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Review for Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture (MESA), Berkeley, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

The first time I joined MESA was in 2005 I was 24, I was farming in Oklahoma for eight months an that experience changed my whole life forever. I was growing organic veggis, cut flowers and medicinal herbs, that was very hard but at the same time very rewarding. As soon as I was adapting myself into a farm lifestyle, I start eating more healthy food, doing something good for my neighbor, and learning hands on experience about my own carreer: agriculture. That year was the key to develop a home country project in Ecuador related to support or empower local growers the next year with alternative technology, knowledge and some money. In the year 2008 a new advanced program was offered to me by MESA, Profesional Networking program, so I came back to learn more about organic flower industry in Miami, Organic Bouquet, I will be here for a year learning many important areas like Marketing, Quality assurance, Organic Certification, etc, hopefully the idea is to lead in the near future successful rural projects in Ecuador.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Ecuador M.E.S.A. has help to form a NGO and has trained a lot of University Students in different aspects of sustainable agriculture in many years.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

link it with researching institutions, and educational organizations to expand the impacts and help, reaching donors to provide long term goals to the rural projects.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

that the farms that MESA works with are small and organic, so you are exposed to a farming culture in USA and this is the concept of family farm that now we are trying to keep going in the future.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

They are actually very commited with their beliefs with organic farming and with alternative methods of growing food.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

develop a huge impact in Ecuador, because MESA already has organized many trainees through the years, most of us are professionals in agriculture, and everyone is residing in Ecuador and working in conventional agriculture because there is no chance to work in sustainable agr. and you can not do a living wage.

Ways to make it better...

I would have received a better stipend and more technical workshops.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

to get more support from other people dedicated to the same goals and in this way expand organic agr. like a business because the demand is going up, to educate growers how to grow how to get in organic standars, and provide them better prices and marketing skills.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I really BELIEVE that MESA has a huge southamerican roots to empower future generations of farmers leaders.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


Role:  Volunteer & I was training and learning hands on experience about organic techniques and marketing.