July 2009 Archives

Crookston Campus One of "Best in the Midwest" says Princeton Review

The University of Minnesota, Crookston is one of the best colleges and universities in the Thumbnail image for Best Midwestern Seal.jpgMidwest according to The Princeton Review.  The education services company selected the school as one of 158 institutions it profiles in its "Best in the Midwest" section of its Web site feature 2010 Best Colleges: Region by Region that posted July 27, 2009.   

The U of M, Crookston, with its applied learning and rich technology, received the designation "Best in the Midwest" based on survey data submitted by the campus and student opinion data.

News Release

Skyberg Hall Sports a New Look this Summer

Skyberg_resized.jpgA landscape project outside of the Skyberg Hall loading dock has created another beautiful area on the Crookston campus.

Other projects underway to improve Skyberg include the following: installing new carpet in the stairwells, remodeling some of the bathrooms, and painting sections of the exterior.

The campus grounds are an oasis of summer beauty at the U of M, Crookston. Enjoy a walk around the mall, or visit the Nature Nook located behind Hill Hall. The Peterson Gazebo is surrounded by flowers and the Children's Center has a colorful array of hollyhocks near its playground area.

Research May Lead to a New Standard in Oil

Junior Thomas Haarstick, Vergas, Minn., an ag systems management major at the U of M, Crookston, and Assistant Professor Paul Aakre from the Agriculture Department are working on a project this summer that involves running a tractor on straight vegetable oil (SVO). The tractor which is being used to mow county ditches began using SVO on June 15 and to date has 100 hours logged.

The tractor is started on diesel fuel and switches over to the SVO, either automatically or manually, when the operating temperature is high enough and the exhaust temperature is hot enough. A tank on the front of the tractor holds diesel fuel while the vegetable oil is used in the main fuel tank.
A special conversion unit was installed on the tractor and a heat exchanger is used to heat the SVO to make it the appropriate consistency for the tractor's engine.

Haarstick worked on the project as part of an undergraduate research project and it is part of ongoing research by Aakre on using vegetable oil as fuel. He worked with Jade Estling, '09, on setting up a small scale bio-diesel lab when Estling was a student.

Using a locally produced product and saving fossil fuel are just two of the benefits of running a tractor on SVO.

In the photograph, Dave Volker (left), tractor operator from the Polk County Highway Department, and Junior Thomas Haarstick (right) stand by the tractor modified to run on straight vegetable oil.

Alumni Visits to Campus are Highlight of Summer

Rebekah Seeger Dana Widman families.JPGTwo alumnae visited campus recently and brought with them five future Golden Eagles! Rebekah (Stortroen) Seeger, '02, and Dana (Prudhomme) Widman, '02, stopped by the Office of Development & Alumni Relations while they were on campus.

In the photo: (back row, l to r) Rebekah (Strotroen) Seeger holding her son, Thor, and Dana (Prudhomme) Widman holding her daughter, Cecelia. In the front row are Haakon Seeger, Marit Seeger, and Georgie Widman. Dana's husband is George Widman, '02, and Rebekah is married to Grant Seeger who attended the U of M, Crookston from 1995-97.

The alumni office welcomes all alumni from the University of Minnesota, Crookston and the Northwest School of Agriculture and encourages them to visit anytime they are in the area.

Teambacker Golf Classic Raises More Than $5,000 for Golden Eagle Athletics

1stplaceottertailpower.JPGThe University of Minnesota, Crookston Teambackers held their 19th annual Teambacker Golf Classic at Minakwa Golf Course in Crookston, Minn., on Saturday, July 18.
This year's tournament champion was the Otter Tail Power Company team of Brent Johnson, Scott Sandburg, Jeff Oseth, Pete Bergh and Chad Johnson.

Eighteen teams and 90 golfers participated in the 18-hole scramble which raised more than $5,000 for Golden Eagle Athletics.

Photo of the first place team (l to r): Bill Tyrrell, director of athletic fundraising); Brent Johnson; Scott Sandburg; Jeff Oseth; Pete Bergh; Stephanie Helgeson, director of athletics; and Chad Johnson.

NWSA Alumni Association Board Holds Meeting

NWSA Alumni Board.JPGThe alumni association board from the Northwest School of Agriculture welcomed new board member, Beulah (Stolaas) Vad, '58, and elected officers at their meeting in late July. President Charles "Chuck" Holmquist, '52, will be joined by Vice President David Sorvig, '47, and Secretary Allan Dragseth, '57.

The board discussed the annual alumni reunion, Arizona Social, and upcoming campus events. They also decided to create a Facebook group and all alumni are encouraged to join the group. Visit www.facebook.com and join the Northwest School of Agricuture (NWSA) Alumni Association - Official Group. The group is open to all alumni and friends of the NWSA.

