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’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 Dairy, Dripping Springs Garden
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 Company, Thanksgiving Farm at the Center for Discovery, Farm Fresh to You, Clark Farm
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.
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.
MESA also develops "custom-designed" sustainability tours and 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. (Example hosts: Organic Bouquet, Organic Valley Family of Farms, Veriflora-certified wholesalers and nurseries.)
MESA welcomes inquiries from both non-governmental and government agencies. Please contact us if you are trying to arrange a US tour or training program for your group.