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

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 enroll in course curriculum for class assignments and participate in weekly course discussion and guest presentation sessions. Students also participate in hands-on farm workshops and site visits. MESA’s main partners and CA regions are:

  • The Center for Food, Faith and Justice and EcoVillage Farm Learning Center (Berkeley/Richmond)
  • Mission Resource Conservation District and Edge of Urban Farm (Fallbrook/Vista)
  • Institute for Sustainability at Cal State University (Northridge campus)

What is a Cohort? Each cohort group consists of 15-20 students and is led by one of MESA’s three CA partners. A fourth, online-only cohort to accommodate students outside our 3 CA partner regions is led by MESA staff. The four-month program starts with an introduction to Agroecology and leads to earning a Certificate in Applied Agroecology from MESA and our partner. 

What’s included? The AFFP includes:

  • Two hours of weekly, evening Class sessions
  • Six, half-day Saturday farm workshops*
  • Two local farm or ag-related enterprise visits*

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

Scholarship Eligibility: Students who meet the USDA’s eligibility criteria as socially disadvantaged under the 2501 Program will receive full scholarship for the program, which includes additional opportunities to apply for apprenticeships, mentor matching, mini-grants, application support for USDA grants and loans, and more.

We are currently recruiting for our next program scheduled to begin in January, 2021 and conclude in April, 2021. Future AFFP start dates will be posted as available. To receive more information about our next cohort program detail and exact start/end dates, which may vary by CA partner, please fill out the inquiry form below. 

Program cost:  $0. Candidates who qualify as socially disadvantaged via USDA guidelines receive priority enrollment. Donations to support all limited resource learners always welcome!

To request an application, please start by filling out the Inquiry Form below. NOTE: THE AFFP IS OPEN FOR U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY.

MESA’s Agroecology, Farming and Food Pathways inquiry form