July 2013 Archives

Entrepreneurs and small business owners can receive valuable help through an opportunity offered by the Center for Rural Entrepreneurial Studies (CRES) at the University of Minnesota Crookston. CRES is seeking regional entrepreneurs and small business owners interested in forming a unique partnership that would include valuable consulting services by U of M Crookston students under the guidance of qualified faculty at no cost.
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Each semester, both spring and fall, CRES integrates projects into courses offered on campus. These projects become an integral part of the course curriculum and are designed to benefit small business owners and entrepreneurs while providing students with real-world business experiences. 

Applications for the program are accepted anytime; however, priority is given to applications received prior to the due dates. The 2013 fall semester application deadline is Friday, August 9 and the spring semester application deadline is Friday, November 30, 2013, Applicants will be notified about their participation in the program no later than August 20 for fall semester and December 10 for spring semester. 

All applications are screened by CRES and the projects that best fit the mission of CRES and enhance the learner outcomes for the course will be contacted for a follow-up meeting to determine guidelines, client expectations, and to review other relevant information regarding participation. 
For more information about the opportunity, contact Rachel Lundbohm, director of CRES at 218-281-8190 (rlundboh@umn.edu) or visit the CRES Web site at www.umccres.org. The CRES office is located in Dowell Hall 117 on the Crookston campus. 

Background
The Center for Rural Entrepreneurial Studies assists entrepreneurs in Northwestern Minnesota with the development and creation of their entrepreneurial enterprise. The services offered are based on the client's needs.

The mission of CRES is to encourage entrepreneurship through educational leadership, applied research, and insightful consulting. It engages the students, faculty, and research facilities of the University of Minnesota Crookston in order to stimulate the entrepreneurial culture and strengthen the economic vitality of northwest Minnesota.

Today the University of Minnesota Crookston delivers 28 bachelor's degree programs, 20 minors, and 39 concentrations on campus--as well as 11 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: Rachel Lundbohm, director, CRES, 218-281-8190 (rlundboh@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

Alumni from the Northwest School of Agriculture (NWSA) came back for their annual reunion 
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on Saturday, June 29, 2013, at the University of Minnesota Crookston. Recipients of the Top Aggie award were honored at the reunion during a noon luncheon held in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center. The award recognizes outstanding achievement by alumni over a lifetime, and is the highest award given by the Northwest School of Agriculture Alumni Association. 

The Top Aggies for 2013 are Lowell Hamrick '53, Warren, Minn.; Beulah (Stolaas) Vad '58, Oklee, Minn.; and Willie Huot '63, Grand Forks, N.D. 

Lowell Hamrick '53 learned to live away from home and take on responsibilities when he started at the Northwest School even though he was only thirteen years old. He would run a Grade A dairy barn and milk 75-80 Holstein cows. He was a member of the Pennington County Dairy Herd Improvement Association and spent several years as its president. 

He has held a number of offices as part of the Melo Lutheran Church where he has been a lifelong member. He is currently serving as president of the Church's Cemetery Board Association, and he has cared for the Melo Lutheran Cemetery for 45 years. 

Hamrick served on the Angus Elevator Board and has been a member of the Northwest School of Agriculture Alumni Association Board for six years. For twenty-three years he has been a director for the Vineland Huntsville Mutual Insurance Company of Climax, Minn., and was president of the board of directors for nine years. 

Beulah (Stolaas) Vad '58 was active in many activities when she attended the Northwest School from girl's glee club to leadership camp.  She has worked as a ceramics teacher for twenty years and as a professional seamstress for twelve years. Her skills as a seamstress she can trace back to learning sewing under the great teachers at the NWSA.

Vad served as state fire warden for fifteen years and has been on the Thrivent Financial Board for ten. She has also been an active member of the Northwest School of Agriculture Alumni Association Board and assisted with reunions and other board activities. 

As a housewife and mother, Vad has been a teacher for both Sunday school and vacation bible school along with a Brownie leader for community girls. She has volunteered her skills to make quilts and assemble medical kits for flood victims and Lutheran World Relief. Vad and her husband, Lester '54, opened their home to host two foreign exchange students from Brazil.  

Willie Huot '63 remembers his high school years as some of the best years of his life.  It broadened his knowledge in agriculture, increased his social skills, created lifelong friendships, and gave him the confidence he needed to pursue a career path he didn't think possible earlier in his life.

Completing a course in welding after he graduated from the Northwest School and working at a steel fabrication plant in Red Wing, Minn., allowed Huot to save enough money to go to college in 1967. After he completed his bachelor of science in forestry from the University of Minnesota, he spent 2 ½ years in the Peace Corps working in Morocco leading an effort to design a system of forest inventory in the Atlas Mountains. 

When he returned, Huot completed a master's degree in education and accepted a position in Ely, Minn., working at Vermillion Community College. From 1977-1990, he worked with the Montana State Extension Service, and then, accepted a similar position in Devils Lake, N.D. After two years in Devils Lake, he went to work as county agent in Grand Forks County where he continues to work. 

