Ribbon-cutting opens two new Land O’Lakes spaces on campus

Thursday, December 8, 2016 - 9:30am

L-R: Kathy Schmidlkofer (UMF CEO), Lydia Botham (VP, Community Relations), Chris Policinski (CEO), Brian Buhr (CFANS dean), Jim Bradeen (Plant Pathology professor)

L-R: Peter Janzen (General Counsel, CAO), Jim Bradeen (Plant Pathology professor), Lydia Botham (VP, Community Relations), Kathy Schmidlkofer (UMF CEO), Chris Policinski (CEO), Brian Buhr (CFANS dean)

Land O'Lakes Collaboration Center in Borlaug Hall

Land O’Lakes Active Learning Classroom in Ruttan Hall

Noah Holm (CFANS academic technologist) and Donald Liu (Professor, MN Council on Economic Education) are hosts in the Land O'Lakes Active Learning Classroom.

Past and present interns and scholarship recipients were special guests. Front row, L-R: Ariel Garsow, Blake Schweiner, Rebecca Steen, Megan Schossow, Heather Franke, Anna Wolner, Anna Aukes. Back row, L-R: Chris Policinski (CEO), Brian Buhr (CFANS dean), Nicholas Roth

Chris Policinski (CEO) and Brian Buhr toast (CFANS dean) toast the Land O'Lakes-University partnership

Thanks to funding from Land O’Lakes, two newly-renovated spaces on the St. Paul campus were opened at a festive ribbon-cutting ceremony on December 2. They feature new technology and spaces that foster collaborative work and learning for students and faculty in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS)—an important source of talent for the company.

The Land O’Lakes Collaboration Center in Borlaug Hall was transformed from an outdated library into a modern collaborative work space. It will be used by Plant Pathology for both undergraduate and graduate student groups, events, and projects that promote teamwork and collaboration.  

The Land O’Lakes Active Learning Classroom in Ruttan Hall enhances how CFANS departments work together and connect with outside groups. It will be a high-tech hub of activity for the Dept. of Applied Economics, especially for Prof. Mike Boland, who leads the Food Industry Center. Students in Agricultural Education, Communication and Marketing courses will use it as well.

At the ribbon-cutting event, CFANS Dean Brian Buhr described how the college and Land O’Lakes are building on Norman Borlaug’s great legacy, and Land O’Lakes CEO Chris Policinski recognized the dynamic partnership between the two organizations. U of M Foundation CEO Kathy Schmidlkofer thanked Land O’Lakes for its strategic partnership and praised Policinski’s engagement with the U of M, including his contributions as a U of M Foundation Trustee.

Among the special guests were current and former Land O’Lakes Scholars, as well as current Global Food Challenge interns. Megan Schossow, ‘16 B.S. Plant Science, drove nearly three hours to attend the event. “The influence Land O' Lakes has had on my college career is tremendous,” said Schossow, who works at ProVision Partners Cooperative in Auburndale, Wisconsin. “Being able to remain active and involved with CFANS and Land O'Lakes makes a drive from Wisconsin negligible. I felt honored to be included and hope to continue the relationship.”