December 2012 Archives

Aldo Leopold was a conservationist, forester, philosopher, educator, writer, and outdoor 
Jim as Leopold pointing.jpeg
enthusiast. Storyteller Jim Pfitzer (right) will bring Leopold to life on the stage of Kiehle Auditorium on Thursday, January 31, 2013, at 7 p.m. The performance titled "Aldo Leopold - A Standard of Change" is free and all are welcome. 

The one-man play, written by and starring storyteller Jim Pfitzer, is set during an evening in and around the famous Wisconsin Shack that inspired much of Leopold's writing, the performance explores the influences and challenges that led to the writing of the widely popular book A Sand County Almanac. 

As a U.S. forester, Leopold was instrumental in the creation of our first federally designated wilderness in the Gila National Forest. In 1935, he and his family initiated an ecological restoration experiment on a worn-out farm along the Wisconsin River outside of Baraboo, Wisconsin where they planted thousands of pine trees, and restored prairies. 

A little more than a year after his death in 1948, Leopold's collection of essays A Sand 
Leopold_Play.jpg
County Almanac was published and required reading for most wildlife management students across the country. With over two million copies sold, it is one of the most respected books about the environment ever published, and Leopold has come to be regarded by many as the most influential conservation thinker of the twentieth century as well as the father of the field of wildlife management. 

"When confronted with a modern conservation dilemma, those in the wildlife profession often ask, 'What would Aldo Do?' and there is generally a quote from Leopold's writings that nails it!" says Professor Dan Svedarsky, former president of The Wildlife Society. "Many of Leopold's writings are applicable to the sustainability movement as well."


Jim as Leopold Seated.jpeg
Best known for his nature-based personal tales told with a distinctly southern delivery, storyteller and native Chattanoogan Jim Pfitzer has been lauded a "true Tennessee treasure" and his work called "old fashioned and avant-garde at the same time." Pfitzer performs and teaches workshops from coast to coast. To learn more about Pfitzer and the performance, visit http://www.jimpfitzer.com. 

The event is sponsored by UMC Concerts & Lectures, UMC Natural Resources Club, and the Coca Cola Beverage Partnership Grant. 

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 26 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 39 concentrations on campus--as well as 10 degrees online--in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 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: Phil Baird, associate professor, Agriculture and Natural Resources, 218-281-8130 (pbaird@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

2012 marked the first year wildlife management students from the University of Minnesota, 
TWSAC-Portland-20121017-005.jpg
Crookston attended the annual meeting of The Wildlife Society, held this October at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Ore. Making the trip were Krista Kenyon and Austin Link. The annual meeting of wildlife managers, professors, students, and researchers is the premiere gathering of wildlife professionals in North America with several attendees from foreign countries as well. In addition to their own personal funds, students were aided with support from a special professional development fund established in 2011 by UMC benefactor, June Shaver. Shaver endowed the fund in honor of Dr. Dan Svedarsky, long-time wildlife professor at the University. 

Kenyon, a senior from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, notes, "I'm deeply grateful for the generosity of Ms. Shaver for without this support, this great trip would not have been possible. It was fascinating to attend the various presentations and meet wildlife researchers from the U.S. and Canada." Kenyon was also able to participate in a trapping techniques workshop which attracted several stares from passers-by as participants worked with traps on the Convention Center grounds. Austin Link, from Perham, Minn., was equally enthusiastic about the trip. "The opportunity was an invaluable part of my education and experience at the U of M, Crookston and is sure to benefit future students as well. These meetings expose students to a wealth of knowledge and the chance to meet future employers. I so appreciate the generosity and vision of those who make this opportunity possible." Link, a great-grandson of former North Dakota Governor, Art Link, graduated from the Crookston campus last spring and is attending graduate school at North Dakota State University where he is pursuing a master's degree in range management. 

To be considered for the professional travel stipend, students must be a junior or senior majoring in wildlife management and a member of both the U of M, Crookston student chapter of The Wildlife Society and at the national level. Link is the former president of the student chapter and Kenyon is the current president. Students must excel academically and display outstanding character and leadership. In addition, they must complete a 400-word essay on Aldo Leopold, the father of wildlife management and the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. 

Svedarsky is a former national president of The Wildlife Society (TWS). Associate Professor John Loegering is advisor to the UMC Student Chapter of TWS, past president of the Minnesota State Chapter, and current president of the 8-state, North Central Section of TWS. "It is a real eye and ear-opening experience for students to listen to authors of their text-books give presentations and meet well-known wildlife professionals from other universities and agencies," according to Loegering. Several U of M, Crookston alumni, who are presently in graduate school or working for agencies, were also in attendance. 

