News Release

Ag Arama Royalty Crowned at the U of M Crookston; True Grit Award Goes to Senior Desiree Severance of New York Mills, Minn.

By ltollefs on
Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Nearly 300 students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community residents attended the 35th Annual Ag Arama on Saturday, January 30, 2010. Contests in agronomy, animal science, horticulture, and natural resources highlight Ag Arama weekend. These contests serve as an opportunity for students in agriculture and natural resources degree programs to showcase their knowledge and skills and have a chance to interact with alumni and faculty members. Ag Arama is planned and operated by a committee of students advised by faculty members.

agarama_royalty.jpgAmong the awards presented, four students were selected as royalty.  A rigorous application process involving student achievement and interviews by a panel of judges helps determine who best reflects the goals and spirit of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department.  A student vote is also factored into the selection process.  The 2010 Ag Arama Royalty are Prince Leonard Will, Tulelake, Calif., a sophomore majoring in agricultural systems management; Princess Samantha Lahman, Parkers Prairie, Minn., a sophomore majoring in animal science; Queen Virginia Carrlson, New York Mills, Minn., a senior majoring in agricultural education and agricultural business; and King Thomas Haarstick, Vergas, Minn., a senior majoring in agricultural systems management.

Senior Desiree Severance, New York Mills, Minn., an animal science and agricultural
true_grit.jpg education major, earned the True Grit Award, presented annually to a student who best demonstrates active participation in student activities and encouragement of others to participate. The most coveted of all awards presented at Ag Arama the True Grit Award is dedicated to 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.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers more than 25 bachelor's degree programs and 50 concentrations, including several online degrees, in agriculture and natural resources; arts, humanities and social sciences; business; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,300 undergraduates, 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 the photo, top left (l to r): Prince Leonard Will, Princess Samantha Lahman, Queen Virginia Carrlson, and King Thomas Haarstick.

In the photo, bottom right (l to r); Ron Del Vecchio, Ph.D., head of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department and True Grit Award Winner Desiree Severance.