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Regenerating agriculture and regenerating society

“A truly regenerative agriculture is one in which all the natural resources we use to produce food get renewed in the process of using them.” – Fred Kirshenmann, thought leader in organic and regenerative agriculture

In this certificate program, you will develop the knowledge and experience to bring about this revolution in agriculture and start farming organically yourself. Applying this simple approach to agriculture widely will transform our agricultural system and society as a whole. More >

The chemical-industrial agricultural and food system contributes profoundly to major problems confronting humanity today—climate change, the energy crisis, the water crisis, social justice, and many others. It needs to be transformed. This program gives you the knowledge and hands-on experience to master a system of agriculture that embodies the very best and most sustainable of organic and biodynamic agriculture, as well as traditional agricultural knowledge systems from around the world.

Through this system, you will learn to contribute powerfully to agricultural solutions that have far-reaching influence on major problems facing humanity. You will learn to draw down CO2 from the atmosphere and fix it in the soil, produce food efficiently without squandering non-renewable fossil carbon resources, reduce water use by building soil water retention capacity and fertility, and take part once again in the perennially nourishing relationship that naturally exists between the farmer, their family, their community and society.

About our program

Our 10-month Regenerative Organic Agriculture Certificate Program is the first regenerative agriculture program in the US. We take learning beyond the classroom and provide our students with the hands-on farming experience they need to use their skills confidently in the field.

What you’ll earn:

  • A certificate in Regenerative Organic Agriculture underwritten by International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), the Biodynamic Association, Demeter, Agribio, Italy, and Maharishi University of Management
  • Connections to national and international opportunities, including food hub internships, farm-to-table operations, and urban food programs
  • Apprenticeship opportunities in organic and biodynamic farms in the U.S. and internationally in Nepal, Italy, Costa Rica, Bali, and more

Who it’s for:

  • Next generation organic farmers
  • Food advocates and food system leaders
  • Food entrepreneurs & farm-to-table advocates
  • Slow Food Movement participants and urban food activists

What you’ll learn:

  • How to go beyond sustainability to get grounded in a regenerative systems approach to organic/biodynamic agriculture
  • How to farm in the way that nature would farm, using natural resources that are renewed during the farming process
  • How to be a food entrepreneur and develop a complete hands-on seed-to-sale farm system
  • How to shift from a “domination over nature” paradigm to one of coexistence and reverence for nature

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About the program director

sl-thim2The program is lead by Dr. Appachanda Thimmaiah, who has spent his career developing low-cost organic farming solutions worldwide. Dr. Thimmaiah has advised various international organizations, agri-business corporations, governments and NGO’s in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Italy, Holland, and Costa Rica, and facilitated Bhutan’s transition to the world’s first 100% organic and carbon neutral nation.
More about faculty and guest faculty

The program consists of four parts:

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International faculty and guest faculty

Program Faculty


John Fagan PhD

Dr. John Fagan is a leading authority on sustainability and biosafety. He founded Global ID Group, a company which pioneered innovative molecular tools to advance food authenticity and agricultural sustainability. His biomedical research has been supported by millions of dollars in grants and was awarded the NIH Research Career Development Award.


Francis Thicke PhD

An organic farmer for over 30 years, Dr. Thicke and his wife Susan currently own a certified organic dairy in Fairfield, IA. Dr. Thicke served as a National Program Leader for Soil Science at the USDA Extension Service, was named the 2012 Farmer of the Year by the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service, and is a current member of the Cornucopia Institute’s Policy Advisory Panel. Francis currently serves on the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB).


Jim Shaefer PhD

Jim Schaefer is CEO and Founder of Soil Technologies Corp., a biological agriculture technology developer and manufacturer in the USA. He is President of Partners for World Peace, a board member of Seeds of Heaven, and board member of Global Education Development Ltd. He has been published in the field of biological agriculture, holds a patent for biofertilizer development, and has over 30 years of experience developing organic agriculture projects globally.


Dean Goodale

Dean Goodale has worked in a number of agriculture-related businesses, including picking apples, building food processing machinery as a fabricator/welder, growing plants on a 35-acre avocado grove, assisting a 300-acre $5 million/yr. cut flower operation. Dean spearheaded the Maharishi World Peace Vedic Organic agriculture project is now Director of Operations for SFDG.


Jim Fullmer

Jim has been Executive Director of Demeter since 2004. Jim is a hands-on Biodynamic farmer with 25 years experience and currently resides on his family’s Demeter Certified Biodynamic farm, the Hoskins Berry Farm, in Oregon. Jim brings a wealth of experience as a previous consultant for both Biodynamic and organic farming and processing operations, along with multiple years engaged as an independent Organic inspector and consultant.


