Transforming Agriculture, Perennially


Maya Kathrineberg

Research Technician, Perennial Wheat and Crop Protection Genetics

Maya studies Chemistry and Biology at Bethel College, looking toward a career in environmental sciences. She is from Salina, Kansas. Maya worked a little on each of the researchers’ projects including Kernza®, Silphium, perennial wheat and the ecological aspect of agriculture. Maya was an intern in 2017.


What drew you to work at TLI?

The Land Institute has a holistic view of sustainable agriculture from the biological level and its place within efficient social, political, cultural, and economic systems. It’s inspiring to see the progress that has been made by The Land Institute and its scientists so far.

What would people never guess that you’ve done as part of your role?

One of the jobs that may sound unusual was harvesting weeds for data. There were a lot of other jobs, from counting flower petals on alfalfa plants to threshing, and of course weed management: hoeing, pulling and cutting down weeds with scythes.

What perennial crop do you look forward to eating most, and how would you prepare it?

I look forward to eating Kernza® grain, as we have already been able to try Kernza® cookies, bread and beer.

Where is your favorite spot or place at TLI?

One of the most memorable spots is a Silphium field which we not-so-affectionately named “The Jungle”. We spent many hours there attacking wild lettuce and mare’s tails. The interns would meander and get lost within the field. We talked and played the game “Contact” shouting over the 8-foot Silphium.

What’s your motto / favorite quote?

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot / Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

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


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