Climate Farm School

A hybrid 4-week program combining online sessions with getting your hands dirty on a working farm. Learn about the climate impact of food systems and the solutions within them. For tech, business, and sustainability professionals, entrepreneurs, farmers, and others passionate about food and climate.

Application deadline for summer courses:
August 13th, 2022

Get a hands-in-the-soil view of climate solutions in food systems

Learn from farmers, soil scientists, chefs, & local food policymakers

Mitigating and adapting to climate change in complex food and ag systems requires a variety of stakeholders collaborating effectively. Hear from a diversity of them in order to understand where your skills and interests can plug into enabling and scaling climate-friendly food systems.

Expand your food systems and farming network

Build relationships with a global network of farmers, food system advocates, and like-minded peers who will support you in doing climate-positive food systems work. This community is open to you forever and will keep growing with future cohorts. We host community events even after the program.

Take professional and personal action

The Climate Farm School mission is to facilitate the conversion of millions of acres of farmland globally to regenerative, carbon sequestering, locally-controlled agroecosystems via climate educational experiences on farms. Map out how you can contribute to systemic change in food and ag, and start taking action!

UNMATCHED FACULTY

Learn from the best in the field

Dr. Laney Siegner

Course Creator

Climate Farm School Director, Terra.do

Laney recently completed her Ph.D. at the U.C. Berkeley Energy and Resources Group. She researches sustainable, agroecological food systems and climate change education, and completed several summers of sustainable agriculture work while researching for her dissertation. 

 

She has published book chapters on teaching climate change in U.S. K-12 classrooms and on conducting participatory agroecology research. Prior to attending graduate school, she worked as a middle school teaching fellow for 2 years in Boston, MA as part of an AmeriCorps National Teaching Fellowship. 

 

When she’s not teaching or learning, she enjoys being outside for a variety of physical activities – farming, worm composting, trail running, bird watching, or swimming in the ocean. Originally from the East Coast, she now lives in Sonoma County, California. She helped build the off-grid tiny house that she now lives in with her partner, as part of the first-ever California Tiny House Competition.

Ryan Peterson

Course Facilitator

Farm School Instructor
Ryan Peterson is dedicated to regenerating ecosystems through food and agriculture. After beginning his career in finance, he decided to change course and study sustainability at UC Berkeley where he was captivated by the potential of food systems transformation. His master’s research focused on how policy can be used to promote agroecology in California. He went on to train as a cook at Chez Panisse before helping to launch the Culinary and Food Systems Program at The Ecology Center, a regenerative farm and ecological education center in San Juan Capistrano, California. He has worked on farms in Maine, Northern and Southern California, and Hawaii. He spends his time collaborating with farmers and chefs, developing educational events around regenerative agriculture, and reconnecting humans to nature through his cooking.

Our Host Farmers

Aubrie Maze

Farm and Land Manager, Green Valley Community Farm + Mill (USA)

With a background in herbal medicine and animal husbandry, Aubrie weaves the lives of humans with our essential, connective and productive relationship with plants and animals at Green Valley. Aubrie has spent the past ten years living in intentional communities, gaining deep knowledge of the internal structures that support such communities and has dedicated her organizational skills to helping them thrive. Aubrie continues to deepen her relationship to land by raising animals alongside her partner Scott Kelley.
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David Bill and Faith Van De Putte

Co-Owners, Midnight’s Farm (USA)

David and Faith are the co-owners of Midnight’s Farm on Lopez Island in Washington state. They raise grass-fed, rotationally grazed Murray Grey beef and heritage pork, grow a bit of produce, and sell compost made in the only Department of Ecology-certified compost operation in the county. Values of stewardship, community, education, and climate resilience guide their management decisions. Faith grew up working with her family in the commercial fishing industry in Alaska and never thought she would return to Lopez and become a farmer. David grew up on Lopez and had a career as a salmon fisherman in SE Alaska before returning to Lopez and starting up Midnight’s farm.

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Elizabeth and Paul Kaiser

Co-Owners, Singing Frogs Farm (USA)

Elizabeth and Paul Kaiser are co-owners of Singing Frogs Farm in Sebastopol, CA, which they have operated since 2007. A background in tropical agroforestry, natural resources management and public health in the Sahel of West Africa, Central America and Northern California, gave them global insights into sustainable farming. Their farm is multi-award winning for their highly intensive, no-till, ecological management system. Singing Frogs Farm has demonstrated that ecological sustainability can mean economic sustainability, with up to 10 times the sales per acre compared to similar farms.
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Our Guest Speakers

Clea Chandmal

Permaculture Farmer, Foyts Farm (India)

Farming in Goa, India since 1997, Clea introduced permaculture techniques to a largely infertile soil, creating a flourishing food forest which is home to several endangered endemic plant and animal species. The built environment uses locally sourced materials, passive solar design, zero waste strategies, minimum embodied energy and more. Clea engages in various teaching and speaking opportunities and her TEDx Goa talk ‘from forest to farm’ showcases her scientific and ecologically based approach to Permaculture and regenerative design.
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Gary Podesto

Chef and Consultant, Chez Panisse (USA)

