Transforming Agriculture, Perennially


Josh Rubino

General Research Assistant

Although Josh was born in the Bay Area of California, he has lived in Salina since the age of five and has long considered it home. Josh has a BA in English from the University of Kansas and is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Education online through Fort Hays State University. He previously worked as a General Research Assistant at The Land Institute in the summer of 2022, where he learned the ropes of harvesting, threshing, and data collection. Beyond
this experience, he worked on a small-scale vegetable farm in Lawrence, KS for 3+ years and has been doing freelance gardening and yardwork since he was a teenager. These experiences have made Josh comfortable with outdoor labor and skilled in the basics of weeding, planting, watering, and transplanting. 


What’s most inspiring about your specific position at The Land Institute?

Knowing that I am contributing to a leading research organization in perennial agriculture (and thus the future of humanity’s foodways) makes me feel like I am a part of a greater cause–even if my contribution may seem small at times. 

What drew you to work at The Land Institute?

In undergrad, I took several classes in the environmental humanities and ended up making it my emphasis for my English degree. Learning not only about the dire state of the planet and our species’ role in it led me to want to make a difference. At The Land Institute, I feel as though I am part of a team that has Earth and its inhabitants’ best interests in mind as we work to find more sustainable ways to grow food.

What perennial crop do you look forward to eating most, and how would you prepare it?
I am a big fan of lentils, so the prospect of eating sainfoin seeds is exciting to me, as they are somewhat similar. I would probably make a hummus or soup with them. 

What else are you passionate about outside of work?

I am an avid reader of fiction, specifically speculative fiction (sci-fi/fantasy). I also love to read and write poetry in my spare time. My favorite poets currently are Ross Gay, Ada Limon, and Mary Oliver.

What is your motto/favorite quote?

“All that you touch, you Change. / All that you Change, Changes you. / The only lasting truth is Change. /
God is Change.”
–Octavia Butler, from “The Parable of the Sower.”

Support the work of Josh and others at The Land Institute with a donation.


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