News Release

Three Honored at Torch & Shield Recognition

By Maggie Mills on
Friday, November 4, 2016

Two individuals and one association were honored with the Torch & Shield Award in late October during the annual recognition at the University of Minnesota Crookston. The three recipients for 2016 were Jim Cameron, Betty Younggren, and the UMC Faculty Women’s Association. Sierra T&S with Sierra TrostTrost, a senior double majoring in biology and health sciences from Ham Lake, Minn., spoke at the ceremony on behalf of student scholarship recipients. The Torch & Shield Award recognizes individuals and organizations who have provided leadership and who have aided in the development of the University of Minnesota Crookston, the Northwest Research and Outreach Center, and Extension.

The recipients for 2016 are distinguished for their many contributions:

Jim Cameron retired as research plot coordinator at the Northwest Research and Outreach Center (NWROC) in July 2015.  After what was supposed to be a 3-month summer job, Cameron worked more than 40 years for the NWROC. Born in Fisher, Minn., Cameron worked on the family farm in the summer and in the fall at American Crystal Sugar. In May 1968, he entered the U.S. Army and served with the 101st Air Borne Division Recon Unit in Viet Nam. After a critical injury and four months in the hospital, Cameron came back to the United States in 1969. Eventually he returned to the family farm and to work in the sugar beet fields until he was hired at the NWROC in April 1975.

Over the years, Cameron has been involved in countless research projects and worked with staff in the NWROC and the St. Paul campus, University of Minnesota Extension, North Dakota State University, and a number of undergraduate and graduate students. In 1991, he became the official weatherman, collecting temperatures, precipitation updating the weather book that dates back to the 1890s. Since retirement, Cameron finds himself back on the family farm helping his grandnephew with the cattle.

Betty Younggren serves as Kittson County Commissioner and has for 18 years. She attended the Minneapolis Vocational School of Practical Nursing and works as a licensed practical nurse and radiology technician at the Kittson Memorial Nursing Home in Hallock, Minn. Younggren has served for the past 8 years on the University of Minnesota Crookston Campus Advisory and Advancement Board and for 18 years on the Kittson County Extension Committee. She is a member of the Hallock Library Board and Book Club and also serves on the Kittson county ATV club, Friends of Lake Bronson State Park, and the North Red River Chapter of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association. Younggren and her husband, Jim, were named a Minnesota Farm Family of the Year in 2015, and the Younggrens were honored by the Red River Valley Development Association in 2015 for their many contributions and their leadership in the region. 

Faculty Women's AssociationUMC Faculty Women’s Association started with six women and ten children in 1966. Together this group of talented, dedicated women would create a legacy for the Crookston campus through their fundraising efforts and their support of campus activities.

A scholarship committee drafted criteria for the Faculty Women’s Club Scholarship and the first $150 scholarship was given at a tea at the home of First Lady Mil Sahlstrom, wife of Founding Provost Stanley Sahlstrom, to two young women, both graduates of the Class of 1969. From 1971 until the Sahlstrom’s retired in 1985, the women’s association hosted Faculty Frolics to raise money for scholarships.

The hilarious antics of faculty and staff filled the evening with fun and entertainment for the campus and the surrounding community while raising money to support students. With First Lady Mil Sahlstrom at the helm, the women's association had raised enough money to provide $10 ,000 in scholarships to U of M Crookston students. The legacy of the Faculty Women’s Association is their determined and devoted support for education and their passion for the Crookston campus.

The University of Minnesota Crookston now delivers 34 bachelor's degree programs, 22 minors, and 39 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 


Top, right photo, left to right: Betty Younggren, Jeannine Windels, Jim Cameron, and Sierra Trost

Bottom left: Members of the Faculty Women's Association recognized during Torch & Shield. The award was accepted by Jeannine Windels, second from the left, on behalf of the association. 


Elizabeth Tollefson

University Relations


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