What We Do
We have four interrelated program areas that each contribute to our work connecting a global grassroots network, collaborating with food and farming leaders, and cultivating community food systems.
Our flagship program, MESA’s International Exchange is a two-way exchange for farmers around the world to spur innovation, preserve traditional agroecological practices, and transform the global food system. For US-based programs, MESA provides international stewards with J1 visa documentation for up to 12 months of ecological food system training and cross-cultural exchange.
Collaborating with numerous partners, MESA recently launched the Farm-Centered Learning Network for Social Change, an online learning platform offering open-source curriculum and four online courses to complement hands-on farm training. For all interested farmers, students, educators, thinkers and doers, courses provide the technical and theoretical toolkit needed to face an increasingly globalized food system and build a just, agroecological food system.
Launched in the Spring of 2016, the Bay Area Farmer Training Program is an Oakland-based project focused on immigrants, refugees, and formerly incarcerated individuals who aspire to farm as a career. (Check back for the next BAFT Course offerings!)
MESA is committed to supporting on-farm projects to increase the practices of agroecology as well as farmer-driven research.
MESA manages a competitive matching grant and microloan program called Sustainable Projects for Resilience, Innovation and Germination (SPRIG). Exchange Stewards and Hosts can apply for funds to implement collaborative on-farm projects, and Exchange Alumni are eligible to apply for funds for projects in their home communities. Read more about on-farm projects here.
We are also involved in several collaborative on-farm research projects including climate resilience studies, organic no-till vegetable production, and dry-farmed tomatoes trials.See our upcoming events here.
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