Dig Deeper

Hiring: Research Technician

We're hiring! Join our team and contribute to research and education on organic agriculture!

Job Title: Research Technician

SUMMARY: The Research Technician position works on assigned research projects as designated by the Chief Scientist. Typically, funded research will be the primary focus of work. Research projects at Rodale Institute include applied and practical projects in regenerative organic agriculture, soil health, climate change mitigation, and the linkages between healthy soil and healthy people.


* Perform lab and field management within the context of research grants, including the following:

  • -Process soil and plant samples.
  • -Conduct lab experiments and procedures.
  • -Maintain field experiments and collect soil and plant samples.
  • -Tend and maintain experiments.
  • -Process all samples in a timely manner.
  • -Organize samples and send out for analysis.
  • -Contact external laboratories to clarify analyses.
  • -Enter, file, and summarize lab results
  • -Assist with data preparation for papers and outreach materials.
  • -Assist collaborators with sample collection and processing.
  • -Maintain lab supplies, equipment and facilities.
  • -Work with other research staff to assume field, lab, and data-entry coordination.
  • -Mai


  • * Experience with data collection.
  • * Proficiency and experience in entering and summarizing data in Excel.
  • * Experience with and understanding of ArcGIS preferred.
  • * Hands-on sustainable agriculture experience (research or production) preferred.


* Bachelor’s degree preferably in biology, environmental science, agronomy or a related field


Travel for this position involves trips to farms that are part of on-farm trials, and trips to local, regional or national workshops and conferences.

Please send cover letter, resume, and salary requirements to elaine.macbeth@rodaleinstitute.org.

We’re Hiring: Animal Husbandry

We're hiring! Be part of a dynamic team of organic leaders!

Job Title: Animal Husbandry Coordinator

SUMMARY: Primary responsibilities include overseeing the care, feeding and breeding of livestock and working closely with members of the research and education teams on issues related to livestock management.


  • Feed, water and care for all livestock on Institute property.
  • Respond to emergency situations involving livestock.
  • Data collection and working as a technician for the Research Team.
  • Clean and maintain all barns, pens and other facilities housing livestock.
  • Prepare livestock for breeding purposes.
  • Operate farm equipment as needed.
  • Assist in creating models for other small farm operations.
  • Conduct animal/farm field days.
  • Daily data collection on research and production activities
  • Monitor and control resources by assisting in developing budgets.
  • Assist SST staff in carrying out their responsibilities.
  • Assist in promoting sales of farm animal products through product development and customer relationships.
  • Ability to participate in research projects; testing, gathering and compiling data.
  • Operate farm and landscaping equipment as needed.
  • Assist in preparing and giving oral presentations to scientific communities, governmental decision-makers, private environmental groups, and farmers.
  • Able to work independently and assist in making strategic decisions with the Strategic Solutions Team.

* Perform other duties as assigned by management.


  • Caring and compassionate with animals.
  • Bachelors or Associate degree plus 2 or more years’ experience in animal husbandry of farm animals (cows, goats, pigs, and/or horses) – including administering veterinary treatments, including injections, if needed.
  • Capable of lifting feed bags, hay bales and other materials in excess of 50 pounds.
  • Experience in operating farm equipment.
  • Ability to work in all types of weather.
  • Be active member of our team, yet work independently as needed.
  • Possess good communications skills – both written and verbal.
  • Flexible in work hours as farm work can be unpredictable.


  • Pick up supplies and parts for livestock and equipment as requested.

Please submit cover letter, resume, and salary requirements to elaine.macbeth@rodaleinstitute.org.

New Organic Hog Facility Video!

Pastured Hog Class
Saturday, May 7, 2016 | 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Register for our Pastured Hog class with Ross Duffield, Farm Director. He will discuss pasture rotations and animal management, providing a focus on nutrition and forage management. Farmers will gain the knowledge they need to begin setting the foundations of a successful organic hog herd.
Registration is limited to 40 participants. Early registration is encouraged. 

