Campus News

New department head of Food Science and Nutrition

The college community is pleased to welcome Dr. Kumar Mallikarjunan as the new head of the Department of Food Science and Nutrition, effective January 3. P. Kumar Mallikarjunan is an accomplished academic leader and highly regarded international researcher in the field of food engineering. Dr. Mallikarjunan will lead a department that is an international leader in education, research and outreach for food and nutrition sciences in the agricultural and health sectors. Having earned a B.S. in Agricultural Engineering from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, India, Dr. Mallikarjunan completed a M.S. from Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand and Ph.D. in Biological Engineering from the University of Guelph, Canada. Before coming to CFANS, he served as Professor of Biological Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech. His research encompasses food process engineering and development. He also conducts research in biomedical diagnostics and development of novel sensing systems.

Read a welcome message from Dr. Mallikarjunan here

CFANS students, brothers, athletes featured in Gopher Sports Video

Both Agricultural and Food Business Management majors, Gopher wrestlers Brett and Chris Pfarr were interviewed with their parents on the family farm in Le Sueur, MN in a 'Faces of Fearless' video created by Gopher Sports. The video highlights where the boys grew up and the tenacity they had to wrestle at the University of Minnesota. The video can be found here! 

An additonal article was written by the Twin Cities Pioneer Press about Brett Pfarr. Brett and Chris's father, David Pfarr, is also a CFANS grad (B.S. Agronomy ‘88). He currently serves on the CFANS Alumni Society Sponsorship Committee and was recognized in 2015 with the CFANS Alumni Advocate Award.  At one point, all four of the Pfarr children were enrolled in CFANS, including the brothers’ older brother Matthew Pfarr (M.S. Applied Plant Science ‘16) and older sister Erin Pfarr (B.S. Horticulture ‘15).  

New Name and New Home: Agricultural Education M.S. moves to CFANS

CFANS Dean Brian Buhr, CEHD Dean Jean K. Quam and CEHD Associate Dean Deborah Dillon announced that the Agricultural Education M.Ed. initial licensure curriculum will move to the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) and be renamed Agricultural Education Master of Science (M.S.), effective Summer 2017. The Agricultural Education Professional Studies M.Ed. will pause admissions, effective immediately, as future innovations are considered and put in place. Current students in the program are being carefully advised so that they may complete their program in a timely manner.

This relocation and renaming of the curriculum is a “coming home” for the Agricultural Education initial licensure post-baccalaureate program as the Agricultural Education initial licensure program at the undergraduate-level (B.S.) is also located in CFANS. This decision was made in collaboration with the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD)--the program’s current home; the CEHD Dean’s Office; and CFANS; after several discussions and careful consideration of how to best support and enhance this important teacher licensure program.

The Office of Teacher Education in CEHD will continue to work closely with and support the Agricultural Education licensure program leads, ensuring students are eligible to be recommended for licensure to the MN Board of Teaching. Colleagues in Agricultural Education will also continue to be part of CEHD’s Licensure Program Leads (LPL) and Educator Preparation Policy Council (EPPC) communications group.

The Agricultural Education program will continue to make important contributions to the State of Minnesota in this high-demand licensure area. Colleagues in CEHD and CFANS are committed to ongoing successful collaborations, and supporting the quality and innovations of this important field. If you have any questions about the program changes, please contact Lisa Wiley at

Legislative Kickoff Breakfast a success

More than 350 people gathered at McNamara Alumni Center for the 2017 Legislative Kickoff Breakfast. Inspiring talks were made by University of Minnesota Student Association president Abeer Syedah, Myah Walker (B.S. Animal Science '10) , professor and medical researcher Jakub Tolar and President Eric Kaler. Following the event's speakers, the U launched the new UMN Advocates program, highlighting a new webpage, Twitter account, and Facebook page. As a UMN Advocate, you can encourage your MN legislators to support the value CFANS brings each and every day to Minnesota and beyond.