeans. Beyond their farming endeavors, the Bocksell family has four children ages 10-15, all of whom have their roles on the farm. They have embraced hosting exchange visitors through CAEP since 2016, which has made a prominent impact on their farm and family. In this interview, Angie shares her inspiring journey, the enriching experiences of hosting interns, and the profound impact the program has had on their family and farm.

Becoming a Host

The Bocksells were facing difficulties finding assistance for their farm operations when they learned from a friend about their successful experience hosting exchange visitors. Encouraged by their recommendation and positive feedback, they saw it as an opportunity for their farm and family.

“It is rewarding to host new interns and see their growth from arrival to departure. We are currently hosting our 13th intern,” Angie shared.

Cultural Connections

Angie’s sentiments beautifully encapsulate the transformative power of cultural exchange on their family’s farm. Welcoming interns from diverse backgrounds broadened their global perspective and forged meaningful, lasting connections with people from around the globe.

“Hosting people on our farm from various places in the world makes the world a much smaller place,” said Angie. “We feel much more connected globally. Our children may not realize the influence on their lives until they are much older, but having the opportunity to learn about other cultures and enjoy time with our interns has created a wonderful learning environment for our children.”

“Some of our interns have chosen to attend church with us, and our congregation always welcomes them with open arms. Our kids have gotten the opportunity to interview our interns for school presentations. One of the ladies in our church even went above and beyond and had our family and one of our Brazilian interns over for a Brazilian meal! It was so cool to experience people enjoying his culture in this way. I am always overjoyed with how thankful our interns are that we are willing to host them. It has blessed us immensely.”

Keeping in Touch

Angie mentions that they’ve maintained regular contact with most of their interns, with only a handful they haven’t stayed in touch with as much. Thanks to social media, staying connected has been effortless, and they cherish these interactions. Even for the few they don’t engage with frequently, they make a point to reach out occasionally to catch up on their lives. It’s heartening for them to hear that some of their interns refer to Angie as their ‘American Mom’ upon returning home. It speaks volumes about the bond they’ve formed and the lasting impact of cultural exchange.

Favorite Memories with Exchange Visitors

“Most of our interns come from warm climates,” Angie shared. “Being located in Wisconsin, we usually have pretty cold and snowy winters. One of our interns from Brazil came in late December and brought snow pants, a nice warm ski jacket, a ski mask, winter boots, gloves, and a warm hat. Within 12 hours of arrival, he was all dressed up and playing with our kids in the snow. He was so excited to experience snow. Another highlight would be the neat gifts our interns have brought us. Some bring home-baked items that their mother sent with them, while others have brought something that represents their country. A big highlight has been getting to know our interns as friends.”

Advice for Potential Hosts

When asked if Angie had any advice for operations interested in becoming a host, she responded with a resounding “Go for it!” One of the most frequently asked questions they receive is, “Do your interns speak English?” They’re always pleased to confirm that indeed, their interns do speak English. Although there can still be occasional language barriers, their experience in hosting has enabled them to refine communication methods and ensure mutual understanding among everyone involved.

“We have had a very positive experience hosting with CAEP,” Angie shared. The staff at CAEP communicates well with us and has always been helpful. We appreciate the streamlined process they have set in place for providing applications and accepting interns.”

If you are interested in hosting CAEP interns and trainees at your operation or would like to learn more, please visit or email


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