Learn more about our Organic Hog Facility! The Hog Facility opened in 2015 as a scalable model for farmers who want to begin pastured pork projects. In this innovative facility, we demonstrate how to increase hog production quantity while reducing labor and still maintaining a high quality of life for the animal. All of our pigs are heritage breeds with 24/7 access to pasture.

View video on Youtube at https://youtu.be/Kw0FeKLhKAA.

To learn more about our Organic Hog Facility, CLICK HERE. 

Livestock Intern needed at Rodale Institute

In recent years, the Rodale Institute has added a variety of livestock to the farm in order to diversify the use of land and increase the biology of the soil and compost. We are currently focused on dairy cows, organic swine and poultry, but also house a team of oxen, a small herd of goats, two sheep and two donkeys. We have begun research on our poultry as well as our swine, and hope to continue with the help of an enthusiastic intern. This unpaid internship will have a flexible schedule and will be required to work up to 40 hours per week. Some days will exceed 8 hours. The Institute will accept an intern on a semester basis.

This internship is an excellent opportunity for anyone interested in learning more about organic animal agriculture and organic veterinary care. The knowledge and experience obtained during the internship will allow for the individual to feel comfortable during future college courses and a career in animal husbandry.

Housing is available for the unpaid intern. Intern should be available from 6 months to a year.


• Assist in the day to day care of the animals, while learning and gaining experience about organic animal production, health, research, and management.
• Assist with daily animal chores including, but not limited to, feeding, watering, rotating pastures, collecting eggs, and socializing with the animals.
• Be able to recognize any problems that may occur in the health and wellbeing of the livestock.
• Assist in solving any issues related to the livestock.

• Caring and compassionate with animals.
• Experience in the handling and care of animals.
• Capable of strenuous physical activities on the farm.
• Willingness to work in all weather elements.
• Be comfortable working individually or as a team.
• Ability to communicate with other staff members and the public, including neighboring farmers.
• Interest in research that has the potential to improve organic pork and poultry production.

• Must have a high school diploma.

Minimal travel


To be trustful and respectful to all staff and visitors.

If interested please submit resume and/or application to elaine.macbeth@rodaleinstitute.org

Weddings & Events Specialist Position


Weddings & Events Specialist


Do you love planning creative, engaging events? Rodale Institute is seeking a highly motivated and organized weddings and events specialist to join the team at our 333-acre organic farm and research institution. This position works directly with marketing and communications and reports to the Director of Communications. This position requires a flexible schedule- including night and weekend responsibilities.


* Weddings- Rodale Institute typically hosts one wedding per weekend from May until mid-October. Wedding duties include:

  • Responding to inquiries and providing wedding tours to interested couples
  • Answering email & phone questions from couples regarding on-site details
  • Handling contracts, payments, insurance and other wedding policy
  • Being present on-site for Friday set-up, Saturday ceremony/reception and Sunday clean-up during wedding season. Plan to be available until 6 PM Friday, from 9 am- midnight on Saturday, and 10 am- 1 pm Sunday most weekends from May until October.

* Events- Lead planning and coordination of major events for Rodale Institute, including themes, logistics, event details, staff and volunteer responsibilities, working with vendors, meeting sales or attendance goals, working with sponsors, and more. Major events include:

  • Organic Apple Festival (September)
  • Organic Pioneer Awards (September)
  • “Dinner By the Seasons” Farm-to-Table Dinner (summer)
  • Garden Store Events such as plant sales, open houses, Halloween and Thanksgiving

* Marketing & Communications- Assist with marketing and communications duties such as social media, email marketing, updating website, etc. particularly in regards to events and workshops. This position will post to event listings, distribute fliers, work with advertising, post yard signs, etc. in an effort to promote and market events.

* Working with Volunteer Coordinator to cultivate event volunteers.

* Other duties as assigned.


* Minimum of two years of experience coordinating event details.

* Bachelor’s degree in Communications, Event Planning or other related field.

* Excellent oral and written communication skills.

* Ability to problem-solve and work well under pressure.

* Very good organizational skills and analytical abilities; highly detail-oriented.

* Knowledge of and interest in agriculture, environmental issues, or organic food helpful.

