Transforming Agriculture, Perennially


Saraya Johnson

Accountant and Grants Manager

Saraya Johnson grew up in Ellsworth, Kansas, and went off to college thinking she’d never move back to her hometown. As time went on, she realized how great of a small town it was and knew that’s where she’s wanted to raise her children. Saraya holds a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Business Management and a Master of Business Administration from Kansas Wesleyan University. She is currently studying to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

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

What I find most inspiring about my position at The Land Institute is that I can help the organization grow and expand, all while working on the global movement for perennial and regenerative agriculture.

What work experiences are most relevant to your position at The Land Institute?

My experience as a business owner has prepared me for this position through many aspects of business, including finance, accounting, and human resources.

What would people never guess that you do as part of your role at The Land Institute?

My title of “Accountant and Grant Manager” makes me think that my job is all about the accounting side of the business, but it’s so much more than that. Processing payroll allows me to keep in touch with our employees, working directly with Human Resources allows me to utilize my customer service knowledge. The most surprising thing is all the research involved. There are continual changes being made through taxes, laws, and/or policies, and it’s pertinent to my role that I am always up to date on those changes. There is also research involved in processing a grant, ensuring that everything is completed in a timely manner.

What else are you passionate about (outside of work)?

When I am not working, I love spending time with my family. Along with a full-time job and studying for my CPA, my husband and I own and operate a restaurant/bar, so we are always busy. We have three children and value our time together, especially attending church together every Sunday.

If you were to write a book, what would it be about?

I would love to write a book about my life experiences as a mother, including the ups and downs, the crazy things that kids say and do, and the things I would have never expected.

What’s your motto / favorite quote?

My life’s motto that I try to live by is “God has a plan for everything, embrace it.”

What were you like at age 10?
I was like a 10-year-old going on 30. I was very independent and loved taking care of my younger sister. I learned early on in life how to cook, do laundry, clean the house, etc., so I think that has had a huge impact on me being a very clean and organized person.

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