CFANS Speed Networking - Alumni/Professional Bios 2016

Alumni & Professionals in Attendance -Page will be updated as RSVPs come in!

  • Dylan Barth, B.S. Agricultural and Food Business Management '15
    -Winfield Associate, Land O'Lakes
    Land O'Lakes, Inc., one of America's premier agribusiness and food companies, is a member-owned cooperative with industry-leading operations that span the spectrum from agricultural production to consumer foods. With 2015 annual sales of $13 billion, Land O'Lakes is one of the nation's largest cooperatives, ranking 203 on the Fortune 500. Building on a legacy of more than 94 years of operation, Land O'Lakes today operates some of the most respected brands in agribusiness and food production including LAND O LAKES® Dairy Foods, Purina Animal Nutrition and WinField Solutions. The company does business in all 50 states and more than 60 countries. Land O'Lakes, Inc. corporate headquarters are located in Arden Hills, Minn.

  • Jim Boerboom, B.S. Agricultural Education '73, M.S. Agricultural Education '77
    - Deputy Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Agriculture
    Jim Boerboom has served as Deputy Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture since July 2007. Mr. Boerboom has oversight of the agency’s Finance and Budget, Human Resources and Information Technology divisions. Mr. Boerboom's career has been dedicated to helping farmers successfully adapt to change through innovative marketing practices and sound financial planning. He has held several positions at MDA, including: Assistant Commissioner, 1999-2007; MDA Agricultural Finance Division Director, 1995-1999; and Executive Director, Rural Finance Authority, 1995-1999. Mr. Boerboom also served as a State Representative from southwestern Minnesota from 1985-1986 and as Vice President for Valley Bank from 1990-1995. Jim holds a bachelor and master of arts degrees in Agriculture Education from the University of Minnesota.

  • Michael Darger, B.A. Economics & Management, M.B.A. Marketing & Finance
    - Extension Specialist & Director of Business Retention and Expansion, U.M. Extension Center for Community Vitality
    After initial careers in banking and corporate finance and marketing, Michael Darger transitioned to the community economic development field. He worked for several years in inner-city nonprofits, county government and since 1999 has worked with Minnesota communities through Extension's Business Retention & Expansion program. He also was an Extension Program Leader for seven years, supervising staff across Minnesota.

  • Amanda DurowB.S. Animal Science '09, MBA-Finance '14
    - Senior Credit Officer, CoBank

  • Dennis Fallon -B.S. Urban and Community Forestry '95, M.S. Forestry '06
    - Manager, Vegetation Management, Xcel Energy
    After graduating with a B.S. in Urban and Community Forestry, Dennis Fallon took a summer job with Northern States Power as a forester and never left. Serving as an arborist, forester, budget manager, work planner, project consultant and responsible for programmatic oversight in MN, ND, SD, WI and MI. Dennis is a dynamic results oriented leader with strong communication skills; driven to creating innovative approaches that emphasize safety, customer satisfaction, process improvement, quality assurance and regulatory compliance. Demonstrated ability of effectively and efficiently managing contract resources and diverse projects with multimillion dollar budgets across a large geographic territory.

  • Sarah Fellows - M.S. Natural Resources Science & Management '15
    - Education Coordinator, Minnehaha Creek Watershed District
    Sarah received her Bachelors of Science in Natural Resource Policy & Administration from North Carolina State University and recently completed her Masters in the Natural Resources Science and Management program at the University of Minnesota with a focus on human dimensions. Her research interests include conservation attitudes and behavior change, and youth environmental education. Sarah now works as an education coordinator at Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD), the largest watershed district in the state. As the education coordinator, Sarah is responsible for developing educational programs and materials, managing the education grant program, organizing MCWD-sponsored events, and presenting on water resources, among other topics, to various audiences.

  • Bruce Hatteberg - B.S. Agricultural Economics '79
    - Director of Lending, CHS
    Bruce works with CHS member cooperatives and producers on finacing, business consulting and related services. 

  • Grant Herfindahl, B.A. Social Science '97
    - State Executive Director, USDA/Farm Service Agency
    Grant Herfindahl is a fourth generation Minnesota farmer from the Benson area and is currently the Minnesota State Executive Director for FSA. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science from the University of Minnesota, Morris and was a Policy Fellow with the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute. In addition, he has done graduate work in Public Policy with New England College. He has worked in Minnesota FSA as a County Executive Director for 21 years, most recently covering the operations of the Pope County and Douglas County offices. He has extensive leadership experience in local farm groups, township government as well as church and civic organizations.

