CFANS Alumni Love Stories

The St. Paul campus is certainly a special place for many: you might cherish your memories of studying in Magrath, flipping pancakes on Forester's Day, moving into (or out of) Bailey, or spending long hours laughing with friends at LDPhi. For some alumni, the St. Paul campus is extra special because they met their partners here! This month, CFANS alumni have generously shared their stories of meeting their loved ones during their time at the college.

Cindy and Bill Manwarren

Cindy Manwarren (B.S. Home Economics  '69)
Bill Manwarren (B.S.  Agricultural Education '69)

Bill and I entered the University of Minnesota in the Fall of 1969. Three days after arriving on campus we met in the lounge of Bailey Hall in a card game of Hearts. We each graduated from high school in towns, 19 miles apart. It was not until Bailey Hall that we met. Our life is in "3's"! We were married 3 weeks after graduating from the Univ., we have lived in 3 communities in MN since we got married, have 3 sons. We have been married 45+ years (note divisible by 3) and Valentine's Day is always a SPECIAL DAY each year!

-Cindy Manwarren

Tracy and Dennis Fallon

Tracy Fallon (B.S. Natural Resources and Env. Studies '96)
Dennis Fallon (B.S. Urban and Community Forestry '96)

We met on the St. Paul campus thanks to mutual friends.

Unplanned, we both went to Colorado for Spring Break 1995. One of the friends I went with knew that he was there, so they arranged for all of us to ski Copper Mountain, where he tried to give me a few pointers. I ended up in the Emergency Room with an injured knee!

We married in 1998 and now have a 14-year-old son.

(Photos on right from 1996 and 2016.)

-Tracy Fallon

Beth and Kent Horsager

Beth Horsager (B.S. Biology '05) - College of Biological Sciences
Kent Horsager (B.S. Applied Economics '84)

Kent and I met in the fall of 1981. He was a sophomore at the University of Minnesota. I was beginning my freshman year at St. Olaf College and was staying with my grandmother, Marian "Mom" Kitts, housemother at FarmHouse Fraternity, before heading to Northfield. I would spend future long weekends and shorter holiday breaks during the school year on the St. Paul campus with her instead of flying home to New York State.

On one of my visits to FarmHouse, I noticed a cute, quietly confident blonde haired guy, who mingled easily among his peers. I was interested in getting to know him, but my attempts for conversation were elusive.

A friendship finally began at the end of the summer 1983. I worked at the 4-H building as a demonstration assistant during the Minnesota State Fair and Kent was back on campus to register for Fall Quarter classes. He and several other FarmHousers met up to share about their summer experiences and visit with college friends working at the fair. They began their rounds in the 4-H building and moved on together to other areas around the fairgrounds. After their visit at my station, I thought that was it. Much to my surprise, Kent returned at the end of the day alone!

I was glad to see him, but sorry that he wouldn’t be able to eat in the 4-H cafeteria with me because a meal ticket was required. Kent’s response: “That’s not a problem, I have my sister’s. She won’t be using it today.” I planned to attend that evening’s Grand Stand Show – Hall & Oats and ELO (Electric Light Orchestra) that required 4-H identification. “No problem,” says, Kent. “I have a 4-H button, too.” I had no idea at the beginning of the day that I would have ‘a date’ that night. It was a perfect summer evening and we had a great time. When he said good-bye I wondered if and when I would see him again since I was headed back to Northfield at the end of the week. Unsure how to proceed I called my brother for some advice. He suggested writing Kent a letter and inviting him to St. Olaf for an event. (Remember, this is pre-cell phones and long distance phone calls were expensive.) His logic was simple: Everyone likes to get mail. And, if the guy was actually interested, he would respond.

Kent did respond and accepted my invitation to the Homecoming Band Concert and Dance on the St. Olaf Campus. He drove to Northfield 3 more times during the semester before I left for Christmas vacation and a spring/summer semester study abroad in Germany. The ensuing separation was tough, but we made it through with weekly letters. Correspondence began cautiously as casual postcards, evolving over time into conversational letters several pages long. Upon my return to the US, Kent was graduated and working in Fargo, ND. I spent a week with him there before starting the fall semester. We determined then that future visits were in order.

So, throughout my senior year in college, I spent every vacation in Fargo. Kent’s roommate had a girlfriend at Luther College. She had a car. She would pick me up at St. Olaf and together we would drive to North Dakota and back to Minnesota and Iowa. I spent the summer after graduation in Breckenridge, MN and continued weekend visits to Fargo. I moved to Monterey, California at the end of the summer to begin graduate school. Kent had future plans for graduate school on the east coast, but he promptly changed the direction by enrolling in the M.S. Applied Economics program at UC-Davis based on my new location. Again we were commuting to see each other, but now it was between Monterey and Davis. 

At Thanksgiving (1985) Kent proposed and we made plans for an August 1986 wedding in my hometown of Homer, NY. In a whirlwind, Kent finished classes and wrote his masters thesis. I packed up our two apartments and we drove cross-country from California to New York in time for the wedding.

