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MESA sponsors a new generation of agrarian leaders, linking current innovations with global traditions in sustainable agriculture to promote land stewardship, localized economies and cultural awareness .
MESA is the only U.S. Department of State Exchange Program designated to address the needs of environmentally responsible farmers by sponsoring annual U.S. on-farm internships for global farmers. Since 1997, MESA has been pairing U.S. farmers (aka hosts) with international farmers (aka stewards) for the mutual exchange of sustainable farming practices.
Our on-the-farm program is a two-way exchange between hosts and stewards. U.S. host farms learn about the traditional practices of their steward, gain cultural perspectives, and benefit from MESA’s support to build and strengthen mentorship capacity. The exchange experience inspires and equips stewards to preserve and promote ecologically responsible and economically viable farming principles for the betterment of their own communities. Results include home-country projects founded by returning international stewards, who, in turn, become farm mentors in their local communities. To date, MESA has sponsored nearly 600 global farm stewards to train with over 250 U.S. host farms, and we’ve supported over 60 on-farm biodiversity projects.