Born and raised in Sacramento, California, Gary has been steeped in sunshine and local values. Traveling through Europe developed his understanding of the foundational cuisines of the West and his trips to Thailand, India, and China provided valuable context for the cuisines of the East. Most recently, he has been working for Alice Waters at Chez Panisse and doing private chef events throughout the pandemic. Gary specializes in crafting creative menus guided by season and place, accentuating local ingredients and producers with his masterful culinary creations.
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Riley Starks

Founding Partner, Lummi Island Wild Co-Op (USA)

A lifelong commercial fisherman, Riley moved to Lummi Island in 1992, where reefnet fishing saturated the community. He bought one of the 50 gears then deployed in Legoe Bay, where he continues to fish every summer. During Riley’s years on Lummi Island, he built Nettles Farm, now a culinary B&B; co-founded Lummi Island Wild, a fish company; and, from 2001-2013, created the present iteration of the Willows Inn on Lummi Island. In 2017 Riley founded the Salish Center for Sustainable Fishing Methods with the goal of continuing his effort to educate people about the reefnet fishing industry and the sustainability of the Salish Sea.
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Wanda Stewart

Program Director, Victory Garden Foundation (USA)

Wanda is a trusted leader in California’s East Bay food justice and urban ag movements. She is committed especially to working with other African Americans to reframe our shared history, trauma, and greatness through the act of legacy gardening. Wanda blends her professional skills in community outreach and program development with her personal passions for people and urban farming. She seeks to model, galvanize, and support whole life transformation – in individuals and in community – through the act of gardening and the lens of African American culture and traditions.
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Natalia Pinzon

Co-Founder, Farmer Campus (USA)

Natalia specializes in agroecology as a means to reduce on-farm and global climate risk. Her doctoral research focuses on how California farmers are preparing for, responding to, and recovering from wildfires. Her action-research project involves the development of a hybrid course “Farming through wildfire season”. This multi-sector collaboration includes a guidebook for farmers on how to evaluate agricultural risk to wildfires. Natalia partners with community organizations working to serve Latinx farmers and farmworkers in California; organic seed producers in the United States; urban BIPOC farmers; and agroecology more broadly throughout Latin America.
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Glimpses from the Farm

Our Farm Locations

On-farm dates: July 23 - July 31
On-farm dates: Sep 10 - Sep 17
On-farm dates: Oct 23 - Oct 30
On-farm dates: Sept 24 - October 1

A passionate community

Our alumni have accomplished careers in industry, policy, and more, and have all made a commitment to focusing their career on sustainability and decarbonization. Expect a similarly accomplished peer set from the world of food nerds, ag-tech entrepreneurs, aspiring farmers, and the like.

The week living at Midnight’s Farm through the Climate Farm School was a special combination of insights, in-field learning, intellectual nourishment, and fun.  During my time, I studied soil science, helped rotationally graze cattle, thinned trees in the forest for wildfire mitigation, visited five farms, heaved compost, and reflected on the food system at large. I highly suggest this program for anyone interested in deepening their knowledge of regenerative agriculture.

Mitch Rubin

Director Of Innovation, Elemental Excelerator (USA)

Course breakdown

Sign up to get a detailed syllabus in your inbox, or check out a week-by-week outline below.

Explore curated online food/climate resource library (videos and short readings) in prep for farmstay

Attend live orientation Zoom session

Engage in 1-2 live Zoom lectures on regenerative agriculture basic theory, principles and practice

On the farm: live, work, learn

Morning farm activities (e.g. learn how to prepare and transition a bed of annual crops, seeding, watering, weeding, harvesting, learn to milk a cow, set up irrigation and electric fencing, intro to herbalism, forestry and fire mitigation work)

Afternoon “barn classroom” time. Sample topics: soil health principles, soil health practices and building soil carbon, farm business models, water resource management, models of transformation, food justice

Farm to table group meals plus evening guest talks, culinary explorations with local chefs, and film screenings

Field trips to other nearby farms

Back at home, content summary and wrap up. Sample topics: collective action to scale models of transformation such as food sovereignty and agroecology movements, applications to urban and home-scale gardening, the future of farming, technology, and food systems

Online group debrief, final food and farming climate action plan presentations

Set up collaborations for ongoing project work (optional)

Get started on your regenerative agriculture journey

Watch this video with course director Laney Siegner and Niccolo Merighi, Farm Education Director at Spannocchia farm in Tuscany, talking about regenerative agriculture.
Play Video

Personalized and expert instruction

Our world-class faculty bring not only farming and soil science expertise but also trained techniques in teaching and facilitation. Think of them as your personal coaches as you explore climate solutions in food and agriculture.

Facilitated discussions

Before and during the farm stay, you will join in small group discussions for:

Hands-on farming + applied projects

In addition to working alongside farmers , you will be presented with real-world projects defined by local food system stakeholders. Sample projects include:

Special events

While you are on the farm, you can look forward to the following special events and activities: 

Pricing and expected commitment

US$ 2200 / 4 weeks

or 3 installments of $733/mo.

