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.

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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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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Niccolo Merighi

Farm Education Director, Spannocchia (Italy)

Niccolò is the Farm Education Director at Spannocchia. He has a background in environmental sciences and gastronomy, and is an alumni of the Universita di Scienze Gastronomiche di Pollenzo. His interest for sustainable agricultural practices comes from a sense of belonging to the land we inhabit and from a deep respect for the people that interact with it. After spending years working with organic food and producing natural wine he is now leading the educational programs at Spannocchia.

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Our Guest Speakers

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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Wanda Stewart

Executive Director, Common Vision (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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Kris Covey

Co-Founder, The Soil Inventory Project (USA)

Dr. Covey is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies and Sciences at Skidmore College, and Co-Founder and President of The Soil Inventory Project (TSIP). His core research focuses on quantifying the flux of greenhouse gases from terrestrial ecosystems and building solutions for managing landscapes for climate benefit. While a Postdoc and Lecturer at Yale’s School of The Environment, Dr. Covey co-founded Quick Carbon, a rapid soil carbon assessment and set of tools that has informed the development of TSIP solution. Dr. Covey and his students developed the system for distributed, producer-led soil sampling.

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Daphne Miller

Director, Health from the Soil Up Fellowship (USA)

In a typical work week, Daphne Miller, MD spends as much time with ecologists, soil scientists, and farmers as she does with medical professionals.  She is a family physician, science writer, Clinical Professor at the University of California San Francisco, and Research Scientist at the University of California Berkeley School of Public Health. As founder of the Health from the Soil Up Initiative, she studies the connections among health, culture, and agriculture, with the goal of building a healthier and more resilient food system from the soil up. Daphne is a regular health and science contributor to the Washington Post. She has two books about food, agriculture and health: The Jungle Effect, The Science and Wisdom of Traditional Diets (HarperCollins 2008) and Farmacology, Total Health from the Soil Up (HarperCollins 2013).

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Erika Foster

Soil Ecologist, Point Blue Working Lands Team (USA)

As a Soil Ecologist Erika serves on the Point Blue Working Lands Team to help monitor rangeland carbon for ecosystem services. She contributes to protocol design and focus on the impact of conservation practices on ecosystem carbon above and belowground. Erika earned a B.S. in Natural Resource Conservation and a minor in Wilderness Studies (U of Montana, Missoula) and then completed her PhD in Ecology, in Soil and Crop Sciences (Colorado State University, Fort Collins). For her graduate research, she analyzed the impact of organic amendments, such as biochar and manure, on soil carbon sequestration and microbial nutrient cycling. She has worked internationally in Senegal and Peru as well as the western US. Erika is dedicated to environmental field education, teaching undergraduate courses for the Wild Rockies Field Institute (MT), and previously climate change and natural history courses for No Barriers Youth (CO), Gastineau Guiding (AK), and Tryon Creek State Park (OR).

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Glimpses from the Farm

Our Farm Locations

Click on the links below to find more information about each of our host farms.

Hawthorne Valley Farm

327 County Route 21C, Ghent, New York 12075, USA

Hawthorne Valley Farm

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Midnight’s Farm

3042 Center Rd, Lopez Island, WA 98261, USA

Midnight’s Farm

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Round the Bend Farm

92 Allens Neck Road, South Dartmouth, MA 02748, USA

Round the Bend Farm

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Spannocchia

Spannocchia, 167, 53012 Chiusdino SI, Italy

Spannocchia

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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.

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 – $3600 / 4 weeks

*Prices vary based on individual farms. More details are included on the farm pages above, and on the application form.

Cohort starting March 20, 2023

On farm week: Apr 1-21

Cohort starting May 29, 2023

On farm week: Jun 10-17

Cohort starting Jul 17, 2023

On farm week: Jul 29 – Aug 5

Cohort starting Sep 5, 2023

On farm week: Sep 16 – 23

7-Day Farm Stay

Includes food and lodging for an 7-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.

Donate to our scholarship fund

Climate Farm School is excited to launch a partnership with the non-profit, Farmer’s Footprint, in order to accept tax-deductible donations to support a growing number of scholarship applicants for our courses.


You can also read more about Farmer’s Footprint and their mission to unite, inspire and accelerate the movement towards regenerative food systems as a means to restore human and planetary health here.

In Partnership with:

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.

Kristen Hunter

I learned more about the potential and challenges of farming in my one week with Terra living, learning and working on a regenerative farm than I could have in years doing my own research. It was truly a special experience that changed the way I think personally & professionally.

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.

If you are interested in bringing your team to this program or setting up a customized course, please let us know at climatefarmschool@terra.do. We are offering custom and shortened versions of the core program offering to mission-aligned groups.
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 and seeking to build a community while doing so. 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 online course start date, you will receive a 100% refund.
  • If you cancel less than 2 months ahead of the online 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 online course start date, you get a 50% refund.
  • Unfortunately, if you cancel within two weeks of the online 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 the farm stay, you will be able to participate in the full program. There is limited WiFi available at the farms 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. Get in touch with our Terra.do team if you are interested in this option.

The host farm sites have comfortable, rustic farmhouse bedrooms with shared bathrooms. There will be clean sheets and towels available, and basic bathroom products but please bring any personal items you need to be comfortable. There are indoor and outdoor showers, and indoor bathrooms as well as composting toilets on many farms. Camping on the farm is available for a lower per-night rate at most host farms, and tents and sleeping bags can be provided upon request.

Pricing options are as follows: $2400 for 4-week course with 7-day farm camping option (where available), $3000 for basic bedroom accommodation option, and $3500 for premium accommodation (where available). This is noted on the application form for relevant farms. All pricing for courses follows a sliding scale model, and we encourage applicants to self-select the highest pricing option they are comfortable with, as this helps serve our program mission of fairly compensating all farmers for their time as farmer-educators and program partners.

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.

Many organizations have learning or professional development budgets for their employees. We encourage you to enquire about and utilize this budget to attend the course, as several program alumni have done in the past. Terra.do can 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! Based on our successes and learnings from running courses throughout 2022, we are developing capacity to offer shortened and customized versions of the core program for mission-aligned groups, teams within companies, and organizations. Please reach out to Course Director Dr. Laney Siegner (laney@terra.do) to express interest in a custom course for your team and include any relevant details about date/time of year, location, team size, etc.

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