Position Type: Full Time: 40 hours/week.

To Apply: Please send a resume and cover letter to Elaine Macbeth at elaine.macbeth@RodaleInstitute.org.

Rodale Institute Announces Exciting Season of Workshops


February 10, 2016- For Immediate Release

Rodale Institute Announces Exciting Season of Workshops 

There is something for everyone- whether you farm, garden, or just love hobbies and DIY! Perfect for the food lover and outdoor enthusiast alike!

Rodale Institute is excited to announce our 2016 lineup of engaging workshops! Come out to our 333-acre organic farm and research institute to learn a new skill like beekeeping, keeping backyard chickens, organic gardening, or how to preserve food or make herbal skincare products. Each workshop is led by an expert in their field and include interactive education and hand-on projects. To register for a workshop, or for more information, please visit rodaleinstitute.org.

Future Workshops Include: 

Backyard Maple Sugaring

February 20, 10 AM- 1 PM

This workshop will teach participants how to make their own maple syrup. Workshop includes instruction on tree selection, tapping trees, processing sap, and trouble shooting. We will discuss the history of maple syrup and its health benefits. Attendees will be able to sample different types of maple syrup.

Backyard Organic Gardening

February 27, 10 AM- 1 PM

This class will cover the best practices for starting your plants in a greenhouse, cold frame or a windowsill. You will learn about equipment, containers for indoor seed starting, soil and seed starting mixes, grow lights and watering schedules, transplanting and how to care for your young plants so you can enjoy a bountiful summer harvest.

Herbal Gardens

March 5, 10 AM- 1 PM

For thousands of years, people have been using herbal medicinal preparations made from their backyard gardens or the wild. Join us to learn about the benefits of using herbs and how easy it is to grow them in your backyard. Our instructors will address how to select the location of your garden, species and their specific requirements for growing, plant care, how to handle disease and pests and harvesting techniques.

Apple Tree Pruning

March 12, 10 AM- 1 PM

Fruit trees should be pruned every winter to ensure a good crop of fruit the following season. Join our experts to find the answers to when and how, and what tools work best for the job. Then walk into our apple orchard and practice your newly acquired skills. Everyone takes home a package of information and a list of valuable resources for future reference.

Backyard Composting

March 19, 10 AM- 1 PM

This class will provide all participants with the knowledge and skills to begin composting effectively in their backyard, quickly identify and troubleshoot compost problems when they arise, and harvest and use finished compost in the garden for improving plant growth.

Growing with Healthy Soil Biology

April 1, 9 AM- 5 PM

April 2, 9 AM- 12 PM

Healthy soil provides a foundation for all agricultural production systems, and regenerative practices are used to build and strengthen that foundation. This 1.5- day workshop is designed to explain the relationships between soil biology, healthy soil and the roles of management practices in soil health.

Plant Science for Gardeners

April 2, 10 AM- 1 PM

Ever wonder how plants work? Need to understand a bit more about plant science to make your garden thrive? Interested in the ancient technique of plant grafting as applied to the modern vegetable garden? Want to wow your neighbors with your own specialty grafted tomato plants? This workshop is for you!

Compost Teas and Extracts 

April 16, 10 AM- 1 PM

Liquid compost materials have gone by several different names over the years: teas, extracts, slurries, etc. These products can be a viable alternative for plant production when solid compost is not an option.  Join our Compost Production Specialist Rick Carr for his Compost Teas and Extracts workshop that will provide participants with practical knowledge to begin making and using liquid compost formulations.

Keeping Backyard Chickens

April 23, 10 AM- 1 PM

Want to have chickens in your backyard and collect fresh eggs every day? Come see our chicken operation and find out how easy it is to start your own. We will talk about cost, breeds, housing options, how to feed and keep them healthy, and some challenges with predators.

Hobby Beekeeping

April 30 and May 1, 9 AM- 4 PM

This two-day class will teach healthy practices for honeybee stewardship. Participants will learn about honeybee biology and behavior, colony management and equipment, pests and diseases, and bee laws.  Sessions will include lectures, a hands-on workshop on honeybee pests, field work in the apiary, and questions and answers sessions.