8-Day Farm Stay

Includes food and lodging for an 8-day farm stay.

Hybrid Program

Hybrid in-person and online, with opportunities for live interaction with farmers, soil scientists, and talented chefs.

Exclusive events

3+ guest lectures from farm experts, also available for later viewing.

Online Content

Online content and community accessible to you forever.

Our fellows say it best...

Tim Falls

The Terra.do community has been a consistent source of support along my climate journey. Since my Monarch days in the inaugural Learning for Action cohort, I've participated in the Climate Justice Workshop, Terra Studio, and Climate Farm School. I've mentored and found mentorship. Terra fellows have joined and helped co-create the Climate Friends community, which was inspired by my experience as a Terra student. Terra.do is creating a fully circular community, and I'm grateful to be in the loop.

Aneri Parikh

As I explore regenerative ag myself by setting up a small farm I can only vouch that it is truly rewarding beyond what I'd imagined. To be able to share the experience with a larger community and hopefully get more people on board would be a superb undertaking.

Lori Kozlowski

This year I joined Terra.do's Climate School as a fellow to learn more about climate change, climate justice, policy and actions to preserve biodiversity and transform our planet. One of the best things I've done this year. Can't say enough good things about the climate scientists and experts teaching these courses.

Faith Van De Putte

It has been exciting to jump into this global community alive with innovation, energy, urgency, and smart and passionate people actually “doing” stuff, hence the “dot do.” ... We are utilizing this platform to look at our operation and recommit to an ethic of stewardship.

Who is this program for?

An on-farm view of climate solutions makes the program perfect for both farmers wanting to develop a stronger climate knowledge base and non-farm folks like business professionals, tech workers, policymakers, entrepreneurs... anyone interested in connecting with agricultural ecosystems and hands-on exploration of nature-based climate mitigation.

Already involved in farming

Aspiring home gardeners, homesteaders, and small scale farmers.

Passion for Regenerative ag

Land owners or land stewards seeking ways to make a living on the land while regenerating natural ecosystems for climate mitigation and resilience.

Hands-on Experience

Those wanting to explore and experience day-to-day life on a farm.

Time Commitment

Working professionals with sufficient time (at least 1 full week on the farm) to dedicate to the program.

Full-Time Commercial Farmers

You want to become a full-time commercial farmer, and want a comprehensive “learn to farm” program (these kinds of programs exist, and are typically 6-9 months in duration).

Too Busy

You don’t have the time to commit to at least a week’s farm stay right now (you can always apply for later cohorts).

Frequently asked questions

This program is designed for current and aspiring food system professionals of various backgrounds, from farmers to chefs to entrepreneurs, policymakers, marketers, nutritionists, educators and artists. It is for those seeking to contribute to climate solutions via food and agriculture systems. The hands-in-the-soil work component makes it also valuable for those seeking to develop personal sustainable livelihood skills like home-scale food production and composting. See the course description and syllabus for more details.

To ensure that our farm partners do not suffer losses due to last-minute cancellations, we have the following policy:
  • If you cancel 2 months ahead of the course start date, you will receive a 100% refund.
  • If you cancel less than 2 months ahead of the course start date, you will receive a 90% refund
  • If you cancel in less than a month but more than two weeks ahead of the course start date, you get a 75% refund.
  • Unfortunately, if you cancel within two weeks of the course start date, we will not be able to offer you a refund.

As long as you’re able to take at least 1 week off from your job for a farm stay, you will be able to participate in the full program. There is WiFi available at the farm and the in-person schedule is designed to be flexible so that if you do have to check in on work or take an important meeting, you can do so while living, learning, and working on the farm. If you can’t take time off, there is an all-online version of the course content coming soon in Spring 2022.

The host farm sites have comfortable, rustic farm house bedrooms with shared bathrooms. There will be clean sheets and towels available, and basic bathroom products (shampoo, conditioner, soap). There are indoor and outdoor showers, and indoor bathrooms as well as composting toilets. Camping on the farm is available for a lower per-night rate at most host farms, and tents and sleeping bags are provided. Specific lodging details for each farm host site are available upon request and often available on the farm’s personal website.

Pricing options are as follows: $1900 for 4-week course with 8-day farmstay camping option (where available), $2200 for bedroom accommodation option, and $2400 for premium accommodation (where available). This is noted on the application form for relevant farms.

We want this program to work for learners of all stripes, regardless of individual or organizational ability to pay. Please apply—we will make every effort to accommodate the circumstances of qualified students with scholarship funds, within the limitations of ensuring that hard costs of running the program and making payment to farmers are met.

Several organizations have learning or professional development budgets for their employees. We encourage you to enquire about and utilize this budget to attend the course. Terra.do will help you get reimbursed for the course by providing an invoice, a certificate, and any other documentation you need. If you have approval from your company, we can also arrange for your company to pay directly.

You will receive a suggested packing list upon payment/confirmation of your spot in the course. Comfortable clothes for working outdoors, suitable footwear, and sun protection are key items to bring.

Yes! We expect to run more cohorts given ongoing demand for this course. New course dates and farm host sites will be announced on the website as they are confirmed.

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