CFANS activities and connections were at the heart of the St. Paul campus experience when we met in the 1980s much like it is today. Kent attended the UofM because of family legacy. I visited (and later attended) because of grandparents teaching and working at the UofM. Over the years, we have learned that our lives intersected well before we even met and married. And, as of 2016, couples from four of the five generations of Horsagers graduating from the U of M have met their spouses on the St. Paul Campus.

Photos on the right include: 

Dan & Clarice (Horsager) Esslinger (B.S. Agricultural Education '87), Clarence (B.S. Agricultural Education '60) and Mary (Hillier) Horsager (B.S. Home Economics Education '58), Chuck (B.S. Agricultural Business Administration '83) & Carol (Torgerson) Horsager (B.S. Horticulture '83), and Philip Horsager (B.S. Food Science '16) & Megan Stevens (B.S. Applied Economics '17), to be married May 2017

-Beth Horsager

Amy and Jeff Eppen

Amy and Jeff Eppen (B.S. Agricultural Education '01)

Over the Winter Break of 1997/98 I stayed on campus to work at Soybean Research. I had become close friends with several young COAFES (College of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences) ladies who I had much in common with from FFA, 4-H, and Agriculture. One of them invited a friend from home who was attending Augsburg to come to a gathering at AGR on New Years Eve. Amy and I met that night and went to a movie a week or so later with the same group. We continued to date and were married just a few weeks after graduation in 2001! And as they say, the rest is history! We have been blessed with 2 children, Courtney and Caleb, who are great kids that enjoy the outdoors, sports, and school! We just celebrated the anniversary of meeting 19 years ago and are thankful everyday for that great night at 2060 Carter Ave!

-Jeff Eppen

Jenna and Brett Stadsvold

Jenna Stadsvold (B.S. Environment & Natural Resources '08)
Brett Stadsvold (B.S. Environment & Natural Resources '05)

I met my husband, Brett, at the UMN where we were both natural resource majors. That’s not the love story I want to tell, though.

The story I want to tell is about a girl and her campus. It’s a story about finding a welcoming place within the larger UMN community that eventually felt like a second home.

I loved the relaxed atmosphere, the friendly people, the plentiful greenspace, and the unique vibe that made St. Paul campus feel like my own happy corner of the UMN.I moved away from Minnesota, but that doesn’t mean this love story ended. It just means that I have a long distance relationship with the St. Paul campus now.

It takes more work and planning to maintain the relationship, but St. Paul campus will always have a special place in my heart.

-Jenna Stadsvold

Meg and Philip Clark

Meg Clark (B.S. Animal Science '13)
Philip Clark (B.S. Agriculture and Food Business Management '12)

Phil and I met in 2009, at the end of the fall semester of my freshman year at his fraternity's Christmas party.

I then discovered that I had seen him a few times before in class (Animals and Society) as well as while playing football on the mall with some of my friends and me.

Over winter break, Phil asked me to attend his fraternity formal with him and the rest is history.

We have now been married for 3 years and have a son, Patrick who will be 2 years old in May.

-Meg Clark

Rebekah and Kyle Mathews

Rebekah (LaBerge) Mathews (B.S. Animal Science '12, M.S. Animal Science Nutrition '14)
Kyle Mathews (B.S. Animal Science '13)

We met during school through involvements in Alpha Gamma Rho and DTS Little Sisters.

We had a few classes together and started dating a year after meeting each other (and rekindling our friendship during State Fair!)

We married a few years after college, and everyone in our wedding party was enrolled in CFANS at some point.

We now reside in SE MN. Kyle is a lactating cow nutritionist and I work as a calf and heifer the same co-op!

-Rebekah Mathews

Kelsey and Brett Schwartz

Kelsey Schwartz (B.S. Agriculture Education, Leadership and Communication '15)
Brett Schwartz (B.S. Agriculture Education, Leadership and Communication and Animal Science '15)

Our story began in 2011 when we both started college at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. We met in Bailey Hall our freshman year and spent endless hours with our entire friend group. It was an experience I wish all Freshman could have. We almost all lived on the same floor and would stay up until the wee hours of the morning playing rounds of 500 and just chatting. We all joined a fraternity or sorority and all seemed to join similar clubs like Gopher Dairy Club. It wasn't until our Junior year that we made things official. As our generation would call it, Facebook Official. We live on our farm that Brett purchased in college and are both actively involved in the local community. We are both involved in the County Pork Board. Brett is an assistant Wrestling Coach for the Le Sueur Henderson High School and is an active bowler in his Monday League! I joined the school board and am a member of the Dollars for Scholars committee. We still attend events at the University of Minnesota together mainly watching Brett's favorite sport Wrestling. Two of his hometown classmates, Brett and Chris Pfarr wrestle for the U so it brings us back to campus frequently.

- Kelsey Schwartz


Fallon Collage


Horsagers 2017

"As of 2016, couples from four of the five generations of Horsagers graduating from the U of M have met their spouses on the St. Paul Campus."

- Beth Horsager

Horsager Family






Kelsey Brett Schwartz 1

Kelsey Brett Schwartz