The board's next meeting is not until April 2010, but they encourage anyone who is able to attend the Arizona Social on Friday, February 19, 2010, at ViewPoint Resort in Mesa. All alumni should set aside June 25-26, 2010, for the reunion. Encourage your classmates and friends to come back to campus that weekend.

In the photo are (back row, l to r): Beulah (Stolaas) Vad, '58; David Sorvig, '47; Lowell Hamrick, '53; Allan Dragseth, '57; Chuck Holmquist, '52; and Melvin Larson, '55. Seated in the front row are Barbara Hylland Lunsetter, '56; Jean (Stromstad) Vigness-Parker, '55; and Gerhard Ross, '45. Not pictured are Norm Landby, '55, and Berneil Nelson, '42.

Summertime Means Research and Study

Smith_research_luna.jpgA study by Assistant Professor Katy Smith, Ph.D., which began in March 2009, is progressing over the summer. The study conducted in collaboration with Associate Professor Albert Sims from the Northwest Research and Outreach Center focuses on emissions of greenhouse gases and technologies that can reduce the emissions of these gases. Smith's research involves gas samples from a wheat test plot that are taken weekly throughout the growing season and transported back to the laboratory for analysis.

The work will contribute to the growing body of information concerning greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural practices and how agricultural practices can be modified to maintain yields while also minimizing the impact on the environment.

In August the wheat will be harvested and gas sampling will be completed for the 2009 growing season.  At this point data will be compiled and statistically analyzed to determine the impact of fertilizer treatments on the flux of the greenhouse and air quality.

In the photo are Senior Tamara Luna, who is assisting in the research project, William Smith and Katy Smith, Ph.D. 

Goodbye, Brink Hall

Brinkdemoresize.jpgBrink Hall was razed this week. The residence hall has been in use since 1976 and was named in honor of the late University of Minnesota Regent Lyman A. Brink of Hallock, Minn. There were twelve apartments in Brink Hall that provided space for up to 48 students.

In the background you can see the ongoing construction of Evergreen Hall. This new residence hall will house 128 students and will be ready for its first occupants this fall.

Faculty Visit French National Agricultural Research Institute

Thumbnail image for IMG_6125.JPGA small team of faculty from the agriculture department including Associate Professor Harouna Maiga, and instructors Chuck Lariviere, and Terrill Bradford, recently visited the French National Agricultural Research Institute (INRA) in Paris, France, and its allied agricultural universities.   While in France, the group made several stops including a visit to Tours, France, where they investigated a variety of options for collaboration and connection with INRA.

Pictured in front of the main offices of the INRA are (l to r): Harouna Maiga, John Williams (INRA), Bernard Charpentier (INRA), Terrill Bradford, and Chuck Lariviere.  

NWSA Alumni Association Reunion Photo Album Available

l2564.jpgThe Northwest School of Agriculture Alumni Association reunion photo album is available. The photo album captures highlights of the 2009 reunion held the last weekend in June.

Mark your calendar's now for next year's reunion gathering on Friday and Saturday, June 25-26.

Visit the 2009 photo album.

Students Earn Ribbons at Polk County Fair

l2567.jpgThree students interning with Facilities and Operations on the grounds crew this summer earned ribbons at the Polk County Fair for submissions of flowers from the U of M, Crookston grounds.

Yvonne Valgren (middle) of Halstad, Minn., earned first place for a shrub rose submission, which also earned the best overall rose award, and  third place columbine; Kenny Mendez (right) of Crookston earned third place coreopsis, third place daylily, and third place marigold; and Keunyung "Yung" Kim (left) of Gwangju, South Korea, earned second place hosta and third place shrub rose.

Congratulations, Yvonne, Yung, and Kenny!

New Residence Hall is Evergreen

l2560.jpgAptly named, Evergreen Hall, the new residence hall at the University of Minnesota, Crookston will be ready for students when they return for fall semester 2009. The 128-bed facility includes a state-of-art classroom and a large gathering space with a snack bar.

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents approved the name Evergreen Hall recognizing its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification and the consideration for the environment given throughout the building's design.

If you would like to view the construction progress, visit the photo album.
l2562.jpgThe University of Minnesota, Crookston Teambacker's held the Mark Olsonawski Scholarship Golf Tournament recently at Two Rivers Golf Course in Hallock, Minn. Over 60 golfers participated in the 18-hole scramble which raised in excess of $1,500 for the Golden Eagle Football Endowment.

Highlighting the day was a hole-in-one by Tom Piche representing Greg Larson Sports. Winning the tournament was the American Federal Bank team of Hallock. Team members were Derek Holt, Ron Visness, Joe Bouvette, and Andrew Passanante. Marshall Bank of Hallock was the tournament sponsor and the food sponsor for the day was Crop Insurance Associates. Club House sponsors were the Caribou Grill, CHS Ag Services, and Crop Production Services.