Having been born and raised on the Smedsrud Family Farm in rural Minnesota, CAEP founder Milt Smedsrud gained a sense of appreciation for his deep roots and family heritage. "The farm was founded by my Grandparents when they immigrated from Norway in 1881, which gave me the gift of speaking two languages and growing up with two cultures."
The most wonderful experience of my life was when I met my wife, Birgitta, and we were married in Reykjavik, Iceland, in 1956 during my time serving my country. We came back to Minnesota and started our life-long career in insurance to advocate for families in agriculture."
While visiting Birgitta's parents in Copenhagen, Milt had the opportunity to connect with Fred Trager at the U.S. Embassy. "Fred asked me, 'would your organization be interested in starting an agriculture exchange for farmers' and I said we would."
Since its beginning, CAEP has helped young adults experience the beauty of cultural exchange and gain hands-on skills and training in their fields of interest. Young adults, hosting operations, and families have formed beautiful friendships and relationships without borders. CAEP has helped many young adults experience new cultures, all while helping them gain the practical skills and experience needed to return home to start businesses and begin successful careers.