Research interns work directly with Rodale Institute’s Research Department to address current and future agricultural needs by conducting high-quality research using regenerative, organic methods for agricultural production and identifying tools and practices to help grow organic agriculture by: addressing pest and fertility issues, mitigating and adapting to climate change, and improving human health by addressing nutrient density in crops. Our research focuses on biologically-based mechanisms to reduce pest issues, soil erosion, fossil fuel use, and greenhouse gas emissions; increase nutrient and water use efficiencies; improve pollinator activity and food security; and apply a systems approach to soil, crop, animal, human and planetary health. The main experiments used to conduct this research are the Farming Systems Trial (FST)- the oldest continuous trial in the US that compares organic and conventional farming systems, the new Vegetable Systems Trial (VST) – comparing the impacts organic and conventional farming practices on nutrient density in vegetables and linkages to soil health, and Integrated Crop-Livestock Systems using annual and perennial crops along with cattle or hogs for soil, plant, and animal health. Additional field, greenhouse, high tunnel, incubator, and laboratory studies also are conducted.

Responsibilities Could Include:

  • Lay out experimental field plots including GPS mapping and flagging
  • Assist with greenhouse, high tunnel, and incubator plantings
  • Conduct lab experiments including soil and plant analyses, DNA analyses, etc.
  • Tend and maintain field, greenhouse, high tunnel, and/or lab experiments
  • Collect and process soil, plant, insect, grain, and produce samples
  • Enter data for statistical analysis and interpretation

Candidate Qualifications:

  • Undergraduate or graduate degree or good academic standing from an accredited university
  • A strong work ethic, initiative and motivation. Attention to detail is a must
  • The ability to work well individually and in a team environment
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Interest in alternative agriculture issues and practices

Additional Information:

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

Compensation: An ideal candidate will complete this internship for college credit. Additionally, there is an opportunity for a student to receive housing at Rodale Institute, as well as some organic food from the farm. Students not receiving college credit may be eligible for a $200/week stipend.

Schedule: Work full-time for three or more months between March and December is desired, but shorter periods or part-time positions are available.

To Apply: Please send a cover letter (including availability in 2019), resume/CV, and a copy of your transcripts to Dr. Andrew Smith at

About Rodale Institute: Rodale Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to pioneering organic farming through research and outreach. For seventy years, the Institute has been researching the best practices of organic agriculture and sharing 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.

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