News Release

Learning Collaboration Leads to Impressive Finish

By Elizabeth Tollefson on
Monday, February 13, 2017

What happens when you give students a real-life project that is hands-on and helps others? Professor Lyle Westrom's students teamed up with 2013 alumna Whitney (Lian) Rupprecht's FFA students from the Fertile Beltrami High School. High school and college students worked closely Lyle Westrom teachingtogether preparing the high school students for successful interviews that are taking most of them on to the state competition.

On Thursday, Feb 1, Rupprecht took a suburban full of her ag science students to the U of M Crookston to work with Westrom's agricultural education students.

"I thought this could be mutually beneficial for us both. The high school students gain experience and help on their SAE's and Proficiency Applications while the college students gain experience helping high school students,” says Westrom.

The agricultural education students worked one-on-one with the Fertile-Beltrami FFA members to learn more about the FFA applications.

Both Westrom and Rupprecht, a past student of Westrom’s, agree that hands-on, real-life projects have real impact.

"During my classes as an undergraduate, Professor Westrom also encouraged us to go out and job shadow, work with real students, and be hands-on,” says Rupprecht.

Interviews based off the students applications were held on Wednesday, Feb 8 at Mahnomen High School. Thanks to the help of the college students, the Fertile-Beltrami members placed in the top and most are advancing to state competition.

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 the photo: Professor Lyle Westrom talks to students. 


Elizabeth Tollefson

University Relations