Open Positions

Spring/Summer Intern for the Purdue Agroecology Lab (PAL)

Job Summary

The intern will join the Indiana Organic Network (ION) team for their inaugural season. Indiana is ranked fifth in the U.S. in agricultural production but its organic industry is lagging behind neighboring states. Although there is a new wave of organic transitions in Indiana, a lack of support networks for organic growers and insufficient knowledge about the complete soil health benefits of organic agriculture are hindering farmers’ ability to build more productive organic production systems. ION was created to address these challenges. The intern will assist with two main project goals: (1) establish a network of farmers to facilitate on-farm research, peer learning, and communications among existing and transitioning organic farmers, and (2) work with ION farmers to conduct a statewide soil health census of organic farms.

In the springtime, the intern will assist with project outreach (social media, email blasts, tabling at events, etc.) and other project preparations. Throughout the summer, they will travel with the project team to collect on-farm soil samples and process those samples in the lab on the Purdue WL campus.

Compensation & Hours

The intern is expected to work 8-12 hours per week beginning April 2024. Beginning in mid-May, the intern will join the team as a full-time employee working 40 hours per week with occasional overtime.
This position requires travel with possible overnights to farms across Indiana in the early summer.
Travel expenses are covered by lab funds. The intern will be compensated $16/hour.

Duties included but not limited to:

  • Assist the ION team with planning and carrying out tasks
  • Organize and prepare soil sampling kits to be mailed to farmers
  • Create written and video marketing content
  • Travel across Indiana to a variety of farms and interact professionally with our farmer partners
  • Collect soil samples using a step-in soil probe
  • Conduct soil analyses including POxC, CEC, PMN, enzyme activities, soil protein, etc.
  • Work full days outside in the summer heat
  • Maintain an organized lab space


  • Demonstrated interest in soil science, agronomy, and organic farming, as well as enthusiasm for creating social media content
  • Pursuit of a degree in soil science, agronomy, or a related field
  • Experience collecting samples for research purposes
  • Ability to work independently and on a diverse team
  • Strong work ethic

How to Apply

To apply for this internship with Dr. Yichao Rui’s Agroecology lab, please send a resume, cover letter, and contact information for 2-3 references to Dr. Yichao Rui ( and Annie Benson ( by Friday, March 29th.

We look forward to hearing from you!