Seeds of Greatness

“As a senior, I would really like to say I have everything all figured out. However, my plans continue to change.”

Thomas Liepold started his college career as a student at the University of Minnesota-Duluth and admits he chose the wrong college for the wrong reasons.

“I mostly went there because I was afraid of being like my dad, who works for Extension. Duluth was a great school, but not for agriculture. After I started disliking my major, I realized that I needed to try the U of M,”  Liepold says. He transferred to the Twin Cities campus and has tried out a variety of majors. When he started college, he was a History and Economics double major. He enjoyed it, but knew it was not what he wanted to do after graduation. Finally, he chose Political Science and Agriculture Education because it was the closet fit for his future career aspirations within agriculture policy.

His hometown is New Prague, Minn., but he dreams of ending up in Washington, D.C., on Capitol Hill.

“As a senior, I would really like to say I have everything all figured out. However, my plans continue to change. At the moment, my current plans are to work in a congressional office in Washington, D.C. for a few years after graduation. Then, I'd like to move back to Minnesota to focus on local agricultural policy issues,” he says. On campus, Liepold is Vice President of FarmHouse Fraternity, a member of the Agriculture Education Club, Policy Engagement Program, Gopher Dairy Club and International Agriculture Club. He also serves as a CFANS Student Board Representative.

“I really love the small town feel of St. Paul Campus," he says. "Some people have told me that the U is just too big. However, as a CFANS student, most of my classes take place in St. Paul and when in St. Paul, I cannot walk anywhere on campus without spotting dozens of my friends. Being on St. Paul campus means I have a fantastic community of classmates and professors who are always willing to help me out." 

When he is not busy on campus or at work, Thomas enjoys playing intramural sports, reading and hanging out with friends. He plays the guitar, bass guitar, ukulele and piano. However, he has never learned how to read music, so plays by ear.

Internships have also been an important part of his college experience. In his time at the U, he has completed multiple internships that have given him a better idea of what he wants his future to look like.  “I interned as a lobbyist on behalf of 4-H in Washington, D.C. During the last legislative session, I interned for the Minnesota Senate Committee on Agriculture, and last summer I worked for U.S Senator Klobuchar's office in federal ag policy issues. Each of these opportunities has helped shape where I'd like to go with my career,” he says.