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Gain extensive hands-on experience in running a regenerative, organic farm from seed to sale

Learn how to regenerate soils, maximize water efficiency, and increase biodiversity throughout your landscape

Receive personalized mentorship from experts in the field of regenerative agriculture

Connect with farms across the US and beyond to further develop your skill sets

Connect with nature and be a part of the solution

The ROA Certificate is a 9-month training program that embraces a holistic, systems-based approach to farm management and ecological design. You’ll learn to actively regenerate the environment and develop foundational knowledge in soil regeneration, water conservation, plant sciences, and permaculture design.

What is regenerative agriculture?

Regenerative agriculture is a systems-based approach to agriculture that leverages natural ecology to build soil, improve water efficiency, and increase biodiversity while emphasizing healthy food, feed, and fiber as the foundation of a strong community.

The healing of the land and the purification of the human spirit is the same process -Masanobu Fukuoka

Think global, act local

At MIU, we believe that global sustainability starts with self-sufficiency and that we must put in the work to build a food system that regenerates the greater ecosystem and creates resilient, well-nourished communities. Our program is about creating social entrepreneurs who have the technical competencies and management skills necessary to pursue the growing opportunities in regenerative agriculture.

Student testimonials

safari

Safari C.

safari

Field consultant
Les Griffes in Languedoc-Rousillan, France

”Being a ROA student means you’ll be tested both mentally and physically, and the reward is an experience matchless to any other”

emily shephard

Emily M.

emily shephard

Organic Shepherd
Eugene, Oregon

“The ROA program helped me discover my passion for agriculture and turn it into a career. I loved how hands on it was with a focus on real life skills.”

ruey

Ruey M.

ruey

Founder of the International Ancestral Medicine Institute
Honoria, Peru

“I learned the only way to grow nutrient-dense food is to be patient, attentive, and disciplined, the same skills it takes to build anything from the ground up.”

kelly horsey

Kelly K.

kelly horsey

Research assistant and marketing specialist
Soil Tech Inc, Fairfield, Iowa

“My experience with the ROA program gave me the foundational knowledge I needed to pursue a career in organic agriculture and helped me make valuable connections with professionals in the industry.”

Featured faculty

steve mclaskey

Steve McLaskey

steve mclaskey

Steve received his PhD in horticulture from Cornell University in 1997 and has spent over 25 years farming vegetables in the Midwest. Steve brings a wealth of experience and wisdom to the ROA team with his extensive knowledge in plant physiology, pest, and disease identification, biodynamic applications, and organic certification. He is also one of the lead organizers for the farm’s operational management and cropping strategy.

atanu mukherjee

Atanu Mukherjee

atanu mukherjee

Atanu is a research scientist from the Rodale Institute and received his PhD from the University of Florida with a concentration in water and soil science. Dr. Mukherjee’s areas of expertise include soil and water chemistry, environmental soil quality, biochar technology, sustainable agriculture, and greenhouse gas emissions.

sl-kris-johnson

Kris Johnson

sl-kris-johnson

Kris is a 4th generation Iowa farmer and manager at MIU’s Regenerative Organic Farm. Growing up on his family farm outside of Fairfield, crop production, animal husbandry, and equipment operation/maintenance were normal parts of his day-to-day life. After receiving his bachelor's degree with a double major in environmental science and sociology, Kris began working on organic farms and started his own Market Garden right here in Fairfield. He has extensive experience in machine maintenance, greenhouse operations, market gardening, and soil management.

Tyler Wilfley

Tyler Wilfley

Tyler Wilfley

Tyler is an experienced coordinator with a background in permaculture design, financial management, and sustainable community development. His past experience as a program manager in Northern Thailand included projects in permaculture design, eco-friendly infrastructure, and wildlife conservation. Tyler graduated summa cum laude from Illinois State University with a BA in Philosophy and received the outstanding student award for his MBA in Sustainable Business from Maharishi International University.

Cost, 2021-22

US Certificate in Regenerative Organic Agriculture

Cost of Attendance
Tuition and fees, 9 months$11,530
Housing (single room) and meals, 9 months$7,400

  • US students using federal aid must complete their undergraduate degree before the certificate is awarded.
  • Students taking these courses while enrolled in our undergraduate program will pay according to their usual undergraduate tuition and scholarship rates.
  • Transcendental Meditation instruction, for those that require it, is an additional one-time fee of $190. Financial aid is not available for this certificate program.


Tuition, other fees, scholarships, and financial policies are subject to change prior to the entry date. For more information, contact us at finaid@miu.edu for a quick reply — normally one business day — or see more about financial aid.

International Certificate in Regenerative Organic Agriculture

Cost of Attendance
Tuition and fees, 9 months$11,530
Housing (single room) and meals, 9 months$7,400
Health insurance (estimate)$2,940
Personal expenses, books, unexpected needs$3,000
Students taking these courses while enrolled in our undergraduate program will pay according to their usual undergraduate tuition and scholarship rates. Transcendental Meditation instruction, for those that require it, is an additional one-time fee of $190.