"I can't thank June Shaver enough for setting up this wonderful professional development fund for wildlife students," Svedarsky says. "The impact of budding professionals attending a national meeting like this is hard to measure; but June's support goes much beyond that, she endowed the Shaver Butterfly Garden in the Nature Nook on campus and numerous scholarships in honor of faculty and staff."

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 26 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 39 concentrations on campus--as well as 10 degrees online--in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 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, are Dan Svedarsky, Krista Kenyon, John Loegering, Austin Link. 

Contact: Dan Svedarsky, director, Center for Sustainability, 218-281-8129 (dsvedars@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

Wholesale Success with Produce Workshops

January 4, 2013 at Beltrami Electric Co-op, Bemidji

Join Atina Diffley, former co-owner of Gardens of Eagan and now official WholesaleSuccess trainer, for a day-long workshop devoted to learning about wholesale marketing and post-harvest handling of fruits and vegetables:  cleaning, cooling, packing, storage, transport, sanitation, and more!  Atina draws on her decades of experience in large-scale vegetable production and marketing to provide operators of produce farms of any size with useful, practical, profit-making guidance on how to achieve the highest quality produce for sale.

Workshop attendees will receive a free copy of Wholesale Success: A Farmer's Guide to Selling, Post-Harvest Handling, and Packing Produce, published by FamilyFarmed (www.familyfarmed.org).  Normally a $55 value, this 250+-page manual is newly updated, revised, and in its third printing. It includes more than 100 crop profiles with crop-specific information on harvesting, cooling, storing, and packaging according to industry standards.

Farmer-Buyer Networking will be part of the day's events, coordinated by Renewing the Countryside. Farmers and potential wholesale buyers will have an opportunity to meet each other, learn about each other's interests in locally grown produce, and exchange contact information. These sessions will take place during the last hour and a half at each location. Farmers and buyers who want to attend just the networking session may attend that session only for free.

Workshop co-sponsors and collaborators include the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, FamilyFarmed.org, Renewing the Countryside, Riverwalk Market Fair, Crow River Chapter of the Sustainable Farming Association, Minnesota Farmers Market Association, the Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, and University of Minnesota Extension; with funding support from the USDA Risk Management Agency and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant.

Cost to attend the workshop will be $15 per person; refreshments and lunch will be provided. An online registration form and workshop brochures are on the MISA website at www.misa.umn.edu.  You can also register with MISA by phone:  800-909-6472; or by email: misamail@umn.edu.  

For more information about these workshops, contact the MISA office, 800-909-6472 or misamail@umn.edu

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.  To file a complaint of discrimination, contact USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Civil Rights, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Washington, D.C., 02050-9410 or call  1-866-632-9992 Toll Free; or  1-800-877-8339 Federal Relay Service;  or  1-800-845-6136 (In Spanish); or 1-800 795-3272 between the hours of 8:30 am and 5:00 pm Eastern Standard Time; or (TDD) 720-2600. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Contact: MISA office, 800-909-6472 or misamail@umn.edu

2012_12-11_Poinsettia Class 4491.jpg
Hundreds of rooted poinsettia cuttings arrive in August at the University of Minnesota, Crookston in anticipation of another holiday season. Under the skill and coaxing of students involved in the commercial floriculture class, those cuttings develop into a beautiful poinsettia crop.

This year's poinsettias create a beautiful and colorful display with their showy "flowers" known as bracts and include varieties such as Winter Rose Early Red, Freedom Early Red, Polar Bear, Enduring Pink, Monet, Presitge Red, and Prestige Maroon (deep red bracts). With the sale of each Polar Bear cutting, Paul Ecke Ranch, the propagator, makes a donation to help save the polar bears. Winter Rose Early Red is unusual with its crinkly, curly leaves and bracts.

Members of the fall semester class include: Dan Brutlag, a junior majoring in horticulture from Wendell, Minn.; Ashlynn Hartung, a junior majoring in horticulture from Lindstrom, Minn.; Catlin Kersting, a junior majoring in horticulture from Cloquet, Minn.; Ethan Kojetin, a junior majoring in horticulture from Atwater, Minn.; Lexi Salonek, a sophomore majoring in horticulture from Montrose, Minn.; Mitchell Sledge, a junior majoring in horticulture from St. Louis Park, Minn.; and Tim Staudehar, a junior majoring in horticulture from Hibbing, Minn.  

In October, students started the process of forcing the plants to induce bract color in time for the holiday season in October. Following a specific procedure to control the light, the students covered the plants with a dark cloth at 4 p.m. and uncovered them at 8 a.m. each day to regulate the length of daylight the plants receive. The students are responsible for greenhouse chores on the weekends as well. Although the class is taught by Sue Jacobson, the crop is in the hands of the students. The work and production of the poinsettia crop is entirely the responsibility of the class.  Jacobson says, "It's better to learn expensive lessons in school than at your job.  We don't fire the students."

