Campus News

A new Bell Museum + Planetarium

A ceremonial groundbreaking was held last April 22, Earth Day, for a new Bell Museum that will be a gateway to the St. Paul campus. The facility will feature interactive exhibits, 120-seat digital planetarium, and spaces for learners of all ages to engage with science, art, and current University of Minnesota scholarship. Check out this video discussing the new museum and how you can help to be a part of the story. Learn more on the website and visit the current building to see large scale renderings of the project in a special exhibit.

U of M's newest wine grape: Itasca

Here's some good news for New York vineyard operators who specialize in cold-hardy grapes. Yet another has been added to the list, a new white wine grape variety called Itasca. Dr. Matthew Clark, assistant professor of grape breeding and enology at the University of Minnesota, announced the Itasca name, the fifth new variety created by the school's breeding program. All of the grape varieties from the university breeding program have names related to Minnesota places. Learn more about the grape here!

Watch undergrad students discover plant pathology

A new series of videos featuring undergraduates and why they found Plant Pathology courses to be interesting and essential for anyone who plans to have a career working with plants. If you are interested in watching these videos, click this link!

Alumni, students, and President Kaler celebrate 100th anniversary of Minnesota Royal 

The 100th Minnesota Royal took place on St. Paul campus from April 10-16. Events during the week included skits, quiz bowl, royal run, Johnny Holmes Concert, ag olympics, and a showmanship contest to conclude the week. Throughout the week, king and queen candidates participated in these events to earn the king and queen titles.  Undergrad students Rachael Rostad of Wanamingo and Thomas Liepold of New Prague were the queen and king winners for the 100th year celebration. Alumni were able to dust off their sheep showmanship skills during the showmanship contest, and mingle with students during the alumni barbecue. Minnesota Royal is always a fun and hectic week, but it is always full of endless memories. Look at some of the photos on the Facebook page!

CFANS Undergraduate Student Board hosts inaugural CFANS Spirit Day

The first ever “CFANS Spirit Day" took place on April 12th. The goal of this event was to provide everyone in the college a way to connect, have fun, and most of all show our CFANS Spirit. It was a great first year for this event, as it is the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences 10th birthday. CFANS Spirit Day took place over three hours and included interactive booths, free CFANS ice cream, a silly mini-lecture series “Lifeboat Lectures,” live music, and Turkey-To-Go sandwiches! Guests played with bunnies, learned about the college's history and departments, and connected with each other. There were 70 students, staff, faculty, alumni, and friends in attendance throughout the event. The CFANS Undergraduate Student Board is excited to grow this event next year.

7th annual Ag Awareness Day showcases agriculture on East Bank

The 7th annual Ag Awareness Day was help on April 19, on Northrop Plaza on the Minneapolis campus. This event featured interactive agricultural groups, along with pigs, sheep, dairy and beef calves, and llamas. It was a great way to showcase how big of an impact agriculture has on everyone!  Current undergrad student and co-chair Valerie Earley says it was an opportunity to give people a glimpse of what farming looks like.  “With less than 2 percent of people living directly on farms and dealing with agriculture, it’s easy for us to lose our connection to the food that we’re eating and who works hard every day to produce that food.  So this is a way that we can really build that connection with students and show them that there are people behind the food that we eat every day.  People sometimes just don’t realize that there’s real people behind (farming), so when they meet someone and you’re able to share facts about the animals or tell them how you’re able to care for your animals, it makes it a lot more real for them.” Check out the Facebook page to see some photos from the event! 

Congratulations to UMN Soil Judging Team at Nationals

The  University of Minnesota Soil Judging Team brought home some serious hardware from the National competition in Manhattan, Kansas. The team won awards in all three categories - Individual (3rd, Rusty Zimmerman), Team (5th) and Overall (3rd)! To learn about some of the adventures the team had on their way to Kansas, check out this blog written by members of the team!

Congrats to new grads, and welcome to new students!

At commencement at the Northrop Auditorium on May 13, over 500 undergraduate students will graduate from CFANS. We look forward to celebrating their accomplishments with their family and friends. As we bid the Class of 2016 farewell, we look forward to welcoming the Class of 2020 in the fall. Do you know a student who should know more about the opportunities in CFANS? If so, complete this info request form so that Freshman Admissions Counselor Casey Kuenn ( can reach out to them!

U of M National Agri-Marketing Association reaches national semi-finals

The University of Minnesota's student chapter of the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) went to Kansas City again this spring to participate in the annual NAMA national student competition. The team advanced to the semi-finals during the student marketing competition in April, making them part of the top 12 teams in the competition. Nearly 50 teams participated in the event this year. The students, pictured below presented a 20-minute proposal for a new product that would assist farmers and infiltrate the current market. This year's team presented a proposal for North Star Shrimp, a business that would provide local and fresh seafood to health-conscious consumers in Minnesota. 

Another great MN FFA State Convention at University of Minnesota

The 87th annual State FFA Convention was held April 24-26 at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities and more than 3,600 high school students from across Minnesota came to campus for a program that included career development events, awards and the election of new officers for the statewide organization. A sea of blue jackets could be found on both St. Paul and Minneapolis campuses as students participated in competitions, workshops, business sessions and tours of the campuses. At the final convention session, the 2016-17 Minnesota State Officers were elected to represent the more than 10,000 FFA members in the stae. Elected at the final session to represent the over 10,000 FFA members of Minnesota and voted on by the delegates were: Sentinel, Joe Ramstad from the Forest Lake FFA chapter; Reporter, Rebekka Paskewitz from the Staples-Motley FFA chapter; Treasurer, Clay Newton from the Lakeview FFA chapter; Secretary, Wendy Bauman from the Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg FFA chapter; Vice President, Katie Rogers from the Worthington FFA chapter; and President, Spencer Wolter from the Windom FFA chapter.  Three of the officers are CFANS students!  Sentinel Joe Ramstad is a current student and Wendy Bauman and Spencer Wolter begin in the fall of 2016.  Visit the Minnesota FFA Association website for a list of all who were honored during the convention.

Registration Open for Gopher Dairy Camp 

The Gopher Dairy Camp, presented by the Gopher Dairy Club and the Minnesota State 4-H Dairy Committee, is held on the University of Minnesota St. Paul Campus, June 12-14. 
Gopher Dairy Camp is a fun 3-day workshop for teens who want to improve their dairy cattle skills. The camp is open to all youth who have completed grades 6-9, but have not yet started 10th grade. Activities include Dairy Fitting and Showmanship Workshops, Dairy Showmanship Contest, the Gopher Gold Auction, Dairy Foods Workshop, and fun around the Twin Cities. For more information, view the camp page!

Plant Pathology remembers their beginning years

As a part of their Living Legacy Project, the Department of Plant Pathology continues to tell their history by providing information about the beginning years of the Department. Learn more about this historic department and a pivotal discovery that was made which would change science forever.


Itasca Grapes 

Undergrads Discover Plant Path

MN Royal


CFANS Spirit Day


Ag Awareness Day


Soils Judging Team




MN FFA 2016


Gopher Dairy Camp


ll photos