Pastured Hogs

May 7, 12- 5 PM

Rodale Institute has partnered with The Fertrell Company and Pennsylvania Certified Organic (PCO) to hold a field day for farmers focusing on integrating a pastured swine enterprise into the farm operation and will highlight swine nutrition on pasture.

Build Your Own Rain Barrel

May 14, 10 AM- 1 PM

This workshop will discuss the benefits of rain barrels for both self-sufficiency and water conservation. It will also focus on areas of installation and maintenance for different types of rain water harvesting systems.  The workshop includes hands-on construction of a rain barrel that attendees will take home.


June 4, 10 AM- 1 PM

Learn about vermicomposting, a.k.a. worm composting. Vermicomposting uses red wiggler worms to breakdown, digest, and transform organic material into a valuable plant amendment.

Soil Biology for Gardeners

June 11, 10 AM- 1 PM

Do you ever wonder what the term “healthy soil” really means? Come spend time with the Institute’s soil research staff and learn more about what’s REALLY going on under your feet (and all around your plants’ roots). This workshop will give you a hands-on understanding of what makes good soil great and techniques to make your plants happier and healthier than ever before.

Vertical Gardening

June 25, 10 AM- 1 PM

Urban gardening is constrained by space and resources. In locations where there is limited room, vertical gardening becomes an attractive alternative. Join this class to review soil safety concerns associated with urban plant production and how they can be avoided, vertical gardening options and technologies, choosing the right plants and simple plant production techniques for growing safe and healthy plants.

Preserving the Harvest

August 20, 10 AM- 1 PM

Summer is abundant!  Sometimes the season is more productive than we can handle all at once. As a home gardener or just a savvy summer shopper, you can learn how to preserve the taste of summer for colder months rather than wasting the harvest. Food preservation can be simple and safe with a few easy tips and recipes. Join us and learn how to simmer, sauce, can, pickle and freeze your harvest now, for a little bit of sunshine this winter.

Growing with Healthy Soil Biology

August 26, 9 AM- 5 PM

August 27, 9 AM- 12 PM

Healthy soil provides a foundation for all agricultural production systems, and regenerative practices are used to build and strengthen that foundation. This 1.5- day workshop is designed to explain the relationships between soil biology, healthy soil and the roles of management practices in soil health.

Herbal Preparations 

August 27, 10 AM- 4 PM

Herbs are essential for supporting healthy skin. Topical herbal preparations like herb-infused oils, salves, and balms are also fun to make! In this hands-on class you will learn how to make gorgeous herbal skincare products. You will learn how these herbs heal and nourish the skin, how to identify and choose the best ones, the right time to harvest them, and how to use them.

To learn about other events at Rodale Institute, such as the 8th Annual Organic Apple Festival, Organic Pioneer Awards, organic plant sales, farm to table dinners, events at our Garden Store and our 2016 Annual Field Day, please visit http://rodaleinstitute.org/visit/calendar-of-events/ or reach out to the media contact listed below.

Media Contact:

Diana Martin

Director of Communications, Rodale Institute

611 Siegfriedale Road

Kutztown, PA 19530-9320 USA

Email: Diana.Martin@RodaleInstitute.org

Phone: 610-683-1443

Cell Phone: 717-405-1844

Rodale Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to pioneering organic farming through research and outreach. For more than sixty years, we’ve been researching the best practices of organic agriculture and sharing our findings with farmers and scientists throughout the world, advocating for policies that support farmers, and educating consumers about how going organic is the healthiest option for people and the planet.

Utilization of Pelletized Starter Fertilizers in Cover Crop-Based, Reduced Tillage Organic Corn Production

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To download a PDF of this report, click the image above.

