Train with us!

Training opportunities for the next generation of food and farming leaders in agroecology

MESA facilitates exceptional training opportunities for the next generation of food and farming leaders in agroecology. Current and recent training opportunities include:

International Exchange  (Covid19 impacted – scheduled to resume in 2021!)

For global candidates seeking 6-12 months of hands-on training and exchange with US-based farms, businesses and educational centers. MESA collaborates with esteemed Global partners to help screen and recruit qualified “Steward” candidates. MESA then matches Stewards with U.S. Host mentor placements, sponsors their J1 trainee visas, and oversees the entire program experience for Stewards and Hosts.

If your U.S.-based sustainable farm or ag.-related business/organization would like to Host an international MESA Steward for a full season, click here to learn more about hosting requirements. If you are a beginning farmer or agriculturist from another country, click here to learn about Steward requirements.

Seed Internship

In partnership with the Organic Seed Alliance, emerging organic seed producers gain real-world experience through exploration and self-placement with a diverse network of Host seed producers throughout the US. Click here to apply as a seed intern or seed host!

Online Courses

MESA periodically hosts online courses for emerging and experienced farmers and sustainable advocates, including our popular Certificate in Applied Agroecology course. Recently completed offerings include two USDA-WSARE funded courses on Climate Resilience and Farmers Build Fire Resilience. MESA also proudly partnered with the Organic Seed Alliance to host the first Certificate in Organic Seed Production course, attended by nearly 500 online learners! The organic seed production course is scheduled to re-launch on OSA’s platform in 2021 (for more information, click here).

Instructor led, and certificate-track courses are periodically offered throughout the year, so please sign up for our mailing list to stay up to date on the next course offering. Certificate-track Courses require a sliding-scale fee. Open courses request a donation. Scholarships available.

Agroecology, Farming and Food Pathways (AFFP)

a training program in Urban & Rural Agroeco Food Systems and Microenterprises (specifically designed for socially disadvantaged, US residents) 

MESA’s Agroecology, Farming & Food Pathways (AFFP) offers two interactive online courses to explore a career in agriculture and earn a Certificate in Applied Agroecology. Enrollees located near MESA’s three California partner sites at The Center for Food, Faith and Justice and EcoVillage Farm Learning Center (Berkeley/Richmond), Mission Resource Conservation District/Edge of Urban Farm (Fallbrook/Vista) and the Institute for Sustainability at Cal State University (Northridge campus) are encouraged to attend 12 weekly, in-person sessions for course discussion, guest presentations, and hands-on farm training. Ongoing mentorship with MESA’s key partners, and USDA resources and financial support available for motivated course graduates to start an agroecological microenterprise or farm.

General Program timeline

  •     Phase 1, September 23  – November: Introduction to Agroecology – 3-month online, introductory course with optional in-person sessions**
  •     Phase 2, December – February, 2021: Certificate in Applied Agroecology — 3-month online, advanced certificate course with optional in-person sessions**
  •     Phases 3-4: Spring, 2021 (Covid19-dependent dates TBA):  Weekly sessions include a 2-hour weekday evening session plus 4-hour Saturday farm training. Each cohort will visit at least one other local farm, learn how to apply for USDA loans and grants, and may apply for microenterprise or farm start-up funds. 

**Due to Covid-19 restrictions, each partner team/location will determine when the in-person cohort sessions may safely begin. 

 Program cost:  $0 for socially disadvantaged participants

To learn more, please submit inquiry form below. NOTE: THE AFFP IS OPEN FOR U.S. RESIDENTS.

MESA’s Agroecology, Farming and Food Pathways inquiry form