News Release

Ag Arama Royalty, True Grit Award Recipient Honored at 2018 Ag Arama

By Elizabeth Tollefson on
Monday, January 29, 2018

Royalty were crowned, students were recognized for achievement, and alumni gathered for the 43rd Annual Ag Arama at the University Teaching and Outreach Center at the University of candidatesMinnesota Crookston on Saturday, January 27, 2018. This year's event was dedicated to Assistant Professor Paul Aakre and the theme for the day was "Never Going Outta Style.”

Royalty are chosen through a process that includes an interview, an essay, showmanship, and a vote by students. The candidates are chosen by faculty for the recognition and compete for prince and princess as well as king and queen. The 2018 Ag Arama Royalty included the following:

Ben Koisti, a junior majoring in golf and turf management from Arlington, S.D.; Chris Huffman, a senior double major in agronomy and agricultural business from Crookston, Minn.; Derek Pratt, a junior majoring in animal science from Clarissa, Minn.; King Logan Milligan, a senior majoring in agricultural business from New York Mills, Minn.; Prince Paul Hendrickx, a freshman majoring in agricultural education from Menahga, Minn.; Sawyer Anderson, a sophomore majoring in agronomy from Alexandria, Minn.; Shawn Wegman, a sophomore majoring in natural resources from St. Charles, Minn.; and Peter Hendrickx, a sophomore majoring in agricultural education from Menahga, Minn. ashley rohr

Hanna Ruckheim, a junior majoring in agricultural education from Parkers Prairie, Minn.; Emma Bliss, a junior animal science major from Nevis, Minn.; Whitney Fenna, a sophomore majoring in agricultural business from Foley, Minn.; Kaylan Risacher,  a senior majoring in animal science from Wright, Minn.; Queen Ashley Rohr, a senior agronomy major from Long Prairie, Minn.; Princess Amber Johnson, a sophomore communication major whitney hennafrom Sebeka, Minn.; Adrianna Tiede, a sophomore undeclared major from Le Center, Minn.; Myla Lewis, a freshman agricultural education major from Lake Park, Minn.; and Eryn Provencial, a double major in agricultural systems management and animal science from Westminster, Mass.

True Grit Award went to Ashley Rohr (photo, above right). The award is dedicated in memory of Todd Opsahl, a student in 1973-74.  Most of the students and faculty around Todd did not know that he was suffering from terminal leukemia, a disease that took his life shortly after he left college. In his remembrance, the True Grit Award is presented annually to the student who best demonstrated the spirit of Todd Opsahl in active participation and in encouraging others to participate.

 Round Robin Showmanship recognition went to Whitney Fenna (photo, above left). This contest takes all the first place winners in each of the showmanship contests and brings them together to compete. The overall winner receives the Animal Sweepstakes Trophy which this year went to Fenna. 

The University of Minnesota Crookston now delivers 34 bachelor's degree programs, 22 minors, and 40 areas of emphasis on campus as well as 14 degree programs entirely online.  These degrees are offered 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 more than 20 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

In photo, top, left, are:

Back row, left to right: Ben Koisti, Chris Huffman, Derek Pratt, Logan Milligan, Paul Hendrickx, Sawyer Anderson, Shawn Wegman, and Peter Hendrickx.

Front row: Hanna Ruckheim, Emma Bliss, Whitney Fenna, Kaylan Risacher, Ashley Rohr, Amber Johnson, Adrianna Tiede, Myla Lewis, Eryn Provencial.


Elizabeth Tollefson

University Relations