Deputy Asst. Secretary of State to speak at 2014 CAEP Feast

Farm Forum

FERGUS FALLS, Minn. – Communicating for Agriculture Education Programs (CAEP) will welcome Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Robin Lerner on July 18-19 as an honorary guest of the second annual CAEP Festival in Ashby, Minnesota. Ms. Lerner, who oversees the Department of State’s J-1 Visa Exchange Program (EVP) is touring the area and will be blogging about her experiences during her time in Ashby. Ms. Lerner will partake in cultural enrichment opportunities with international exchange participants, hosts and CAEP staff.

CAEP Fest will run July 18-20 in conjunction with Ashby Appreciation Days and will include a weekend full of cultural activities, camping, live music and more. The Fest will begin with registration and a welcome lunch for program participants at 12:00 p.m. July 18. Ashby community members are invited to participate in events throughout the day on July 19. Lunch will be served at 12:00 p.m. in the Ashby Park with CAEP program participants and Deputy Secretary of State Robin Lerner. CAEP Fest participants will also share more about their heritage during the Ashby Appreciation Days parade, carrying flags and playing music from their home countries.

Deputy Assistant Secretary Lerner, Program Analyst Travis Parsley and other State Department officials are spending the summer on the road, meeting international exchange students and taking part in their cultural activities, including sports outings, meetings with town mayors, U.S. national parks visits, and summer festival experiences across the country. The tour highlights the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program participants’ interaction with Americans in dozens of communities throughout the United States.

Exchange programs overseen by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs support U.S. foreign policy goals and engage students, educators, artists, athletes, and rising leaders in the U.S. and more than 160 countries each year.

The Fest will conclude at 12:00 p.m. July 20 with a farewell breakfast, prizes and drawings for program participants.