What's in Your Backpack?

Students carry all sorts of stuff with them on their daily routines of classes, studying, work and fun. Their backpacks tell the tale of what life is really like for a U of M student. Legacy, the University of Minnesota Foundation magazine, asks a student to share his or her backpack in each issue. Most recently, the magazine featured CFANS student and scholarship recipient Vinz Karl.

What's in your backpack?

Vinz Karl"Future Farmers of America (FFA) curriculum," says Vinz Karl, a junior majoring in agricultural education with minors in leadership, urban studies, horticulture and sustainable agriculture. As an "ag ambassador" for FFA, he attended the national convention in October and came home eager to share his newfound knowledge.

Spreading the word about agriculture's importance—especially in urban environments—is a passion for Karl, whose family moved from the Twin Cities suburbs to rural Arlington, Minn., when he was in fifth grade. In addition to his FFA position, he's taken on leadership roles in several national and U of M student groups related to agricultural education.

"We're all a part of agriculture, whether we're providing the food, fiber, and fuel, or whether we're consuming it," says Karl, who hopes to someday work for a national organization like FFA in a leadership development role. "We should all be knowledgeable about it, because it affects everyone."

As a recipient of the Joanna D. Schmitt Memorial Scholarship and the Robert Henton Scholarship, he's grateful for the support that's allowed him to devote so much time to his studies and volunteer roles—and says he plans to someday give back to the university so future students have the same opportunities.

—Amy Sitze, University of Minnesota Foundation