Active in Lion's Club, he received the Melvin Jones Fellow Award from the Grand Forks Lion's Club this past year. He is also active in his church, and has been a member of the Grand Forks Chamber of Commerce Agri Business Committee for 21 years. In his professional life, he is part of the National Association of County Agricultural Agents and served as president of the North Dakota Association in 2005. Since 2011, Huot has been the national chairperson for the NACAA Agricultural Economics Professional Improvement Committee. 

Background
The NWSA alumni reunion, first held in 1918, brings back alumni from the Northwest School of Agriculture, a residential high school located on what is now the University of Minnesota, Crookston campus. The NWSA opened its doors in 1906 and graduated its first class of 8 students in 1909. The campus educated students for 60 years, and during its last two years of operation, the campus transitioned to a two-year technical college, known as the University of Minnesota Crookston Technical Institute. In 1993, the campus transitioned again to offer baccalaureate degrees and became the first-ever laptop university in the nation. For more information, visit www.umcrookston.edu/alumni/nwsa. 

Today the University of Minnesota Crookston delivers 28 bachelor's degree programs, 20 minors, and 39 concentrations on campus--as well as 11 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 U of M Crookston Chancellor Fred Wood; Lowell Hamrick; Beulah Vad; Willie Huot; and Corby Kemmer, director of Alumni & Development.

Contact: Corby Kemmer, director, development and alumni relations, 218-281-8434, (ckemmer@umn.edu ); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

Support study abroad for students at the University of Minnesota Crookston and have your car washed at the same time. The UMC Study Abroad Club is having a car wash on Friday, July 26, 2013, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The car wash is on campus in parking lot A. Cost is $8 and all proceeds go to student funds for study abroad trips.

Today the University of Minnesota Crookston delivers 28 bachelor's degree programs, 20 minors, and 39 concentrations on campus--as well as 11 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: Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

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Even though Barbara J. Keinath has lived in the north Twin Cities metro area while pursuing a distinguished career at Metropolitan State University, her recent move to Crookston is proving to be a comfortable transition. Keinath, who began her duties as vice chancellor for academic affairs for the University of Minnesota Crookston on July 1, says, "I feel very much at home at UMC, thanks to the students, faculty, and staff. I'm excited to be part of the Crookston community. Crookston and the surrounding region remind me a lot of the area in Michigan where I grew up."

Keinath comes to the U of M Crookston as its new chief academic officer well prepared and eager to work with faculty, staff, students, and community members. She not only has strong teaching experience, having served as a professor of management, but she also has a wealth of administrative experience, having served as vice provost and dean of graduate studies at Metropolitan State University.  Additionally, she has experience working with online education, having served as director of online learning, also at Metro State.

"The area of online education is certainly a growing field in higher education, and the U of M Crookston has a reputation as a leader. I look forward to working with everyone on campus to further capitalize on and refine our strengths in this area," she says. "That said, I also know UMC has a very strong reputation for experiential, hands-on learning with its on-campus degree programs, and I look forward to that as well. In the end, it comes down to providing access to quality higher education for students--whether on-campus or online--and UMC has proven it does both quite well."

Keinath is no stranger to the University Minnesota system, as she holds a Ph.D. in educational administration with a focus on higher education and policy from the University of Minnesota. She also offers, "My son Brandon and his wife Molly are both graduates of the University of Minnesota Duluth."

Keinath earned her Master of Arts in college student personnel from Michigan State University, and a B.A. in German also from Michigan State. "I like to think I have a good understanding of the student affairs side of the equation as well as the academic side," she says, "and we know that when the two sides work together in tandem, the overall educational experience is strongest."

Keinath's husband Jim is city administrator of Circle Pines, Minn., where they've lived for the last 28 years. The two also have a lake cabin near Longville, Minnesota, where they enjoy spending weekends. "My hobbies and interests," she says, "include birding, gardening, reading, and sustainability and environmental issues."

"I couldn't wait to get started at UMC," says Keinath. "A rich history, strong academic programs, talented students, and dedicated faculty and staff mean a bright future. In the short time I've been here I can tell there is a wonderful feeling of community among the students, faculty, and staff here, and the campus is truly beautiful. I am pleased and humbled to become a part of it as vice chancellor for academic affairs."

Contact: Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director of communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu); Andrew Svec, director of communications, public relations, and marketing, 218-281-8438 (asvec@umn.edu)

Summer means going through a lot of hoops for Jenny DuBay, a senior from Apple Valley, Minn., majoring in natural 

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resources at the University of Minnesota Crookston. DuBay designed a series of floating vegetated mats out of hula-hoops and water noodles as part of an undergraduate research project that will assess phosphorus removal utilizing different plant species. 

Earlier in the spring, DuBay, under the guidance of Katy Smith, assistant professor in environmental sciences at the U of M Crookston, conducted a preliminary study assessing the ability of different plant species to remove phosphorus from the water they are growing in.  After the preliminary study a site was located that has significant run-off from agricultural land and farm animal waste. 

An earlier prototype of the mats led DuBay to her current design built on a hula-hoop frame and topped with burlap covered water noodles formed around the hoop. They have fabric across the opening and a screen around the top that allows the passage of water but keeps the plants contained. The mats are weighted with cement blocks to keep them positioned in the pond. 

