CFANS Connections - March 2017

Save the date! On Saturday, April 1st, jump-start your weekend with Classes Without Quizzes on the St. Paul campus. The half-day educational program features faculty-led interactive sessions on a variety of topics, including backyard chickens, the Minnesota woods, making "green" milk, how the environment affects corn, adaptations of aquatic plants, and the geography of food, among others. Kids in kindergarten-6th grade can attend their own hands-on educational and recreational programming about animal adaptations, maple syrup, and raptors.


The 2017 legislative session provides our college with the opportunity to remind legislators and the community of the many ways our teaching, research, and outreach benefit the state of Minnesota. And, it offers an opportunity to show a vision for the future of food, agriculture, and natural resources.

Since 2012, $22 million has been allocated annually to CFANS through agricultural state special funding. The ultimate rationale for public investment in food and agricultural research is to provide safe, nutritious, and affordable food for everyone and to utilize renewable resources for, among other industrial uses, fiber, building materials, and energy. Accomplishing this in ways that preserve and even enhance our natural assets--including the soil, water, and biological resources--is a goal that is shared between our college and the State of Minnesota.


Brian Buhr

Get Involved

Connect and learn!

Speed Networking 2016

This past fall, CFANS embarked on an iterative process of refreshing our strategic plan, identifying actionable items that advance the mission of the college and addressing the needs of students and stakeholders. A fundamental piece of this effort is to better understand how the college is perceived and how well we are meeting stakeholder needs. The college would like to have as many voices as possible providing feedback on these key areas to help shape the next steps toward implementation.

Please take a moment to complete this survey. Your perspective as an alum, college partner or community member will be extremely valuable in the process. 

St. Paul Campus

Professor Neil Anderson (M.S. Horticulture '85, Ph.D. Horticulture '89) grew up on a small Vermont dairy farm that instilled in him a love for plants early on. As early as 5 years old, Prof. Anderson was interested in horticulture, botany and floriculture—teasing apart flowers in his mother’s garden. By second grade he began crossbreeding flowers and tracking the yearly winter survival of native spring ephemerals (plants that flower for a brief time in the spring).


CFANS Neil Anderson

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.



Faculty, staff, and students supporting the Bell will gather at the Capitol Rotunda from 1:30-4:30 pm on March 13 to meet with lawmakers and share in the hands-on science activities at the core of the Bell experience. All are welcome to join in on the fun!


Bell Museum

CFANS Updates

Dr. Moon-Suhn Ryu is the newest member of the FSCN faculty, joining the department as an assistant professor in nutrition.



With the museum starting to take shape, workers are covering nearly half of the Bell’s exterior with Minnesota white pine that has been cooked in a giant kiln. The process, called thermal modification, is a chemical-free way to make wood more stable and water-resistant. Workers will finish installing the specialized wood in March, with the Bell Museum itself reopening in summer 2018.



The spring 2017 Agricultural Education teaching candidates have headed out to the schools where they will be student teaching throughout the semester.


teaching candidates

The Gopher Dairy Club held their 33rd annual banquet on February 19th. At the banquet, CFANS students, alumni, and friends were honored for their contributions to the club. 


gopher dairy club

CFANS freshman Molly Bergum has a strong interest in learning more about the water that we drink. "I'm really interested in studying freshwater sources because their security is crucial to the health of the environment and human population. In Minneapolis, our drinking water is sourced from the Mississippi River, so learning more about how we are affecting it is critical." Upon graduation, Bergum hopes to enter graduate school for environmental toxology. 

Learn more about Bergum here. 


Did you know that BBE students & Aitkin County Project are tackling pervasive algal blooms? Steve Hughes, district manager of the Aitkin County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is teaming up with 40 students from the Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering students to clean Fleming Lake.


BBE CFANS Floating Islands

Class Notes

Coming to the University of Minnesota was an easy decision for Lars Loberg (B.S. Environment and Natural Resources '05): the college offered programs that were ranked nationally and he would be close to home, where he could hunt and enjoy the outdoors on weekends. His love of law, the outdoors, and the education he received at the university helped him continue his schooling and further his career.  "The top notch education that I received at the U of M gave me the skills to excel at law school. Having a science background is uncommon in my field of practice. The conflict resolution and policy courses offered to forestry and natural resource students provided me with the skillset to succeed in my study of the law. I finished at the top of my law school class in Alternative Dispute Resolution, Environmental Law, and Land Use courses."

Learn more about Loberg here. 

Lars Loberg

The AAEA Fellows Selection Committee has selected five outstanding members to be honored as the 2017 AAEA Fellows. All of the Fellow recipients have made exceptional contributions to the profession. They are leaders shaping the future of the Association and the field of agricultural and applied economics as a whole. Two University of alums were named as 2017 AAEA Fellows: Dr. Harry Kaiser (MS Agricultural Economics ‘81, Ph. D. Agricultural & Applied Economics ‘85) and Dr. Robert Myers (Ph. D. Agricultural & Applied Economics ‘86).



Dana Allen-Tully (B.S. Agricultural Business Management '96, Ph.D. Animal Sciences '01)  was recognized at the Gopher Dairy Club Banquet with the 2017 Distinguished Service Award. This award is meant to recognize those who have continued to have an impact on the dairy industry and the Gopher Dairy Club. 


allen tully

The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Services has named Brittany Hummel (B.S. National Resources/Environmental Studies and Recreation Resource Management ‘06) district conservationist for Knox and Waldo counties.



Lucas Sjostrom (B.S., M.S. Animal Science ‘09, ‘15) from Brooten, Minnesota has been named executive director of the Minnesota Milk Producers Association, and will serve concurrently as director of industry relations for Midwest Dairy, leading the Minnesota Industry Relations team for the organizations.



Ian Silver-Ramp (B.S. Applied Plant Science ‘10) and his business, Mississippi Mushrooms, were recently featured on the DeRusha Eats segment on the WCCO mid-morning show.


CFANS Mississippi Mushrooms

After a year of planning and networking, the Nutritious U Food Pantry  student group headed by U of M student Rebecca Leighton (B.S. Nutrition ‘15), is now piloting a food pantry event for food insecure students. 



Alumni Trivia

The monthly alumni trivia question gives alumni and friends an opportunity to test their U of M knowledge. Are you up for the challenge?

March alumni trivia question:

Dr. Anup Kollanoor Johny is an Assistant Professor in Animal Science focusing on poultry interventional microbiology. (He will also be leading a session at next month's Classes Without Quizzes on Saturday, April 1!)  To ensure microbiologically safe and sustainable poultry production, he focuses on alternative strategies to control food borne illnesses such as Salmonella. Salmonella, a major cause of foodborne outbreaks in the United States, is estimated to cause an annual economic loss of which dollar amount?