Training Programs for Global Stewards

Join the next generation of agrarian leaders. Become a MESA Steward. 

Our US-based programs are designed for aspiring or established farmers, recent agriculture graduates, and sustainable agriculture advocates from around the world. We have three different program tracks to fit your individual needs. 

MESA Stewards come with a wide range of expertise and life experience. Some work on family farms, others are leaders in their communities or are working toward advanced degrees in agroecology and similar disciplines. Many come from regions that have been in conflict for long periods, where the future of small-scale food production is uncertain. What MESA Stewards have in common is a desire to be exposed to the innovations in sustainable agriculture production and marketing in the US, and an eagerness to share social and agricultural traditions with their Hosts.

MESA offers three US Programs

Core Training Program (CTP)
Certificate in Applied Agroecology

MESA’s main program is offered anually, from April-October. The Core Program is designed for international candidates seeking practical training experience with small-scale organic, biodynamic, transitional, and sustainable US farms and agricultural education and research centers. Read more here.

Example Hosts: Hoch Orchard and Gardens, Bobolink DairyDripping Springs Garden

Next Level Program (NLP)
Advanced Management Certificate of Global Agroecology and Local Food Systems

The NLP is only available to successful graduates of MESA's CTP who seek advanced agricultural skills, particularly in farm management. Read more here

Example Hosts: The Natural Grocery CompanyThanksgiving Farm at the Center for Discovery, Farm Fresh to You, Clark Farm

Individualized Training Program (ITP)

This program is available throughout the year. The ITP can be customized for individuals and Host institutions who want a shorter program, OR have already established a training connection OR have been accepted into an Affiliate organization's program. ITP Stewards seek MESA's assistance with aspects of cultural exchange, visa documentation and temporary employment authorization. Read more here. 

Example Hosts: Ecology Action, Organic Materials Review Institute, Rogue Farm Corps, Biodynamic Association, Rodale Institute

Do you have questions about MESA's programs? Check our FAQ page!

Learn more about J1 Visa Eligibility here

Affiliate Internship Exchange Program

MESA collaborates with pioneering organizations in the sustainable agriculture and food sovereignty movement through an Affiliate Exchange Program. MESA's Affiliate Program offers exceptional educational internships and experiential exchanges with world-renowned educational centers, research institutions, member associations, cooperatives and community-based organizations. Unlike MESA's Core Program, the Affiliate Exchange Program is self-directed and offers more flexible timeframes based on individuals and organizations. Some of the Affiliate partners we work with are Ecology Action, Biodynamic Association, Rogue Farm Corps, and the Rodale Institute. Learn more here.

Are you interested in a tour or customized program for your group?

MESA offers "custom-designed" sustainability tours and short-term U.S. programs for groups of agricultural professionals seeking specialized training related to organic certification, fair trade, farm advocacy, etc. or in organic export marketing/sustainable supply chain management.

We welcome your inquiry! Please complete MESA's Group Request Form to help us understand your request and prepare a quote.

Stewards got a crash course in sustainable food systems with some of the workers, educators and farmers who are radically changing the way we grow, eat, and distribute our food.