Alumni Spotlight: Bradley Rugg

Degree/ Major : B. S. Animal Science
Grad Year: 1974
Advisor(s): Dr. Donald Otterby
Current organization/ employer: University of Minnesota Extension

Favorite memory of campus
My work with the University of Minnesota Dairy and General Livestock Judging Teams was a true highlight for me. Preparation of oral reasons helped me to develop a a style of public presentations that has served me well. Campus events such as Minn Royal and what we called Tech Ag Commission were also positively memorable events.

Why did you choose CFANS as a college?
There never was a 2nd choice for this Mower County farm boy. Agriculture was all I ever knew. All I ever wanted to be as a kid growing up with a herd of registered Holsteins was a Holstein Fieldman. The ticket to get there was a degree in Animal Science.

Why do you think the University of Minnesota is great?
Land grant colleges and unbiased research are synonymous. And 4-H is owned by the land grant institution in each state. I believe there is greatness in both. On a broader scale, the U of M has such a huge and positive impact on so many conversations ranging from being leaders in medicine to water cooler discussions about sports.

Career information/ professional achievements:
I coordinate the Animal Science programs for Minnesota 4-H and serve as Superintendent of 4-H programming at the Minnesota State Fair. I began with that State 4-H Office in 1992 - 25 years ago. Prior to that I held 4-H positions in both Steele and Olmsted counties. I have received three different Dean's Awards for Achievement for programming excellence and received Minnesota's first National Communicator Award from NAE4-HA  for Personal News

What's your passion? What do you love about your work and your field?
Early on, I figured out two things professionally - I love major event coordination and I love working with kids. Outside of family, my passion in life has always been good quality dairy cattle. I've judged more that 50% of the County 4-H Dairy Shows in Minnesota. When one lands on a career that involves two loves and a sprinkle of my favorite passions, I couldn't have a more fulfilling professional career.

How did your education at the U of M help prepare you for what you are doing today?
Electives made me think outside the box - something I had never done before in terms of thinking about preparing for the working world. I instantly found I likes writing and Ag journalism classes. I did not realize those writing skills were life long and could be used in a variety of ways. I also learned the U of M was full of resources - resources I would forever use.

What advice do you have for current students (and future alumni)?
Take advantage of all the opportunities the St. Paul Campus offers to get involved. Joins clubs that are of interest to you. They exist in every college. For me it was Judging programs, Block and Bridle and Tech Ag Commission. Participation and leadership in those opportunities strengthen resumes and will help students develop a style of leadership they can build upon. I learned as much throught those opportunities as I did in the classroom.