It's a sweet story. University of Minnesota, Crookston Freshman Emily Campbell, Aitkin, Minn., just arrived on campus after 12 days at the Minnesota State Fair representing the beekeeping industry as Minnesota Honey Queen. An animal science major from Aitkin, Minn., she will compete for the national title in January 2013 when she travels to Hershey, Pa.
To become Minnesota Honey Queen, Campbell first won the title of North Central Minnesota Honey Queen. "Winning this title is not like competing in a traditional pageant," she explains. "It is more like a job interview process and winning the North Central title qualified me for the state competition which was held in Duluth in mid-July at the state convention."
She gave several speeches during the state convention, wrote an essay on propolis, a product produced by bees and used in the health industry, and went through an intense final interview where she had to demonstrate both strong communication skills and an in depth knowledge of bees.
Campbell knows her stuff. Her interest began in 4-H when she had a project in entomology focused on two diseases that plague honey bees. She won a grand champion ribbon on the project at the Minnesota State Fair and her projects on bees would eventually earn her a total of seven grand champion ribbons. For the past two years, she has owned her own hives, and she says her parents were very supportive of her interest in beekeeping.
"Bees are some of the most intelligent creatures on the planet," Campbell says. "Everything
they do has a specific purpose." She says that while it might appear that honey bees just buzz around all day, "they do not do anything without a reason."
"We lose 30 percent of the honey bee population every year," she explains. "It is important for us to keep bees around, and even if you can't have bees in your yard, you can grow plants that are bee friendly. Every third bite of food you take off your plate, bees had something directly to do with it."
A passion for agriculture and a desire to attend a campus of the University of Minnesota brought Campbell to the U of M, Crookston. What made the Crookston campus the perfect fit for her was the size. "I wanted a small campus, but I still wanted a University of Minnesota degree," Campbell says.
Her dream would be to bring honey bees to campus because of the important role they play in pollination
and to create awareness of how very important they are to humans. Right now though, she is busy with classes and with preparation for the national competition but that won't deter this honey queen from generating buzz about her passion for bees.
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.
Contact: Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (firstname.lastname@example.org)