  • Valerie Klitzke - B.A. Human Resource Management, M.S. Project Management
    - Administrative Specialist, Farm Service Agency/US Department of Agriculture
    Mrs. Klitzke serves as an Administrative Specialist for the Farm Service Agency (FSA)/USDA located in St. Paul, MN. The FSA ensures the well-being of American agriculture, the environment, and the American public through the administration of farm commodity programs: farm ownership, operating, and emergency loans: conservation and environmental programs: emergency and disaster assistance: and domestic and international food assistance. Minnesota FSA programs are delivered through an extensive network of over 70 field offices in USDA County Service Centers and the State Office located in St. Paul, MN. Prior to working for the FSA, Mrs. Klitzke worked for Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense. She has her B.A. in Human Resource Management from Saint Mary’s University and a M.S. in Project Management from Saint Mary’s University.

  • Morgan Ludvigson - B.A. Human Resource and Public Administration
    Human Resources Generalist, CHS
    Although not an alum of U of M, Morgan has been a partner of CFANS through her work in HR at CHS, a leading global agribusiness owned by farmers, ranchers and cooperatives across the United States. CHS, is headquartered in Inver Grove Heights, MN and has over 12,000 employees. Morgan's passion for agriculture, stems from growing up on a cattle farm in northwest Iowa, showing horses, and also being involved in 4-H. Her degree is in HR/Public Administration from the University of Northern Iowa.

  • David Manley, B.S. Agricultural Business Administration
    -Farm Loan Specialist, USDA Farm Service Agency
    David Manley is a Farm Loan Specialist for USDA, Farm Service Agency (FSA) located in St. Paul, MN. FSA is the lender of first opportunity. David provides technical assistance to the twenty FSA farm loan teams throughout MN, assists in policy development and conducts training on FSA farm loan programs to employees and lenders. He has an Bachelors of Agricultural Business Administration degree from the University of Minnesota.

  • Shahram Missaghi - Ph. D Water Resource Sciences '14
    - U of M Extension Educator
    Shahram Missaghi devolps research based water resources education programs that promote innovative practices to reduce the environmental impacts of excessive storm water runoff. He has a Ph. D in Water Resource Sciences (Limnology and Oceanography) and conducts research in ecological modeling and climate change impact on water resources. 

  • Kevin Plante, B.S. Agricultural Education '86, M.Ed. Agricultural Education '10
    - Coordinator, Farmer Assistance Network, MN Dept of Agriculture

  • Monica Rauchwarter
    - Interpretive Naturalist, Third Rivers Park District
    After completing a degree in ecology and communication studies, Monica had the opportunity to gain experience working at three different metro area nature centers. She now works at Richardson Nature Center, which is part of the Three Rivers Park District. There, she facilitates natural history experiences for people of all ages and abilities.

  • Alex Roth, Ph.D. Natural Resources Science and Management '15
    - Ecologist, Friends of the Mississippi River 
    Alex received his bachelors in Environmental Science from Northwestern University and recently completed his PhD in Forest Ecology in the Natural Resources Science and Management program at the University of Minnesota. He also obtained a minor in Risk Analysis for Invasive Species and Genotypes, and his research centered on the mechanisms and processes involved in species invasion, with a particular focus on woody invasive plants in Minnesota’s forest ecosystems. Alex now works as an ecologist at Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR), a Twin Cities conservation and restoration non-profit. As an ecologist, Alex is responsible for conducting soil, vegetation, and wildlife surveys, writing natural resource management plans, applying for grants, and designing and overseeing habitat restoration projects. Alex arrived at FMR with a breadth of experience in both research and land management, having spent time working with organizations such as the Ohio EPA, University of Notre Dame, and The Nature Conservancy.

  • Naomi Sundalius, MBA '14
    - Product Development Lead, Bellisio Foods
    Naomi currently works at Bellisio Foods as a Product Development Lead. Prior to this she worked at Michael Foods, interned at Kellogg's and Amway. She has an MBA from Carlson School of Business, UMN, MS in Food Science from Louisiana State University and BS in Food Science from Michigan State University.