Applied Agroecology

This certificate course combines academic, scientific, socio-political and traditional knowledge in seven lessons, giving learners a holistic understanding and application of Agroecology. The material is presented in video, audio, visuals and readings to allow students to develop their own perspective, and be able to apply theoretical knowledge through interactive on-farm activities.
· January 21, 2016

Certificate in Applied Agroecology (CAAP): Farm Locally, Connect Globally

About the Course

MESA’s Applied Agroecology course fosters co-learning networks via a dynamic educational platform. Our virtual classroom combines the theoretical with the practical to promote comprehension, synthesis, and sharing of agroecological practices through on-farm activities and projects. This course is especially geared toward beginning farmers and students seeking to connect with fellow learners, contextualize daily farm activities, and gain a deeper appreciation for agroecological practices, with particular emphasis on the socio-political aspects. Certificate-track enrollees will also receive personalized instructor feedback on assignments and earn a Certificate in Applied Agroecology to accentuate and complement experiential training.

What You Will Learn

This course combines academic, scientific, socio-political and ancestral knowledge in 7 lessons, giving learners a holistic understanding and application of agroecology. With roots grounded in social justice, this course has a particular emphasis on the socio-political pillar of agroecology. To support multiple learning styles, the material is presented in video, audio, visuals and readings. This self-directed, self-paced course enables learners to develop their own perspective, and directly apply theoretical knowledge through interactive on-farm activities.

Learning Objectives

Agroecology is a lens through which we can understand and evaluate how different food and farming systems affect human culture and ecosystems. This interactive presentation of ancestral practices, scientific research, historical data and individual case studies will enable learners to analyze and ultimately transform their own food and farming systems.

How Learning will Happen

  • Farm-based Learning Activities
    • At the end of each lesson, you’ll complete an on-farm activity that uses the knowledge gained during the last lesson. This allows you to reflect, analyze, and apply the principles and practices you’ve learned during the last lesson, and understand how the different concepts relate to your farm, food system and/ or culture.
    • The course instructor will provide individualized feedback for Certificate-track enrollees to facilitate learning and/or to deepen inquiry on various subjects.
  • Self-assessments
    • In order to measure learning outcomes, you will assess your knowledge of a particular subject area at the beginning and end of each lesson. This develops self-directed learners, who are critically analyzing the materials, as well as your own biases, critical thinking and process of learning. Since agroecology can be different things to different people, we aim for learners to assess their own perspectives on these issues.
  • Farm Maps
    • Learners will create a multilayered map of their farm, whether it be a piece of land they have worked on, are currently on or hope to one day work on. Creating maps can help you apply your knowledge, and understand the relationships between all of the factors of your agroecosystem.
  • Forums
    • At the end of each module, you’ll participate in a forum, either responding to or posing your own questions. Through these forums, learners from all over the world can compare ideas, share techniques, and co-create new knowledge.
  • Live Chats & Webinars
    • Our powerful social learning network includes live chats where you can chat live with each other and Instructors.

What You Need to Succeed

A computer & internet connection, a farm or an open space suitable for farming, and an active imagination!

Recommended Background

Course materials are highly applicable to any farmer or to person(s) serving farmers, as well as to college students. While accessible to many different learning backgrounds and styles, this course is currently tailored for those who have a basic knowledge of English.

When I signed up for the Applied Agroecology Program with MESA, I really wasn’t sure what to expect. By the time I had finished the first lesson, however, I was hooked — it’s incredibly informative, well-written and gives a great amount of supporting information in each lesson. Learning about the politics affecting food production globally is something that wasn’t granted to me in a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture. I’m so thankful to have been linked with a program that aligns with my values, and has brought me to what I’ve wanted to learn about for so long.”

Customized Cohort start dates: Have a group of 5 or more? Contact us for flexible start dates – our instructors will work with you to set a cohort start date that works for you! Contact us for more details at

Interest or have Questions? Contact us at

About the Certificate


Certificate-track enrollees must complete all activities to earn MESA’s Certificate in Applied Agroecology.

Why choose the Certificate-track?

Our Certificate Program is offered at a sliding scale of $150-$350 depending on your means. While all course materials are open to the public for free, it is by joining the Certificate-track that you’ll gain access to our expert MESA instructors as well as receive the following benefits:

Certificate-track Benefits

  • Assignments and Activities reviewed by a dedicated team of educators and mentors
  • One-on-one project review
  • Office hours access with MESA instructor
  • A cohort of international peers that will be learning with you
  • Accident and Injury insurance if you have a farm-related medical claim (U.S.-based farms and U.S. residents only)
  • Invitation to help build and shape future course curriculum
  • An electronic or paper-mailed (lower 48 U.S. only) “Certificate of Applied Agroecology” from the Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture (MESA, Inc.). MESA is an U.S. Department of State-designated training and cultural exchange program and a non-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization based in Berkeley, California

Certificate Requirements

  • Complete 6 field based Applied Assignments
  • Complete 14 self assessments
  • Complete 6 of 7 Lessons*
  • Active forum participation

*We encourage you to complete at 7, however, we understand you are busy and there is a lot of material, or you may already be familiar with parts and may choose to focus on other Lessons. So, you may choose one to skip if you are time-restricted and still graduate.


Course Content

Expand All
Lesson Content
0% Complete 0/2 Steps
Course Content
Lesson Content
0% Complete 0/11 Steps
Lesson Content
0% Complete 0/8 Steps
Lesson Content
0% Complete 0/6 Steps
Lesson Content
0% Complete 0/9 Steps

About Instructor


Official Instructor

+298 enrolled
Not Enrolled

Course Includes

  • 8 Lessons
  • 66 Modules
  • 14 Reflection Questions
  • Course Certificate