The purpose of the Society shall be to connect alumni and friends of the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences ("CFANS") and the University of Minnesota and develop interest in and support for the betterment of the College faculty, students, and alumni by stimulating individual and community participation in the College, the University of Minnesota, and University of Minnesota Alumni Association. In particular, the Society's efforts shall foster society membership, student recruitment, enhancement of the student experience, and communication with alumni, students, faculty, and the community. The Society will encourage financial support for the College and its activities. The Society will strive to become a valuable advocate for both the UMAA and the University.

Board member responsibilities and opportunities fall into 4 main categories:

  • Operations
  • Advocacy
  • Project & Committee Work
  • Personal & Professional Growth

Board Officers

ThomasLarry Thomas, President

1982, B.S. Agricultural Education

Larry is Director of Student Programs at the Science Museum of Minnesota and has been involved in science education for over 20 years. His interests are in the areas of mentoring, advocacy and academic excellence.

HattebergBruce Hatteberg, Vice President/President-Elect

1979, B.S. Agricultural Economics

Bruce is a Director of Lending for CHS Capital and has been involved in the agricultural industry for more than 30 years. His work currently focuses on consulting with agricultural co-ops to keep them strategically and financially viable. He is a life member of the U of M Alumni Association and interested in the areas of mentoring, advocacy, board leadership, academic excellence and scholarship fundraising. 

WahlundBecky Wahlund, Secretary

1982, B.S. Consumer Food Science 

Becky is the Director of Test Kitchens & Consumer Affairs for Land O’Lakes.  She has spent her entire career in the food industry in Test Kitchen and Marketing roles.  Mentoring students is an area of passion and her focus on the CFANS Alumni Society Board.

SampleMark Sample, Treasurer

2001 B.S. Animal Science 

Mark has more than 40 years of experience in the swine industry in production, management, genetics and sales. He is currently a product specialist for Herdstar, LLC Mark comes from a family with four generations of CFANS students. His grandparents, uncle, and father attended CFANS, and his daughter Leah is now currently following in her father's footsteps majoring in Animal Science.

WalkerMyah Walker Past-President

2010, B.S. Animal Science

Myah's degree in Animal Science has led her to opportunities in the poultry industry and she is completing a Master's degree in Public Health this spring in order to pursue a career in food safety. Following completion of her degree she will be working with Sparboe Companies within their food safety/quality assurance department. As a student Myah was involved as a St. Paul Ambassador, a member of CFANS Student Board, and a volunteer for classes without Quizzes. Her interest areas include Advocacy, Classes Without Quizzes, Homecoming, and the Mentor Program.


Tracy FallonTracy Fallon

1996, B.S. Natural Resources and Environmental Studies

Tracy works at the Humphrey School as the Operations Manager for the Sustainable Healthy Cities Network, an NSF-funded Sustainability Research Network. What she loves most about her work is that she gets to combine her two favorite passions0 the environment and helping students navigate their education. Tracy has been a volunteer with the college's alumni society since it was called the College of Natural Resources, and served as the CNR Alumni Society President in the late 90s!

KosbauNathan Kosbau

2008, B.S. Applied Plant Sciences

Nathan serves as the Regional YieldPoint Specialist at CHS, and while at CFANS, he was an active member of FarmHouse and Gopher Crops and Soils Club. 

Annie MakepeaceAnnie Makepeace

2015, M.S. Applied Plant Science

Annie currently serves as a Technical Marketing Specialist at Winfield, where she uses her knowledge of plant physiology and nutrition to help teach, explain and position the company's plant nutrition products. As a student, she was an active member of the student body, as a member of the Interdisciplinary Food Studies Graduate Group and as secretary and VP on the Applied Plant Sciences Student Board. 

Jess MarkkulaJessica Markkula

1998, B.S. Agricultural Business Management

After graduating from CFANS and spending several years serving in a variety of roles at the college, Jess received her M.Ed. in Human Resource Development at the U. Jess currently serves as the Relationship Manager in Commercial Banking at BMO Harris Bank.  Jess is passionate about students and their development/experience at the University of Minnesota. She strongly believes their experiences on campus will shape their future lives, personally and professionally, and hopes to contribute to the student development and sponsorship areas of the Alumni Society Board's work as a board member.

Michelle MedinaMichelle Medina

2011, B.S. Agricultural Education

Michelle studied both Ag Education and Spanish while at the U, and quickly put her skills to work in several roles overseas in Costa Rica. Back in the US, Michelle now serves as the Director of Renewable Energy at the Minnesota Farmers Union. As an active volunteer, both as a student and an alum, Michelle is eager to contribute as a CFANS Ambassador and mentor. 