Kris Johnson

Kris is part of the 4 th generation to call his family farm home. Growing up just outside of Fairfield, IA, crop production, animal husbandry, and equipment operation/maintenance were normal parts of his day-to- day life. Kris went to Central College in Pella, IA to double-major in Environmental Science and Sociology with a focus on sustainable agriculture. Following graduation, Kris studied permaculture, worked on an organic vegetable farm, and started his own Market Garden farming operation in Fairfield. He currently works for MUM’s Sustainable Living Department as the R.O.A.P. farm manager, manages an organic greenhouse and orchard, and advises/installs small farm and garden projects.

Guest Faculty


Andre Leu

Andre Leu is the author of The Myths of Safe Pesticides and the President of IFOAM–Organics International. His writing on many areas of organic agriculture, including climate change, the environment, and the health benefits of organic agronomy, has been published extensively in magazines, newspapers, journals, conference proceedings and newsletters. Andre has over 40 years of experience in all areas of organic agriculture.


Tom Newmark

Tom Newmark spent fourteen years in the natural vitamin and supplement industry, building New Chapter into a top company. He is co-owner of Finca Luna Nueva Lodge, board chair of the American Botanical Council, the founder and board chair of The Carbon Underground, board chair of the Greenpeace Fund USA, co-founder and steering committee member of Regeneration International, and was the founder and board chair of Sacred Seeds, an international conservation project now administered by United Plant Savers.


Peter Proctor

Following a full life as a practicing biodynamic horticulturist and dairy farmer, Peter became a farm advisor and teacher in New Zealand and India. Peter shared his profound knowledge and experience of biodynamics in a very practical way and always with humor and enthusiasm. Whether he was making compost, sowing seed, making biodynamic preparations, he always insisted that the job was well done.


Rachael Pomeroy

Rachel’s formal education includes a B.Sc & M.Sc in plant science, as well as a Diploma of Biodynamic Agriculture. Rachel is self-taught in naked-eye astronomy, gives star watching sessions, and teaches the use of the planting calendar for organic and biodynamic students. Rachel regularly contributes a Moon calendar and gardening notes for the magazine Organic New Zealand .


Ivo Bertaina

Ivo Bertaina is currently President of Agri.Bio.Italia and Agri.Bio.Piemonte as well as brand coordinator for AgriBioDinamica certification. He teaches organic and biodynamic farming in Italy and abroad, and is currently researching new equipment to be used in biodynamic agriculture, the regeneration of the seed, and the use of music and eurythmy in agriculture.


Robert Karp

Robert has started numerous innovative food projects, including community supported agriculture projects (CSAs), farmers’ markets, institutional buying projects and farmer-buyer-consumer alliances. He is the founder of New Spirit Farmland Partnerships, LLC, the former executive director of Practical Farmers of Iowa, and former board chair of the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute.


Stuart Valentine

Stuart is Co-Director of the Sustainable Living Coalition (SLC), a non-profit dedicated to Sustainability Education and Enterprise Design. He plays an adjunct faculty role at Maharishi University of Management in the area of Socially Responsible Investing, Sustainable Community Design and Transformational Entrepreneurship. Stuart holds an MBA and serves as a financial advisor with 16 years in the social, responsible and impact investment sectors.


Ken Roseboro

Ken Roseboro is editor and publisher of The Organic & Non-GMO Report and The Non-GMO Sourcebook, the world’s only “farm to fork” directory of suppliers of non-GMO seeds, grains, ingredients, animal feed, and food products. His articles have been widely published. He is the author of Genetically Altered Foods and Your Health and The Organic Food Handbook, as well as a founding member of the Non-GMO Supply Working Group and a board member of the Iowa Organic Association.


Faith Reeves

Faith Reeves has a passion for learning how to produce truly nutritious food while regenerating soils. She is the Farm Manager of the Sustainability Research Institute (SRI) demonstration farm at Sky Factory. She has designed, promoted and managed a Business Supported Agriculture (BSA) model, at the Sky Factory for the last 5 1/2 years. She has a certificate in Nutrition Farming® from NTS, a certificate in Permaculture Design, and is a graduate of Elaine Ingham’s “Living Soils” class.

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Everything you need to know to apply to the program

How much does the program cost?

The total program cost for a visiting student is $11,000, plus room and board, materials, and transportation.

How do I talk to my college about applying?

To start the process, please talk to your university advisor and registrar and give them the program information. If they decide that you will be granted transfer credit, you can then fill out a normal application form for MUM. Once you are accepted to MUM, the tuition cost will be transferred from your university to ours.

When does the program start?

The program begins on January 11, 2017. For more information about our academic calendar, please visit this link.

Do I have to take these courses for credit?

No, these courses can be audited.

How can MUM students complete this program as part of their undergraduate degree?

MUM students can take one or more of the courses included in the Regenerative Agriculture Certificate Program as part of their normal MUM semester. They can also take the whole 10 month program, receive the certificate and credit toward graduation. MUM students consult with your academic advisor to pursue this option. Please visit our tuition calculator for cost details.

Note: Students enrolled in a degree program can apply for Federal student aid, which may significantly reduce the cost for undergraduate degree-seeking U.S. students who are eligible for federal aid.

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