Pat Hagen, a wildlife management student and fall 2014 graduate of the University of Minnesota Crookston was recently honored by the Minnesota Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society at their annual meeting hosted by the Northwest Research and Outreach Center in Crookston. The Student Conservationist Award, consisting of a plaque and cash award, recognizes a student at a Minnesota college or university who is majoring in the conservation field.
“In my years of study I learned a lot about how to properly manage our natural resources, but one thing that is hard to teach is the view from the other side of the conservation picture. I was not raised on a farm, so I sought farm employment to learn more from the standpoint of those who make their living from the land,” Hagen says. “I was fortunate to get hired at Capistran Farms and Seed Company of Crookston where I’ve learned modern farming practices.
“I will use this information to help me make decisions in my future career along with information from my classes to mix the conservation of our natural lands with sustainable farming and production,” he continues. “I believe that if you know and care about the people you are working with they will trust and respect your opinions.”
Professor Dan Svedarsky, one of Hagen’s nominators, adds “It was a pleasure to have Pat in two of my classes since he excelled in using critical thinking skills in resource management in practical application to the working landscape. I wish all our natural resource students could have the experience of working on a modern and highly successful operation like that of Wayne Capistran and his son, Kevin. Wayne is a fourth generation farmer on his land and applies a wonderful stewardship ethic in managing the soil.”
For more information on natural resources at the U of M Crookston, visit www.umcrookston.edu/academics or call Svedarsky at 218-281-8129 or Leah Stroot at 218-281-8101.
In the photo, left to right, are Wayne Capistran, Pat Hagen, and Julie Reberg, president of Minnesota Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society.