PlaceWhitney Place

2010, B.S. Applied Plant Science

After graduating from CFANS, Whitney received her M.S. in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Whitney was named the Director of Legislative Affairs at the MN Department of Agriculture in February of 2016. As a member of the CFANS Alumni Board, she focuses on the Policy Engagement Program, the Mentor Program, and the Norman Borlaug Science Achievement Award. Learn more about Whitney here

RevierAmanda Revier

2001, B.S. Agricultural Education

Amanda is employed by Minnesota Farm Bureau as the Southwest Area Program Director. In this position, she works with farmers in 11 counties. She is involved with her local 4-H, hockey association, church and several organizations. She and her husband Josh have two children and live in Olivia, Minnesota. Amanda is interested in getting involved with homecoming and alumni engagement.



Mark Rokala

1990 B.S. Agricultural Economics

Mark Rokala came to CFANS as a non-traditional student and completed his bachelor's degree in Agricultural Economics in 1990. As a student he took advantage of many internships and opportunities that led to his career as an agricultural lobbyist in Washington D.C. Mark has lobbied on land-grant funding issues, for commodity and conservation groups, and for many ag-related companies located in Minnesota. 


Lauren Serbus

2012, B.S. Nutrition

Lauren's powerful love of people and food brought her to CFANS. As a student, she participated in numerous student organizations - including Alpha Chi Omega, the CFANS Student Board, Habitat for humanity, and nutrition clubs.  

Jeffrey Stamp


Cliff Vrieze

1967, B.S. Agricultural Education; 1972, M.S. Agricultural Education

Cliff is a retired agricultural educator. He describes himself as "good at stirring the pot" and developing and applying new ideas and initiatives. His interest areas are advocacy and mentorship. 



Brian Buhr

Dean of CFANS

Prior to serving as the Dean of CFANS, Brian was Professor and Head of the Department of Applied Economics. He works in the areas of commodity marketing with an emphasis in livestock markets. He has worked extensively with commodity marketing groups on risk management, value added marketing and the economic impacts of policy and technology.


Mary Buschette

Director of Alumni & Constituent Relations

Mary has served as the Director of Alumni and Constituent Relations at CFANS since 1996. Under her leadership, programming has expanded to reach more alumni and includes several signature programs and successful fundraising initiatives benefiting alumni programming and student scholarships. Prior to working in alumni realtions, Mary was a program coordinator for MAST international, an agricultural exchange program based at the U of M. She is a proud CFANS alumna, having earned her bachelor's degree in agricultural economics.


Brian Horgan

Faculty Representative, Department of Horticultural Science

Brian Horgan has served as the turfgrass extension specialist in the Department of Horticultural Science since 2001. During his time at the University of Minnesota he has coordinated and directed the construction and fundraising efforts for the Turfgrass Research, Outreach and Education Center on campus, led field based horticulture extension educators, served as interim head of the department, and chaired numerous committees. Brian developed the phosphorus fertilizer-training program for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and has trained more than 85% of MN golf course employees since 2003. 


Brian Steffenson

Faculty Representative, Department of Plant Pathology

Brian received two degrees from CFANS: a B.S. in Plant Health Technology in 1980, and a M.S. in 1983, completing research on the resistance of barley to stem rust. He also has a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from the University of Califiornia-Davis. In 2000, Brian joined the CFANS faculty as the Lieberman-Okinow Endowed Chair of Cereal Disease Research. His main research interests are in disease resistance of wild cereal species, virulence and molecular diversity of fungal pathogens, and host-parasitic genetics. He is the director of the Stakman-Borlaug Cereal Rust Center and plays a key role in the university's work on Ug99, the devastating wheat stem rust strain currently affecting cereal crops in Africa and the Middle East. 


Ashley HusseinAshley Hussein

CFANS Student Board Representative (President)

Ashely Hussein is a junior majoring in Nutrition and minoring in Public Health. She aspires to make the world a better place by improving nutrition in impoverished communities. 



Zoe Cruz

MANRRS Representative

Zoe is a junior studying Animal Science with a pre-vet emphasis. She has been involved with MANRRS (Minorities is Agriculture, Natural Resource, and Related Science) since 2013, and works with a lot of different volunteer programs in Minneapolis. 


Jake Olbrich

St. Paul Ambassadors Representative

Jake is a sophomore studying conservation biology and statistics. He has been involved with the St. Paul Ambassadors since the fall of 2013.

Board of Directors: CFANS Alumni Society