Ag Arama Royalty Crowned at U of M, Crookston; Senior Samantha Lahman wins 2012 True Grit Award

Bigger than ever, the 37th Annual Ag Arama brought some 350 people to the University Teaching and Outreach Center (UTOC) at the University of Minnesota, Crookston on Saturday, January 29, 2012. Highlights of the day included the crowning of the Ag Arama Royalty and 2012_1-28_Ag Arama Royalty 9967.jpgannouncing the True Grit Award recipient.

The 2012 royalty included Prince Justin Goodroad, a freshman from Lindstrom, Minnesota, majoring in animal science and agricultural education; Princess Victoria Martin, a sophomore from Worland, Wyoming, majoring in animal science pre-vet; Queen Kayla Klehr, a senior from Richmond, Minnesota, majoring in animal science pre-vet; and King Matthew Green, a senior from Greenbush, Minnesota, triple majoring in agricultural systems management, agronomy, and agricultural business. 

Candidates are nominated by the faculty for Ag Arama royalty. The students must write an essay and turn in their resume, as well as go through an interview process. Students also vote for their choices and each of these criteria helps determine the winners.

2012_1-28_Ag Arama True Grit 9957.jpgSamantha Lahman, a senior from Parker's Prairie, Minnesota, majoring in animal science, won the True Grit Award -- the highest honor given out at Ag-Arama. The True Grit Award is dedicated to the memory of Todd Opsahl a UMC student in 1973-74. Opsahl was extremely active in campus activities especially in the Ag Division where he studied animal science. Todd's life was cut short by leukemia. In his remembrance, the True Grit award is presented to the student who best demonstrates Todd Opsahl's active participation and encouragement of others.

Matthew Green also won Overall Crops Show and Crops and Soils Sweepstakes, finished 2012_1-28_Ag Arama 9907.jpgfirst in the Dairy  Showing - experienced level, and finished first in the Ag Arama Photography Contest's Animal and Livestock division.

Contests included agronomy, animal science, horticulture, and natural resources. These contests serve as an opportunity for students in agriculture and natural resources degree programs to showcase their knowledge and skills and have a chance to interact with alumni and faculty members. Ag-Arama is hosted by students in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department.

This year's Ag Arama was dedicated to the memory of Sheri Lyn Landers, who taught light horse management  at the U of M, Crookston from 1986 - 1991. Each year, students and faculty in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department dedicate Ag Arama to someone who has been influential in agriculture at the U of M, Crookston.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 26 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 36 concentrations, including 10 online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,600 undergraduates from 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit

In the photos:
Top, right: Ag Arama royalty: Prince Justin Goodroad,and Princess Victoria Martin, Queen Kayla Klehr, and King Matthew Green.

Center, left: Senior Samantha Lahman won the True Grit Award.

Bottom, right: Matthew Green shows a dairy cow  during the competition.

Contact: Terrill Bradford, instructor, Agriculture and Natural Resources Dept., 218-281-8108 (; Brenda Miller, lecturer, Agriculture and Natural Resources Dept., 218-281-8140 (