Utilization of Pelletized Starter Fertilizers in Cover Crop-Based, Reduced Tillage Organic Corn Production

Gladis Zinati1,a*, Rachel Atwell2,b, Steven Mirsky3,c, Chris Reberg-Horton4,b, Rae Moore5,a, and Jeff Moyer6,a 

1Associate Research Scientist, 2Graduate Student, 3Research Ecologist, 4Associate Professor, 5Research Technician, and 6Executive Director 

aRodale Institute, Kutztown, PA

bNorth Carolina State University (NCSU), Raleigh, NC

cUSDA- ARS, Maryland, MD

*Contact information Email: gladis.zinati@rodaleinstitute.org 



No-till production has gained popularity among farmers as a result of potential reduction in labor and energy use [1] and soil quality benefits such as improved soil structure and increased soil organic matter levels [2-5]. No-till production has largely been considered to not be an option for organic producers due to challenges in controlling weeds. The rising interest in no-tillage production practices among organic farmers has recently created considerable advancement in the development of a cover crop-based, reduced tillage organic corn and soybean production.

The organic cover crop based approach involves using a roller-crimper to terminate the cover crops and form a mulch layer [6-8] to suppress weeds. This production practice has been particularly successful in Pennsylvania, Maryland and North Carolina for organic soybean production when cereal rye is used as a high biomass cover crop, rolled and crimped prior to planting. However, this practice has been variable for corn production [9-11] due to constraints in nitrogen management (i.e., source, timing, and placement) and achieving adequate legume cover crop biomass for weed suppression. Thus, there is a need to combine the weed suppressive benefits of cereals with the nitrogen provisioning benefits of legumes along with additional fertility to achieve maximum corn yields.

In the fall of 2012, Rodale Institute in collaboration with USDA-ARS Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and North Carolina State University were awarded a USDA NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant to demonstrate the integration of starter fertilizers (pelleted manure) and their impacts on yield and weed competition in cover crop-based, reduced-tillage organic corn production.

The aim of this article is to present readers with findings from demonstration trials conducted at various locations between 2013 and 2014 and conclude with recommendations based on information gained from this project.

Trials Setup

Six trials were set up at Beltsville, MD and North Carolina in the 2013 and 2014 corn growing seasons; and the seventh at Kutztown, PA in 2014 (Table 1).

The cover crops drilled at all locations were a mixture of cereal rye (Secale cereal L.) and hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth) at seeding rates of 90 lb/acre (101 kg/ha) and 12 lb/acre (13.5 kg/ha), respectively. Rye and vetch varieties were the same in NC and PA (‘Wrens Abruzzi’ and ‘Purple Bounty’, respectively), while MD used ‘Aroostook’ and ‘Groff’ varieties, respectively. The dates for field operations – planting, roller-crimping, and harvest – at each location are listed in Table 1. (Table 1).

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Cover crop mixtures were rolled-crimped (Table 1) when cereal rye reached anthesis (flowering or pollen shed) and hairy vetch had 50% pod formation (Photo 1).

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At the Beltsville and North Carolina sites, the cover crop biomass was rolled-crimped before plant sample collection to determine dry matter, followed by fertility application at time of corn planting using John Deere 7200 no-till planter (Photo 2). For detailed information on planter equipment refer to an online published fact sheet by Atwell and Reberg-Horton [12].

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At Kutztown, cover crop biomass was collected from standing plants before rolling to determine dry matter. The roller-crimper was front-mounted and the planter with the fertilizer hoppers were back-mounted to a tractor. Rolling-crimping of cover crop mixture occurred simultaneously with corn planting (Photo 3).

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Two starter fertilizer sources, pelletized poultry litter (PL, 3-2-3) and feather meal (FM) (NatureSafe®, 13-0-0) (Photo 4) were evaluated for their impact on corn yield and weed competition in organic no-till corn production, using a cover crop mulch for weed suppression.

