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Growing up in Northeastern Wisconsin, our family never really had a reason to travel to (or through) Western Wisconsin. Reflecting back, I’m really glad that my high school Ag teachers/FFA advisors, Jenny Gracyalny (Nowak) and Terry Erdmann (both UWRF alumni), introduced me to the idea of attending UW-River Falls to study an agriculture-related major. It’s hard to imagine what it would be like to not have UW-River Falls (and agriculture) be a part of my life. I have lots of great memories of UW-River Falls. While it’s hard to point out one specifically, I found there are two common themes: starting great friendships with others who have a passion for agriculture and taking advantage of opportunities to prepare to work in the Ag marketing communications industry. In college I knew that UWRF had a strong reputation in the industry, but I didn’t realize how well known CAFES was until after I graduated.

I now appreciate the College’s industry connections, knowing these ties were influential on my own career in Ag marketing communications. Even as I’ve ventured into the field of education – I still credit my career path to my CAFES-related internship experiences and student organization involvement, such as Dairy Club, Ag Ed Society, Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow, and writing for the FencePost and the Student Voice.  As my husband (also a CAFES grad) and I continue to become more involved in our community, it has been fun to meet other CAFES grads who we didn’t know in college. There’s usually a shared fondness for the university and the experiences we had. Congratulations to the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Science on reaching its Centennial Anniversary!

– Submitted by Leslie Svacina (Shuler), Class of 2004