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One of the many great ways to get involved as a student in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences is to become a St. Paul Ambassador! The Ambassadors are a student group and volunteer organization consisting of enthusiastic students from CFANS who love to share their knowledge and experience with prospective students and their families. 

The St. Paul Ambassadors prospective students, their parents, potential donors, and to alumni. They participate in events throughout the year such as the State FFA Convention and also give tours to prospective students. It is a great way to have fun with other CFANS students, not to mention fantastic volunteer experience and leadership development that looks great on a resume.


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For those of you who might be on campus next year as College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences students, remember to check out the St. Paul Ambassadors as a way to meet new friends and to get involved on campus! New members can join each fall.

The Pride & Spirit rally is a really fun event during Welcome Week, where our incoming freshman class spends some time in TCF Bank Stadium meeting Tim Brewster (the Gophers' football coach) and learning traditional U of M chants and cheers in preparation for the first home football game. I was lucky enough to attend the Pride & Spirit this year. This was my first time in TCF Bank Stadium! As you can see, I was really excited about it.

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It was great to see our freshman class so excited about being Golden Gophers! I also needed a refresher on the chants and cheers, and I now feel prepared for football season. At the end of the event, the Class of 2014 went on the field and created an "M". Check out this very cool time-lapse video to see it for yourself:


One of the things I love about the University of Minnesota is the diverse community of students with various interests and hobbies. While you're a student, you will have the ability to get involved in the University's amazing community by joining one or more of the many student organizations. Believe it or not, the U of M has over 600 student groups and organizations on our Twin Cities campus alone!

As a undergraduate, I was very involved in the both the University and the College of Biological Sciences communities. Some of the students groups I belonged to include the College of Biological Sciences Student Board and the College of Biological Sciences Admissions Ambassadors. Both of these groups focused on developing the CBS community by planning events and connecting with students and staff.

My extensive involvement in these two groups along with my rigorous classwork didn't leave a lot of free time, but if I was able, I would have gotten involved in even more student organizations! Here are some of fun, interesting groups I wish I had joined as a student:

1. M.A.Z.E. (Minnesota Association for Zombie Enthusiasts)

2. Ski and Snowboard Club

3. Wilderness Health Society

4. Salsa Dancing Organization

5. University of Minnesota Sailing Team

My advice to incoming students is to be sure to get involved early in your freshman year! Being part of a student group is a great way to connect with the community, meet friends, and stay active outside of class. For a complete list of all the University's student groups, visit the Student Groups and Activities website.

 

football 2.jpgI went to the first Golden Gopher football game of the year on Saturday, September 11 vs. the University of South Dakota. It was great to be back in the stadium with my fellow Gopher fans. I got to the game early enough to see the kick-off events. The University of Minnesota Marching Band performed our school songs. I loved it when they formed the Minnesota "M" facing the home crowd and then rotated the M and walked off the field towards the student section!

Following the marching band was a ceremony honoring the United States of America troops and September 11. The Air Force did a fly-over in their jets and Navy seals parachuted down into the stadium. During halftime, as the announcer recognized the Navy seals, a flock of birds flew overhead in a flying "V", which was a really inspiring coincidence!

The Gophers put up a pretty good fight, but the South Dakota Coyotes beat us 41-38. Hopefully the team has been studying their upcoming opponent, the University of Southern California, for the game this coming weekend. Despite the disappointing loss this week, I'm optimistic that we can battle it out with the Trojans and (fingers crossed!) come up with a victory. 

Regardless of the loss against South Dakota, I had a great time. Goldy Gopher got the crowd going with his cheers and silly antics. The Spirit Squad was in full force and the marching band was awesome as usual. It was a great way to spend my first Saturday back on campus!

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I love apples. Did you know that the Honeycrisp and Zestar! apples were developed here at the University of Minnesota? Our latest creation, the SweeTango apple, officially hit the grocery stores. The SweeTango is actually a mix between the Honeycrisp and the Zestar! with a unique flavor. Last year, very few people were lucky enough to actually try the SweeTango. This was because the first round of crops were rather small (this is normal with a new variety of apple). 

I had the opportunity to talk to one of our horticulture professors, Bud Markhart, about the production of a new apple variety. He explained that process can take up to 50 years! Hearing this really gave me a new-found respect for these delectable treasures.

This year there should be a larger number of SweeTango apples on the shelves, but they will still disappear fast. The apples were supposed to have hit the shelves in the last couple of weeks, so next time you go grocery shopping make sure that you keep an eye out for these tasty treats. I know I will! (Click here to see if SweeTango apples are available in your state.)

For more information, check out the U of M Apples website!

 


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