At Beltsville and NCSU (Kinston and Salisbury), the design was a split-plot with fertility as main plot and weeds vs. no weeds as subplot with three or six replications, depending on the site. Five fertility treatments were evaluated and included:

  • High rate topdress PL (High Topdress), applied at 4 t/acre (8,000 lb/acre or 9 Mg/ha)
  • Low rate topdress PL (Low Topdress), applied at 1.8 t/acre (3,600 lb/acre or 4 Mg/ha)
  • Subsurface banding of FM (Photo 4), applied at 0.3 t/acre (535 lb/acre or 0.6 Mg/ha)
  • Subsurface banding of PL, applied at 0.3 t/acre (535 lb/acre or 0.6 Mg/ha)
  • No added fertility (No starter) 

Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 7.52.45 AMAt Kutztown, the design was a randomized complete block design with four replications of four fertility treatments:

  • Low rate topdress PL (Low Topdress), applied at 1.5 t/acre (3,000 lb/acre or 3.4 Mg/ha)
  • Subsurface banding of FM, applied at 0.25 t/acre (515 lb/acre or 0.58 Mg/ha)
  • Subsurface banding of PL, applied at 0.23 t/acre (465 lb/acre or ~0.52 Mg/ha)
  • No added fertility (No starter) 


Key Findings

Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 7.52.52 AMAbove-ground cover crop biomass 
Above-ground cover crop (dry weight) biomass exceeded 7,137 lb/acre (8,000 kg/ha), a suggested value for effective weed control [13], in 6 of the 7 site years (i.e. four locations and two years at three of the locations) (Table 2). The cover crop residue (Photo 5) acted as physical barrier, limiting the light required for weed seed germination and weed growth [14-15]

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Weed coverage and suppression 

Excellent weed suppression was observed in the five site years with the highest cover crop biomass levels (Table 2 and Photos 5-6). At the Beltsville 2014 site, cover crop biomass was slightly less than the suggested value for effective weed control, however, weed coverage was still less than 15%. At the Kutztown site, compared to no fertility treatment, weed pressure with subsurface FM was similar, but lower in the subsurface PL treatment by 35% and greater in topdress PL by 31%

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Fertilizer treatment showed to be effective on weed biomass especially when applied at a high rate as in the high topdress (broadcast) PL treatment when compared to other fertilizer treatments (Fig. 1).

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Corn Yield 

Field plots at Beltsville 2013, Kinston 2014, and Salisbury 2013 and 2014 all had excellent weed suppression and corn yield was similar between the high and low rate broadcast litter treatments ranging between 145 to 165 bu/acre (Fig. 2). However, corn yield was reduced with the subsurface poultry litter and no added fertility treatments to ~100 bu/acre. Feather meal subsurface banding yielded 30% more than in the subsurface poultry litter treatment.

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At Kinston in 2013, high levels of weed competition were observed and corn grain yields were reduced with the subsurface banded lower fertility treatments. However, at high rate topdress PL treatment corn biomass (Photo 7) and corn grain yield were greatest, where corn proved competitive with weeds.

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At Beltsville 2013, corn grain yield was similar among all fertility treatments. However, this study site has a long term history of legume and manure use. Similarly, at Kutztown, there was no significant difference in corn yield among tested treatments (Fig. 3). Corn yield ranged from 170 bu/acre in no added fertilizer treatment to 180 bu/acre in subsurface FM treatment.

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  • Results from these trials indicate that sites with high baseline fertility (with a long-term history of legume and manure use), additional fertility may not be necessary to maximize corn grain yield (e.g. Kutztown, 2014 and Beltsville 2013 sites). Further investigation into these findings is merited as these results were only observed at two of the seven study sites.
  • At low fertility sites (e.g. Kinston, NC in 2013), providing nitrogen at time of planting corn in cover crop-based reduced tillage system proved necessary to achieve desired corn grain yield.
  • At the Kinston, NC site in 2013, there was high weed pressure in the subsurface fertility and no added fertility treatments which negatively impacted corn yields.


[1] Lal, R., D. C. Reicosky, and J. D. Hanson. 2007. Evolution of the plow over 10,000 years and the rationale for no-till farming. Soil Tillage Res. 93:1–12.

[2] Franzluebbers, A.J. 2002. Water infiltration and soil structure related to organic matter and its stratification with depth. Soil Till. Res. 66:197-205.

[3] Franzluebbers, A.J., and J.A. Stuedemann. 2005. Bermudagrass management in the Southern Piedmont USA: VII. Soil-profile organic carbon and total nitrogen. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 69:1455-1462.