Courses

Ecosystems are living systems composed of human, more-than-human, and biogeophysical components. Understanding and living in alignment with living systems is essential for regenerative, thriving societies. In this course, students will explore living systems principles through the lens of ecology and ecosystems sciences. We apply those principles to how humans have and could live as powerful agents of change. We look at ecosystem components, dynamics, processes, and systems across scales with an emphasis on the human influence on ecosystems. We conclude with an understanding of how living in alignment with ecosystems and living systems principles supports people and the planet. By the end of this course, students will be able to explain the complexity of ecosystems and why a foundation of ecology is important for regenerative sustainability, understand and explain the potential effects human consciousness and actions have on the ecosystem, think systemically, and apply this thinking to specific living systems.
This course acts as an introduction to the principles and practices involved in regenerative agriculture with an emphasis on horticultural sciences. Students will learn basic botany related to plant physiology and seed production, along with strategies for farm layout, land preparation, crop rotation, and fertility management. By the end of this course, students will have the contextual knowledge and conceptual framework needed to understand the management strategies involved in regenerative farming.
Permaculture Design is an attempt to rethink and redesign every aspect of human endeavor in terms of sustainability. In this course, you will learn about the principles, ethics, and scientific reasoning that guides permaculture design, along with how to apply it to homes, cities, and natural landscapes. Students will engage with concepts and strategies for building soil health, maximizing water efficiency, and increasing biodiversity through integrated plant dynamics and agroforestry, along with participating in workshops related to mushroom cultivation and fermentation sciences. The course will culminate in a final comprehensive design project involving a real client, where you will work to perform site analysis and develop practical solutions for real-world design challenges. Upon successful completion of the course, students earn an internationally recognized Permaculture Design Certificate.
The ability to analyze, build, and manage soil is a key component of Regenerative Agriculture. In this course, students will learn fundamental concepts in soil science relating to physical, chemical, and biological properties, along with instilling an awareness of soil as a natural basic resource. This class will involve fieldwork sessions where students gain experience in strategic garden bed preparation while developing technical skills for building soil fertility through the creation and application of compost, biochar, and other soil amendments.
This fieldwork course combines experiential learning in greenhouse management, transplanting, and field maintenance with an in-depth understanding of various vegetable crops produced throughout the farm season. Students will learn the unique characteristics and considerations associated with different vegetable crops, including growth patterns, propagation techniques, lifespan, specific pest and disease issues, and potential companion plants.
This fieldwork course continues with daily engagement in the farm’s operational activities and includes an emphasis on concepts related to plant maintenance, along with practical applications in pest and fertility management. Students will develop skill sets involving pest identification, disease management, and the ability to create biological remedies that promote plant health and pest resistance.
This fieldwork course emphasizes a practical understanding of the hydrological cycle with a strategic approach to water conservation, greywater systems, and methods for irrigation. Students will learn how to analyze a landscape to identify hydrological issues related to runoff, pollution, and improper drainage, along with implementing solutions that save water, improve percolation, and increase absorption.
Biodynamics is a unique, spirit-based approach to agriculture that was first developed by Rudolf Steiner in the 1920s. In biodynamics, farmers are regarded as “cosmic artists” that use specific preps at various times throughout the year to reinvigorate the Earth and improve soil fertility and plant nutrition. This course will cover various lectures involved in Rudolf Steiner’s “Agriculture Course” and explain the philosophical principles that underlie Biodynamics, with an emphasis on how to create and utilize the preps and applications that represent the “life force” of biodynamic agriculture.
This course focuses on problem solving for farming in unique environments and explores the design, development, and economic considerations involved in urban production, cold-season extension, and winter preparation. Students will gain hands-on experience working on the farm while learning about the strategies involved in urban agriculture and season extension with a special focus on intensive small-scale production, farm infrastructure, and land acquisition.
Sustainable business management is an attempt to execute triple bottom line performance in business through social responsibility, environmental stewardship, and economic viability. In this course, students will develop an understanding of the basic concepts associated with aspects of business management including economics, operations, finance, and marketing. Students will explore issues related to sustainability and learn how to identify economic trends that influence general business strategy. The course will involve practical applications in performing cost analysis, financial modeling, digital marketing, lean management, and how to write a business plan.

(R)evolution webinar series

Deep conversations with leaders regenerating the world

In these twice-monthly conversations, we speak with some of the leading figures in creating a healthy, safe, thriving, and socially just world. We learn about their work, and we ask them: What needs to change, at the deepest level, to bring about the transformations we need?

Speakers have included:

  • Dr. Rattan Lal — the first researcher to demonstrate that regenerative agriculture can address the climate crisis and other major global challenges; winner of the 2020 World Food Prize Watch ➡︎
  • Allan Savory — one of the founders of the Savory Institute and developer of the Holistic Management framework to address the cause of global desertification and climate change Watch ➡︎
  • Dr. Roland Bunch — one of the most well-respected leaders in regenerative land management Watch ➡︎
  • Dr. Tim LaSalle — past CEO of the Rodale Institute and a global champion of regenerative agriculture. Watch ➡︎

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Our next entries:
Feb 2022 and Aug 2022

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