Joseph W. Rust is a native of Kentucky and received B.S. and M.S. degrees in dairy husbandry at the University of Kentucky. After receiving a Ph.D. in animal nutrition at Iowa State University, he spent a year and a half in the Dairy husbandry Department on the St. Paul Campus. He came to North Central as the Animal Scientist just in time to teach a few courses for the last quarter of the School's existence in 1965. Dr. Rust was appointed Acting Superintendent after the death of Superintendent Matalamaki and was appointed to the permanent position a few months later.
During this time there was an expansion of research and extension in agronomy, horticulture, and animal science and an increase in research with wild rice both at the Station and at off-the-station sites. An advisory committee composed of citizens of several counties of northeast Minnesota was formed to give input to the direction of the Station.
Dr. Rust resigned as Superintendent in 1985 and returned to the Animal Science position until he retired in 1990. He still resides in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, stays very active in the community, and keeps up to date on current events here at NCROC.