[4] Pesant, A.R., J.L. Dionne, and J. Genest. 1987. Soil and nutrient losses in surface runoff from conventional and no-till corn systems. Can. J. Soil Sci. 67: 835-843.

[5] Spargo, J. M.M. Alley, R.F. Follett, J.V. Wallace. 2008. Soil carbon sequestration with continuous no-till management of grain cropping systems in the Virginia coastal plain. Soil Till. Res. 100:133–140.

[6] Davis, A.S. 2010. Cover-crop roller-crimper contributes to weed management in no-till soybean. Weed Sci. 58:300–309.

[7] Mirsky, S. B., W. S. Curran, D. A. Mortensen, M. R. Ryan, and D. L. Shumway. 2009. Control of cereal rye with a roller/crimper as influenced by cover crop phenology. Agron. J. 101:1589–1596.

[8] Mischler, R. A., W. S. Curran, S. W. Duiker, and J. A. Hyde. 2010. Use of a rolled-rye cover crop for weed suppression in no-till soybeans. Weed Technol. 24:253–261.

[9] Delate K, D. Cwach, and C. Chase. 2012. Organic no-tillage system effects on soybean, corn and irrigated tomato production and economic performance in Iowa, USA. Renewable Agri. Food Syst. 27:49–59.

[10] Mirsky, S. B., M.R. Ryan, W.S. Curran, J.R. Teasdale, J. Maul, J.T. Spargo, J. Moyer, A.M. Grantham, D. Weber, T.R. Way, and G.G. Camargo. 2012. Conservation tillage issues: cover crop-based organic rotational no-till grain production in the mid-Atlantic region, USA. Renew. Agric. and Food Sys. 27:31–40.

[11] Reberg-Horton, S.C., J.M. Grossman, T.S. Kornecki, A.D. Meijer, A.J. Price, G.T. Place, and T.M. Webster. 2012. Utilizing cover crop mulches to reduce tillage in organic systems in the southeastern USA. Renew. Agric. Food Syst. 27:41–48.

[12] Atwell, R. and C. Reberg-Horton. 2014. Evaluating starter fertilizer sources in organic no-till corn production. Available online: http://content.ces.ncsu.edu/evaluating-starter-fertilizer-sources-in-organic-no-till-corn-production

[13] Teasdale, J.R. and C.L. Mohler. 2000. The quantitative relationship between weed emergence and the physical properties of mulches. Weed Sci. 48:385–392.

[14] Barnes, J.P. and A.R. Putnam. 1983. Rye residues contribute weed suppression in no-tillage cropping systems. J. Chem. Econl. 9:1045-1057.

[15] Vidal, R.A, T.T. Bauman, and W.J. Lambert. 1994. The effect of various wheat straw densities on weed populations. Weed Sci. Soc. Am. Abstr. 34:72.

“This material is based upon work supported by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under Grant Agreement Number 69-3A75-11-193.” 

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Volunteer Coordinator


Volunteer Coordinator

Rodale Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to pioneering organic farming through research and outreach. For more than sixty years, we’ve been researching the best practices of organic agriculture and sharing our findings with farmers and scientists throughout the world, advocating for policies that support farmers, and educating consumers about how going organic is the healthiest option for people and the planet.

Location: Rodale Institute, 611 Siegfriedale Road, Kutztown, PA 19530

Type of position: Non-Exempt, Unpaid Volunteer Position

Employment Type: Part-Time, 8-16 hours/week

Department: Communications

Rodale Institute is seeking a Volunteer Coordinator to organize, coordinate and manage the operations of the organization’s volunteer program. The organization utilizes volunteers for tours/educational programs, event assistance (day of and preparation), garden and public spaces maintenance, office assistance, and special projects.

This position is part-time, 1-2 days per week with flexibility on evenings and weekends a few of times a year (e.g., annual Organic Apple Festival and Plant Sales) and will remain open until filled.

Duties: This position is responsible for planning, organizing and directing the volunteer programs.

