Retail Management Class at U of M, Crookston Shares Research Results with Area Farmers

Students in Courtney Bergman's retail management class had an opportunity recently to retail_management_class.jpgshare research results with area farmers on promoting their products at regional farmer's markets. The research was focused on how individual farmers can increase sales and grow their business. Bergman is an instructor in the Business Department at the University of Minnesota, Crookston and her students were involved in the research as part of a service-learning project in the classroom.

The students conducted research on six different areas for the project including display and design; payment options; communication and marketing; customer relations; and presentation. The work the class conducted was a spinoff of an earlier service-learning project by U of M, Crookston marketing students who developed a marketing plan for Minnesota Grown.

These two projects are an example of the use of service learning as a tool in the classroom to provide an opportunity for experiential learning while serving a real community need. It combines academic classroom curriculum with meaningful community service. Lisa Loegering serves as the coordinator and director for service learning on the Crookston campus.

Members of the class included Katelyn Zins, a senior from Starbuck, Minn., majoring in communication; Hwee Kim, a junior from Seoul, South Korea, majoring in accounting; Allen Shaw a senior from Ulen, Minn., majoring in agricultural business; Brooke Novak, a junior from Dahlen, N.D., majoring in communication; Kate Holmquist, a senior from Middleton, Wis., majoring in communication; and Shanel Finke, a senior from Grand Marais, Minn., majoring in communication.

Each of the students presented on a specific aspect of the project followed by a question and answer session. The formal presentation allows participants in the audience to have their questions answered and provides valuable feedback for students.

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 www.umcrookston.edu.

In the photo, left to right: Courtney Bergman, instructor; Hwee Kim; Shanel Finke; Brooke Novak; Kate Holmquist; Allen Shaw; and Katelyn Zins

Contact: Courtney Bergman, lecturer, Business Department, 218-281-8188 (cbergman@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

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