News Release

Westrom Recognized with Presidential Award of Merit

By Elizabeth Tollefson on
Thursday, July 19, 2018

The Minnesota Association of Agricultural Educators (MAAE) presented University of Minnesota Crookston Professor Lyle Westrom with the MAAE Presidential Award of Merit at their annual summer conference banquet on Wednesday, July 11, 2018. The award was presented by ADawn lyle westromNelson, agriculture instructor at Northland Community and Technical College and 1997 graduate of the U of M Crookston. The award is given in honor of someone with a lifetime of commitment and devoted support for Minnesota Agriculture and Agricultural Education. 

Westrom, a professor in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department at the University of Minnesota Crookston, began his career on February 1, 1989. He has taught more than twenty courses during his nearly 30-year tenure. He has taught primarily in the agricultural education and animal science areas and is currently on a phased retirement program until he completes his final month of teaching in May 2020. 

Outside the classroom, FFA and dairy judging have been particular areas of interest for Westrom.  He has coached over 40 dairy judging teams.  He advised the Collegiate FFA, has helped judge numerous parliamentary procedure career development events, and helped start the Sparsely Populated Agricultural Education Program. The Minnesota Alumni FFA inducted Westrom into the Minnesota Hall of Fame, the Minnesota FFA Association awarded Lyle with the Honorary State Degree, and the National FFA organization presented him with the Honorary American degree earlier in his career.

He was involved in the joint agricultural education program with University of Minnesota Twin Cities from 2000 until 2013.  In 2015, after approval from the University of Minnesota Board of Regents, he prepared program documentation to the Minnesota Board of Teaching.  The MN Board of Teaching approved the new agricultural education program in October of 2015. Classes started in spring of 2016 with the first three students graduating in May 2018. 

The University of Minnesota Crookston now delivers 35 bachelor's degree programs, 23 minors, and 40 areas of emphasis on campus as well as 16 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


Elizabeth Tollefson

University Relations