Graduates Celebrate At CAFES Senior Supper

For the 41st year, the Alumni Association of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences at UW-River Falls hosted a senior recognition event to celebrate the graduates.

The Senior Supper featured the traditional series of three speakers. Speaking on behalf of the alumni was Heidi Doering, ‘88, biological IPM consultant and technical sales representative with Koppert USA. Doering advised the seniors to be curious, noting how the field she currently works in didn’t exist when she was at UWRF.

Emma Nackers, an animal science-companion animal major from Land O’Lakes, represented the graduating seniors.

“Most of my biggest milestones during my time here at UWRF have been a result of what I like to call, ‘sticking my nose in a potential opportunity’,” Nackers said. She encouraged her peers to find ways to “stick your nose in potential opportunities” because it could lead to a place you never imagined.

The third speaker, on behalf of the faculty, was Brenda Boetel, an agricultural economics professor. She encouraged the seniors to “keep calm and carry on” through all that is to come whether it be the need to learn new skills, allow for new ideas, getting through a financial setback, or failing and improving.

In between the speakers, CAFES recognized the students graduating with Laude honors. These students maintained a minimum 3.7 GPA for their entire college career.

Two Seniors Earned Special Awards

Yihong Deng, a senior in food science and technology from River Falls, earned the Dr. Earl Hildebrand Memorial Award. This honors the graduating senior who best exemplifies a combination of scholastic achievement, extracurricular involvement, and leadership roles in CAFES.

Deng worked on a research project investigating biodegradable packaging material for food products, with support from the Dairy Innovation Hub. Deng also worked on smaller research projects, participated on intercollegiate evaluation teams, and in the Food Science Club. She has accepted an offer from Cornell University and will pursue her Ph.D. in food science in the fall.

(Left to right) Assistant Professor of Dairy Processing Grace Lewis, Yihong Deng, CAFES Dean Michael Orth.

The Seymour Junkman Award is for the graduating senior in 2023-24 with the highest GPA. It went to Amanda Stone, a dairy science major from Larsen. Stone graduated in December and is working at Olson Farms, Larsen. She was active in the Dairy Club and on the Dairy Judging Team during her time at UWRF.

Amanda Stone