Pro Program Takes Root!

MESA’s new Professional Networking Program (PNP) matches international agriculture professionals with groundbreaking enterprises to advance global sustainable supply chain models.

“Organic Valley is proud to support MESA and the new PNP program. Our organic farming model has been very successful and our farmers are pleased to share their experience and knowledge with the PNP stewards. A sustainable farming model is our cooperative’s central mission and we have found a perfect partner in MESA and its Professional Networking Program.”                                    

– Joe Pedretti, Farmer Outreach Manager, Organic Valley

Two organizations committed to the promotion of small farms and organic enterprise, Organic Valley and Organic Bouquet, recently partnered with MESA to launch its new Professional Networking Program (PNP). In late August, MESA welcomed five young agricultural professionals from Ecuador for specialized training in production and marketing with Organic Valley dairy farm members and with Organic Bouquet’s distribution facility in Miami. PNP stewards will gain expertise in sustainable supply chain models with two of the most pioneering companies in sustainable enterprise.

The PNP stewards enjoyed a three-day orientation hosted by MESA at the Headlands Institute in Sausalito, where they toured Cowgirl Creamery, a nationwide leader in organic, artisan cheese-making; spoke with organic leaders, such as Albert Straus of Straus Family Creamery, the first organic dairy west of the Mississippi; met with CEO Gerald Prolman at Organic Bouquet’s corporate headquarters in San Rafael, and attended Slow Food Nation events in San Francisco. The group enjoyed one-on-one sessions with Joe Pedretti, Organic Valley’s’s Farmer Outreach Manager, who flew in from La Farge, WI to welcome the stewards and provide a comprehensive overview of Organic Valley’s cooperative model.

The PNP stewards have made a 6-12 month commitment to immerse themselves in all aspects of these two enterprises; from specialized production to marketing, manufacturing, distribution, retail, and decision-making within these two different, yet complementary models of sustainable enterprise. The stewards are prepared to share their professional expertise and life experience and apply their training in myriad ways once they return to Ecuador.