Junior Marta Dean Sets her Sights on Future in International Food Growth and Sustainability
She describes her dad as highly intellectual with great depth of character and her mother as brilliant, discerning, caring and empathetic. If that description is accurate, then, Junior Marta Dean is a unique combination of genetics with the addition of her own unique determination and tenacity.
The University of Minnesota Crookston agricultural business major is from Dellwood, Minn., and embraces her penchant for leadership. She is currently serving as the representative to the University of Minnesota Board of Regents from the Crookston Student Association. “I love the access it gives me to students and leaders from across the system,” she says.
“I have an opportunity as Regent's rep to sit on committees at the highest level of the University, and I do it because of what I can learn. It is preparing me for the future and I hope it results in some extraordinary letters of recommendation,” she says with a smile.
The future is something Dean has already been giving serious consideration. “After graduation, I would love to go to Texas A&M and earn a doctorate in agricultural leadership, education, and communications,” she explains. “I want to work in international food growth and sustainability and maybe someday even teach.”
Dean sets the bar high and settling isn’t an option. Her parents might take the credit for not only her abilities but her drive as well. Her dad, Matt Dean is a current candidate for the governor of Minnesota.
“He has been in politics since he was elected in the fall of 2004,” Dean says. “Last summer I had the privilege of working alongside him as an intern for his gubernatorial campaign. My official title was scheduling manager and working scheduled and planned events, liaised with activists, other legislators, staff, and helped with day-to-day office tasks.”
Working on a campaign for governor was fascinating and the largest of his campaigns for office. “I learned a lot of respect for my dad,” Dean reflects. “He is in the race because he wants to serve the people of Minnesota and he puts in hard hours without a lot of appreciation.”
Growing up in the city, Dean still managed to have some very strong agricultural influences in her life. Growing up with horses helped to deepen her love for agriculture. “Majoring in an industry as important to the world as agriculture seems to bode well for me and my desire to work in the field,” she says.
Plus, she describes the U of M Crookston as ag-positive and her advisor, Margot Rudstrom, who teaches in agricultural business, as top notch. “I think Margot could teach on any campus in the United States and be a stand out,” she says.
“I have to admit Margot’s classes sometimes short me on sleep, but her teaching style and what you learn in her classes is amazing,” she continues.
One of the most influential people in Dean’s life outside of her parents has been her horseback riding trainer who she says is an incredible motivating presence in her life.
Dean is happy with her decision to attend the U of M Crookston. “My dad actually influenced my college decision after he visited the campus on one of his visits with a legislative bonding tour several years ago,” Dean says.
"I visited campus several times before I made my decision, but this campus pushes me in a positive direction and that is one of the things I like most about being here.”
In the photo, right, center, Marta Dean with her father, Matt Dean during her internship in summer 2017.