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The mats are filled with plants including two of each kind and four replicates. The Lemma, a genus of free-floating aquatic plants from the duckweed family, doesn't need soil but the other mats contain peat as a growing media. Those mats include a fern, two different species of Rumex (Dock), and cattails. She planted the mats on Sunday, June 30, 2013, and is hoping to keep them there until the fall depending on the weather. The plan is to harvest the biomass in October. 

Contamination of surface and ground water is a serious environmental concern. Research has shown that floating vegetated mats can be used to grow biomass and remove nutrients from wastewater. Smith whose research interests include the use of plants to clean the environment, led the development of the environmental sciences program at the U of M Crookston and her work includes research on soil management practices to improve both soil quality and productivity. 

Funding for DuBay's project came from the University of Minnesota Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program and the Northwest Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnership. 


DuBay worked last summer for the shallow lakes project for the 

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Minnesota DNR and this summer is working banding ducks near Bemidji. 


Today the University of Minnesota Crookston delivers 28 bachelor's degree programs, 20 minors, and 39 concentrations on campus--as well as 11 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 photos: Students working on assembly of mats, at top, left to right, are Tucker Flaten, Gyaltzo Gurung, Jenny DuBay, and Andrea Ramponi.

Center, left: Tucker Flaten places the wire netting around the mat to be placed in the pond.

Bottom, right: A series of mats with the plants are held in place by cement blocks. The design of the mats is the work of  Senior Jenny DuBay. 




Contact: Katy Smith, assistant professor, environmental science, 218-281- 8262, (katys@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

Four free workshops, open to the public, will be held across Northwest Minnesota in July and August and will focus on making community and school gardens a success. The workshops were developed by the American Community Garden Association (ACGA). Workshops will be held on Wednesday, July 24 from 3-7 p.m. at the Thief River Falls Public Library; Saturday, July 27 from 10:30-2:30 p.m. at the Pelican Rapids Public Library; Tuesday, July 30 from 3-7 p.m. at the Rail River Folk School in Bemidji; and Thursday, August 1 from Noon-4 p.m. at the White Earth Tribal College in Mahnomen.  Preregistration is strongly encouraged to allow for discussion on important topics, and can be done at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Reg_Comm_Gardens.

Participants in the workshops will learn how to develop community building and organizational skills to make their gardens successful. The workshops are based off of a series of mini-grants, aimed at building and maintaining community and school gardens in Northwest Minnesota, and will be conducted by Abby Gold and Noelle Harden.

Gold and Harden attended a two-day workshop titled Growing Communities Workshop that was held last January in Fargo and was put on by the ACGA and supported by the Northwest Rural Sustainable Development Partnership (NWRSDP). The ideas that they learned from the workshop are the basis for these community workshops. Harden stated that they wanted to "take the best activities and boil them down into four hour workshops." The workshops will focus less on food and what variety to plant in the gardens, and focus more on community organization, networking, boards of directors, and fundraising work.

A major part of the workshops is networking with other gardeners and community-oriented people. The workshop that will be held in Bemidji on July 30 is in conjunction with Bemidji's Sustainable Tuesday group. Part of the reason for the collaboration, according to Harden, was the idea of "how to tap into the energy and creativity from high school students and get them involved in the gardens." Participants at each of the workshops will have the ability to meet and network with a variety of gardeners and community members. Gold noted that these workshops are a "rare opportunity" to learn new ideas to continue a successful push for community gardens.

For questions or more information, call 218-280-5253 or e-mail Noelle Harden at harde073@umn.edu.

The Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership (NWRSDP) serves the people in northwestern Minnesota as they experiment with innovative ideas, build and strengthen relationships and take practical steps into a hopeful future.  For more details see http://rsdp.umn.edu/northwest.

Contact: Noelle Harden at 218-280-5253 (harde073@umn.edu)

The University of Minnesota Crookston will hold its annual summer robotics camp Tuesday through Thursday, August 6 - 8, 2013.  The camp will be three days filled with educational fun intended for students between the ages  9 to 14.  

The cost of camp is $80 per person, however there is a $10 discount per participant from the same household.  Students should arrive at 8:45 a.m. for check-in at Evergreen Hall each day and be picked up at 4:30 p.m. from Evergreen Hall.  Students should bring a bag lunch for the first two days.  Lunch will be provided for participants on the third day.

Robotics camps at the U of M Crookston will teach 4th -8th graders about math, science, and technology associated with robotics.  It will be a fun and challenging experience for boys and girls interested in learning more about robots.  Students will work in teams to design, build, and program robots.  Each student will be issued a complete Lego MINDStorm Nxt 2.0 robotic kit and a laptop to be used during the camp. 

Each camp session is limited to 30 participants and robotics camp only happens once every year. For more information go to camp Web site or download the registration form.  For questions, contact Mark Gill at 218-281-8258. 

Today the University of Minnesota Crookston delivers 28 bachelor's degree programs, 20 minors, and 39 concentrations on campus--as well as 11 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: Mark Gill, lecturer, Math, Science, & Technology, 218-281-8258 (mgill@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

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