US Hosts for International Stewards

Do you share our vision?

Hosts embrace MESA’s learn and share model of farmer-to-farmer exchange. Hosts mentor Stewards, while also learning and sharing traditions, techniques, and innovations in ecological agriculture and sustainable food systems. Hosts and Stewards develop a collaborative and open dialogue, resulting in meaningful training experiences, professional networking and life-long friendships.

The common denominator linking our Hosts is their commitment to MESA’s mission to connect and cultivate sustainable farmers and food systems leaders around the world.

Host Partners we Seek

MESA partners with US-based Host placements that offer a diversity of training activities for our international Stewards. Host placements range from small farms to agricultural businesses, from non-profits to research centers. Common practices include organic, biointensive, biodynamic, agroecological, permaculture and/or transitional agriculture. Hosts provide supervised, experiential training in production, distribution, marketing, education, research and/or community organizing.


Before applying for the US program, Steward candidates enroll in 12-week, prerequisite online food systems and global citizenship courses facilitated by MESA’s trusted global partner NGOs, and are carefully screened. Stewards expect full-time, on-site training activities and cultural immersion for up to 12 months.

Host requirements typically include:

  • 40 hours/week maximum of varied training activities, averaged over a full season (typically 6-12 months)
  • Monthly Host fee* sent to MESA for Steward services (listed below)
  • Free lodging & food (or food allowance)
  • Ample cultural/social activities
  • Educational opportunities (workshops, conferences, webinars, etc.)
*2024 SAGE Host fee is $1250/month.
MESA encourages non-profit, education-based Host placements to discuss alternative stipends and length of training options with us!
MESA services for Stewards include:
  • Legal J1 visa sponsorship
  • Health Insurance 
  • $800/month Steward stipends, less 14% tax
  • Stewards’ federal tax withholding & annual filing assistance
  • 24/7 coordinator support
  • $150 Educational reimbursement toward  conference registration, online webinars, etc.

Program Types

Sustainable Agriculture & Global Exchange (SAGE) and the Next Level Program (NLP)

Both programs appeal to US-based sustainable farms, nonprofits and value chain ag. businesses that align with MESA’s mission and seek to host international beginning or experienced agriculturists for up to 12 months.

SAGE alumni who’ve completed a US program two or more years ago may join the NLP and may be authorized to earn wages.* First-time and NLP Stewards may arrive at their assigned Host placements throughout the year to accommodate seasonal requirements for a wide variety of sustainable farms, ag. companies and organizations.

The NLP seeks sustainable operations that can offer management-level training for MESA alumni. Each season MESA invites a very select group of successful Steward alumni to apply for the NLP.

*Host placements offering wages for our talented Steward alumni may be exempted from providing free food and/or lodging but agree to assist Steward in securing affordable accommodations prior to their US arrival.

Regardless of which program suits you best, US Host partners are welcomed into MESA’s network of sustainable farmers and farm advocates worldwide!

How to apply?

  • Register here to submit your Host application.
  • MESA staff will contact your references, and follow up with you to share more about program options and discuss Steward availability.
  • Once your application is approved, you’ll have full access to review full Steward applications.
  • When you identify a Steward you’d like to invite, you may arrange an online interview, You’ll also complete a training plan to complete the matching process.
  • Steward(s) arrive for annual training assignments lasting 4-12 months, depending on Host site seasons/availability.

*Contact us at [email protected]