US Hosts for International Stewards
Do you share our vision?
MESA 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 food and farming changemakers, linking ancestral knowledge with innovation to build earth stewardship, equitable economies and cross-cultural collaboration.
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.
Stewards are carefully screened by MESA and via our global networks. Stewards expect full-time, on-site training activities and cultural immersion for up to 12 months.
Hosts typically provide Stewards with:
- 32-48 hours of weekly, supervised training for a full season
- Free lodging & food (or food allowance)
- Stipend or Wage
- Medical insurance (MESA can recommend a J1 program plan averaging between $50-$70/Steward/month)
- Cultural activities
Weekly hours and training activities will vary by placement. Your Host training plan will describe all compensation offered.
Hosts pay MESA a $100 annual membership fee, plus $225/month/Steward for the duration of training. Host fees help our nonprofit organization provide exceptional services and benefits, including:
- Careful screening and application support for international candidates
- Legal J1 training visa and US program sponsorship
- Online agroecology curriculum
- Steward scholarships
- “SPRIG” grant eligibility for Hosts to collaborate with Stewards on special farm projects
- Steward conference and workshop reimbursements
- Coordinator support
- Intern/apprentice accident and injury insurance*
*US citizens interning with a MESA member Host must be enrolled in MESA’s Applied Agroecology Certificate course to be eligible for this insurance.
The Certificate in Applied Agroecology & Exchange Program (CAAPX) and the Next Level Program (NLP)
Both programs appeal to US sustainable farms, nonprofits and companies that align with MESA’s mission and seek to host international beginning or experienced agriculturists for up to 12 months.
First-time Stewards join the CAAPX. Steward alumni who’ve completed a US program two or more years ago join the 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 select group of successful Steward alumni to apply for the NLP.
Regardless of which program suits you best, US Host partners are welcomed into MESA’s network of sustainable farmers and farm advocates worldwide!