CFANS graduates ready to take on the world

More than 400 CFANS graduates were honored during commencement ceremonies held May 12 in Mariucci Arena. Highlights included words of encouragement from U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, Undergraduate Student Board President Rachel Kircher, student speaker Ellie Bauer, commencement speaker and alumna Alise Sjostrom ‘09 of Redhead Creamery, and Alumni Society President Larry Thomas ‘82. Watch the ceremony online.  On April 28, nearly 100 CFANS graduate students celebrated their commencement along with commencement speaker and alumna Shefali Mehta '07 of Open Rivers Consulting Associates.  Watch the graduate ceremony online

The nearly 600 CFANS students who graduated this spring have much to be proud of. What’s next for some of CFANS's newly minted alumni?

Jamie Freier CFANSJamie Freier

B.S. Nutrition

Jamie plans to complete her Dietetic Internship at the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay after she graduates this spring. She came to the University of Minnesota because she had become passionate about healthy eating and had the goal of becoming a dietitian. Jamie reflected that at CFANS, “not only are the professors prestigious experts in their fields, but all professors and advisors seem extremely passionate about assisting students with reaching their goals.” Jamie’s passion is to make a global impact on the food system in order to increase access to truly nutritious food for everybody.

Advice for students: Listen to your advisors and professors. Take their advice at every opportunity possible. They ultimately care about your success as a future professional, and by following absolutely every bit of advice provided to you, you will undoubtedly surpass your goals.

Trey O'Bryan CFANSTrey O’Bryan

B.S. Agricultural and Food Business Management, Entrepreneurial Management and Sustainable Agriculture Minors

Trey will be starting a Grain Origination Sales with Cargill in Cheyenne Wells, CO this summer. His work will involve grain origination, sales, marketing and merchandising. Trey has a passion for agriculture and economic development, and in working in grain origination and sales, he hopes to expand his work to include international merchandising, and to potentially work in policy one day. Trey also has an interest in personal development, and has a passion for hearing people's stories and helping them write the next chapter. At CFANS and at the University of Minnesota, Trey has embraced the communities, support, and friends he has foud in each, as well as the opportunity to pursue and explore many passions.

Advice: Don't stress about class too much, instead focus on relationships and growth, and the rest will come together.

Becky Church CFANSBecky Church

B.S. Agricultural Communications and Marketing, Animal Science Minor

After graduating in December, Becky has served as the Communications Director at the Minnesota Beef Council. In this role, she coordinates advertising campaigns, develops strategies, write blogs, and manages social media. Becky also coordinates the Team Beef fitness program, which is a Facebook-run accountability group where the organization shares beef recipes, motivation and workouts. She also runs her own photography and design business - Becky Church Photography and Design (, specializing in portrait photography and creating livestock logos and sale flyers. Becky’s passion has always been to promote agriculture and share experiences with consumers in order to build trustworthy relationships. “In working for the Minnesota Beef Council, I have the privilege of representing our dedicated beef farmers and sharing their story and beef information with consumers.” During her time at the University, what made her experience special was the friendly and familiar faces she found all around campus that made the University of Minnesota, and specifically CFANS, such a warm environment.

Advice for students:  "Don't stand in the way of your own dreams. So many of us convince ourselves that we aren't good enough, talented enough or confident enough to chase our dreams. Please trust me when I say you are MORE than enough. Your biggest critic will always be the one staring back at you in the mirror. Confidence is the key to success in all areas of your life."

Luke NatzkeLuke Natzke

B.S. Applied Economics, Sustainability Studies and Management Minors

Luke’s passion revolves around the environment, and he has a specific interest in food systems and the intersection of food and sustainability. He is looking forward to work and potentially grad school in his future: “I'm not sure where my career path will take me, but I am confident that after the experience I've had in CFANS and Applied Economics specifically, that whatever I find will bring me satisfaction and fulfillment.” Luke transferred into CFANS after starting his college career at the College of Liberal Arts. An Applied Economics class brought him into the college, and he was finally able to narrow his focus. By the end of sophomore year, he fully enrolled in CFANS and has never looked back.  He strongly believes that having the opportunity to focus in on a field of interest and participate in research in his field is an unparalleled resource that is offered at the University of Minnesota.

Advice for students:  Try everything! As platitudinal as it sounds, there's so much to do at this university. Get out there and have some new experiences.