CFANS Alumni & Friends eNews - February 2015

Saturday, March 28, 8 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. with optional lunch following
Continuing Education and Conference Center

Take a class, skip the test! Spend a Saturday morning in the classroom with CFANS faculty and experts and learn about the latest, exciting research to come out of CFANS. Brian Horgan, a professor and extension specialist in the Department of Horticultural Sciences, will present the keynote, Science of (the) Green, a renovation, demonstration and research initiative addressing the golf industry’s need for long-term agronomic, economic and environmental sustainability. Eight breakout sessions cover a wide variety of topics (more...)

Classes Without Quizzes

Volunteer for the Norman Borlaug Science Achievement Award program and help the CFANS Alumni Society honor a junior at your favorite high school for their academic achievements. Serving as a volunteer is a rewarding way to strengthen the ties between CFANS, local high schools, educators, and students, and to encourage and acknowledge academic excellence in science. There is no cost to participate - the CFANS Alumni Society supplies the award materials as well as a $1,000 scholarship once the student is enrolled in CFANS. Find out how you can become a volunteer

Our Daily Bread book cover

The popular learning abroad program for alumni and friends of CFANS is back for its second year and blossoming with greater opportunities for networking, unprecedented access and unforgettable experiences. In this ten-day program, your guide Mike White, Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Faculty Affairs, takes you on a tour to discover the traditional agriculture, wines, and food of Italy. The program spans from the world renowned wine-making region of Tuscany to the breathtaking multicolored seaside villages of Cinque Terre. Running October 2-11, this program is perfect for alumni and friends of CFANS, but enrollment is limited so please register before spaces fill. More...


February is the month of love and Restaurant Alma is showing their love of bees by donating a portion of their proceeds from the month to the University of Minnesota Bee Lab! Owner Alex Roberts and his team are long-time supporters of the farm to fork, local sourcing and organic movements and understand the importance of bees to the ingredients in their kitchens. There support is truly appreciated as it helps build the research and teaching space necessary for Marla Spivak and her researchers to ensure the future of our pollinator friends. Visit Restaurant Alma for an exceptional meal and help our friends the bees at the same time. Thank you to everyone at Restaurant Alma!

The Minnesota Youth Institute (MNYI) is a research youth development program that challenges students to focus on global issues impacting food security. The program requires high school students to conduct research related to global food security issues and develop a five page research paper highlighting findings and solutions. The Minnesota Youth Institute is set for April 11 - that is right around the corner! MNYI is currently seeking volunteers; click here if you are intested in this volunteer opportunity.  Learn more about the Minnesota Youth Institute.

Read the latest about events, lectures and seminars happening on campus and in partnering departments as well as student and faculty news. Features this month:

- Dean Buhr and Project Food Security take up the #EmptyPlateChallenge

- Frances Homans will be new head of the Department of Applied Economics

- Registration now open for 2015 Minne-College in Arizona

- Registration opening soon for U of M Youth Programs summer camps

- Registration now open for the U of M Job and Internship Fair

- Reserve your Valentine's Day picnic spot at the Bell Museum

- Phoenix Ag Club's Annual Outlook Meeting will be February 19

- 2nd Annual 4-H Celebration of Minnesota Agriculture will be February 21

- Career & Internship Services offers support for unpaid internship opportunities

News and notes from our amazing CFANS alumni! Features this month:

- Chris Hodges ('83, Ph.D. Agricultural Economics) will join the National Pork Board as new CEO 

- Debbie Lonnee ('80, B.S. Horticulture) inducted into MNLA Hall of Fame

- Harold Pellet postumously honored with MNLA Special Service Award

- Paul ('03, B.S. Agricultural Education) and Ruth Lanoue win Excellence in Agriculture Award and new truck!

- Keith ('03, B.S. Animal Production Systems) and Morgan Allen ('02, B.S. Animal Production Systems) receive Golden Pitchfork Award

- Kevin Dahlman ('78, B.S. Agricultural Education) receives Outstanding Friend of Young Farmers & Ranchers award

After nine months, and 25 hours of labor, a new little Gopher fan made her grand entrance! Nadia June was born January 27 at 9:50 p.m. She was 7 lbs, 20.5 inches, and immediately captured the hearts of her parents, Derrick Damm ('01, B.S. Applied Economics) and his wife Melissa Covington-Damm ('03, B.S. Psychology & English). 

Nadia Damm

The monthly alumni trivia question gives alumni and friends an opportunity to test their U of M knowledge. Are you up for the challenge? All responders with the correct answer will be entered in a pool and the prize winner selected by random draw.

February's trivia question:
CFANS wildlife biologist, David Andersen, is one of the researchers who found evidence that birds may be able to sense severe storms in advance by detecting infrasound. The study, published in the journal Current Biology, looked at the movements of a certain songbird during a fiece storm system that involved 84 tornadoes in the southern states last April. Which songbird did they study? More...

The graduation rate on the Twin Cities campus is now nearly double the rate of 10 years ago! At the December Board of Regents meeting, Vice Provost Robert McMaster reported that the Twin Cities campus has now exceeded the four-year graduation rate goal set by the board in 2006. Over 60 percent of students who began their college career here in 2010 graduated in 2014. It also was reported that the important first-year retention rate (which measures students who come back for their second year) reached an all time high of nearly 93%.

Graduates at commencement