Essential Functions:

1. Organizes, coordinates and manages the recruitment of volunteers.

2. Works with social, civic and local organizations to develop partnerships and recruit volunteers.

3. Develops and implements training programs for all volunteers.

4. Maintains updated records on all volunteers.

5. Sets up and attends volunteer meetings. Reports to staff on volunteer activities as needed.

6. Recommends and develops ongoing volunteer utilization.

7. Develops and implements a volunteer recognition program.

Qualifications: Education: 2 years of post-secondary education required, Bachelor's degree preferred.

Experience: Two years of experience as a volunteer with a nonprofit or for-profit organization or comparable work experience. Preferred candidate will have excellent customer service skills, experience with volunteer coordination, able to work in a fast paced environment, support multidisciplinary departments and working knowledge of MS Excel.

Application Process: Please submit a resume (no phone calls) and cover letter detailing your interest in the position and the organization, as well as why you believe you make the ideal candidate for the position to: Diana Martin, at diana.martin@rodaleinstitute.org

Online Farmer Tools Assistant – Data Entry


Online Farmer Tools Assistant – Data Entry

Rodale Institute is a world leader in organic agricultural research.  The Online Tool Assistant is responsible for ensuring weekly updates are made to the Organic Price Report tool on www.rodaleinstitute.org.  This position is a primary data entry.  This staff member may work remotely.

Time commitment:  8 hours/week


  • Use tables and charts given by independent vendors and the USDA to locate and record pricing.
  • Record accurate data entry pricing online at Rodale Institute’s website.
  • Be willing to call vendors for more information or pricing.
  • Gather information from farmer partners.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Must be able and willing to work eight to ten hours per week on Monday afternoon or Tuesday.
  • Highly motivated and energetic.
  • Must have excellent data entry skills.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Must have reliable access to the internet.
  • Ability to work in a diverse team environment.


  • High school diploma or equivalent.
  • At least one year of experience in data entry.

To Apply: Please send a resume and cover letter to Elaine Macbeth at elaine.macbeth@RodaleInstitute.org

Development Associate


Development Associate

The Development Associate provides administrative and fundraising assistance to the Director of Development.  Responsibilities include managing all administrative tasks in the development office.  The Development Associate reports directly to the Director of Development.  Tasks include processing of gifts and donations, filing and management of office administrative systems, and assisting in fundraising operation, including direct mail solicitations, letters to donors, grant proposals, and generation of reports from the database.  The Development Associate will perform other duties, as assigned.


  • Oversee the daily operation of Raiser’s Edge fundraising software including data entry, tracking gift information, generating queries to produce analytical reports, gift processing, prospect research, and relationship management.
  • Perform all administrative tasks related to development operations and fundraising, including mail processing, filing, ordering supplies, setting up meetings and appointments.
  • Perform all administrative tasks related to fundraising mailings, including managing technical aspects of mail merges, coordinating with the mail house vendors, etc.
  • Provide administrative assistance to Director of Development in all fundraising letters and solicitations to donors.
  • Prepare and mail acknowledgment letters and receipts.
  • Manage all aspects of annual direct mail campaign, under supervision of Director of Development.
  • Manage online monthly giving transactions.
  • Maintain and update donor contact lists.
  • Manage gift acknowledgement process and other special donor correspondence.
  • Work closely with Development Director and other staff to develop fundraising strategies.
  • Assist with identifying major gift prospects as well as the planning and implementation of the capital campaign.
  • Perform regular income reconciliations between development and finance team.
  • Manage methods for ensuring accuracy and integrity of constituent and gift data.
  • Assist Grants Manager in grant proposal preparation and submissions.
  • Assist with the development and management of additional fundraising, communications and marketing, and development activities, as assigned by supervisor.


  • Bachelor’s degree/or 5 years experience in business, communications, or other related field.
  • Knowledge of Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge fundraising software a plus.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Strong self-motivation and ability to work as a team.
  • Must possess knowledge of fundraising principles and practices and maintain a professional, polished demeanor.
  • Highly detail-oriented.
  • Knowledge of organic and/or environmental issues preferred.


This position will require very little travel.

To Apply: Please send a resume and cover letter to Elaine Macbeth at elaine.macbeth@RodaleInstitute.org