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The mission of IAAAS is to educate young professionals to pursue the development of sustainable agriculture and livestock production in China and other developing countries, and to build a growing pyramid of experience and expertise to further these ends.

The courses are based on 'learning by doing' in an on-farm situation, and building on this by conducting research projects where the results are applied, in the real environment.  Students are selected on the basis of ability and potential thus giving equal opportunities to women and men.

A fundamental part of the strategy is to use computers to access the World's growing Electronic Library and to cultivate contacts with the other scientists. This empowers the student, fosters self-reliance and increases their capacity to analyze, theorize, hypothesize and ultimately publicize ideas to the benefit of the wider community. 

The intended result is better use of local resources, both local breeds and locally available feeds, and the integration of the family, livestock, soils, crops, and trees. Emphasis is thus given to recycling of all residues and by-products (traditionally called waste). By these means, the young professionals will help to improve rural livelihoods, increase biodiversity, and help to protect the environment.

"Whoever wants to know a thing has no way of doing so except by coming into contact with it, that is, by living (practising) in its environment ... If you want knowledge, you must take part in the practice of changing reality ... All genuine knowledge originates in direct experience". Mao Zedung, "On Practice" (July 1937), Selected Works, Vol 1, pp. 299-300.