The Agriculture and Natural Resources Department offers commercial floriculture as part of the horticulture program to teach students to produce quality plants for a specific date - a skill necessary for employment in a greenhouse or garden center. "Poinsettias form their colored bracts, when the light is regulated," explains Jacobson. "The poinsettia really doesn't have a blossom like most flowers. Instead, the colorful red, pink, or white petals are modified leaves known as bracts. The blossoms are actually the small yellowish clusters in the center."

Jacobson often allows problems to develop to see how the students will solve them--something they would have to do in an employment situation and giving them an opportunity to apply what they have learned. The class demands hard work, dedication, and a strong team effort to grow the best poinsettias. Leadership and responsibility are two of the qualities that develop in this type of teaching and learning environment.

"Students learn so much from applying their classroom learning to real-world experience," Jacobson explains. "By taking responsibility for the crop, the students are accountable for the outcome making the commercial floriculture class one of the most memorable for the students." The class is excellent training for a career in horticulture, a multi-billion dollar industry in the U.S. 

To learn more about the horticulture program with emphases in environmental landscaping, production horticulture or urban forestry, visit www.UMCrookston.edu/academics.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 26 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 39 concentrations on campus--as well as 10 degrees online--in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 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, back row, l to r: Ethan Kojetin, Tim Staudehar, and Mitchell Sledge
Front row: Ashlynn Hartung, Lexi Salonek, Catlin Kersting and Sue Jacobson, instructor.

Contact: Sue Jacobson, horticulture instructor, 218-281-8118 (sjacobso@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

The national crops judging contests have a long and celebrated history. The University of 
Crops Team 2012.jpg
Minnesota, Crookston Collegiate Crops Teams have been a part of that history since 1967, and this year, the team from the Crookston campus placed second in both national competitions held in November in Kansas City, Mo., and Chicago, Ill. The 2012 team consisted of three agronomy majors including Dan Grefsrud, a senior from Hawley, Minn.; Travis Lund, a senior from Brandon, Minn.; and Missy Geiszler, a junior from Mayer, Minn. 

The team was coached by agronomy instructor Rob Proulx, assisted by Matthew Green, a senior from Greenbush, Minn., who is a triple major in agronomy, agricultural systems management, and agricultural business. Green was a member of the 2011 Collegiate Crops Judging Team from the U of M, Crookston.

In the Kansas City Crops Contest held November 13, each team member earned scores of 95% or above in seed analysis which qualified them each for All-American Recognition. Lund finished in second place in grain grading, tied for second place in seed analysis, and finished in fourth place in plant and seed identification, giving him a second place finish overall. Geiszler finished second in plant and seed identification, fourth in seed analysis, and sixth in grain grading, giving her a fifth place finish overall. Grefsrud tied for second with Lund in seed analysis and finished seventh in grain grading and sixth in plant and seed identification, leading to a sixth place finish overall. 

In the Chicago Crops Contest held November 17, All-American Recognition (scoring 95% or above) was earned by Lund in grain grading, seed analysis, and plant and seed identification; Geiszler in seed analysis and plant and seed identification, and Grefsrud in seed analysis. Lund finished first in seed analysis, third in plant and seed identification, and fifth in grain grading, giving him a third-place finish overall. Geiszler finished fourth overall, with fourth place finishes in grain grading and plant and seed identification and a third place finish in seed analysis. Grefsrud finished sixth overall, tying for second place in seed analysis, finishing seventh in grain grading, and finishing eighth in plant and seed identification. 

Both second place finishes by the U of M, Crookston team came just behind first-place Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan., and ahead of Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Okla., who placed third. Other top finishers were Purdue University; University of Wisconsin, Platteville; South Dakota State University; Australian National Team; Fort Hays State University; and Cloud County Community College. 

Background
The crops contests integrate a student's knowledge of agronomy into three categories: seed analysis, grain grading and crop and weed identification. The Kansas City and Chicago contests represent the national finals of collegiate crops competition for the year. Preparation for crops contests teaches evaluation of crops for quality relative to certification, viability, and marketing. 

The first Collegiate Crops Contest was held in 1923 and in Kansas City in 1929. Collectively in the 89 years of competition, 163 crops contests have taken place. Teams from the U of M, Crookston have competed in the crops contests for 45 years. They have finished in the top four more than 30 times and four times when the team fell out of the top four, the teams consisted of only two members rather than the usual three-member team. Both times those teams placed sixth overall. To learn more about the contests, visit www.crops.org/students/contests. 

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 26 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 39 concentrations on campus--as well as 10 degrees online--in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 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: Second place Collegiate Crops Team at the 2012 Kansas City Crops Contest, left to right: Dan Grefsrud, Travis Lund, Missy Geiszler, Rob Proulx, and Matthew Green


Contact: Rob Proulx, instructor, agronomy, 218-281-8136 (prou0041@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

Pages