Junior Caleb Rempel Growing his Options with Double Major in Agronomy and Horticulture
He enjoys growing plants now, but one day University of Minnesota Crookston Junior Caleb Rempel hopes to help future college students grow to their full potential.
The agronomy and horticulture double major has been involved in a number of projects on campus within his field of study. Last summer Rempel helped lay groundwork for ongoing hops research monitoring evaporation rates and mulch usage with the young hops.
Last fall, he was part of the U of M Crookston Collegiate Crops Team, which placed third at national contests in both Kansas City and Chicago. “The preparation for the crops contest is a lot of work and intense but very rewarding,” Rempel says. “l learned a lot and I enjoyed the competition.”
Rempel, who grew up in Mountain Lake, Minn., came to the Crookston campus influenced by his high school FFA advisor, Stephen Funk, a 2010 graduate of the U of M Crookston. Funk brought Rempel and his teammates to Crookston to compete during Ag and Natural Resources Activities Day. “I liked the campus,” Rempel says. “And, I really liked the relationship Stephen had with Professor Lyle Westrom. The smaller campus and the opportunity for building close relationships with faculty members really appealed to me.”
An honors student, Rempel is working on a rain water collection system for the campus garden for his senior project. He is currently in the planning stages and hopes the collection system will be up and running for use during the upcoming growing season. An earlier internship as the campus garden’s manager has given Rempel experience with the planting, maintaining, watering, and weeding of the garden, as well as, attending the weekly farmer’s market to sell the produce not used on campus.
“I love plants,” Rempel says. “I am double majoring to diversify my qualifications after I graduate, but I am focused on eventually earning a master’s degree and possibly a doctorate in plant science. Teaching at the college level is my long term goal.”
In early May, Rempel will be heading to France on a 2 ½ week study abroad experience in agriculture. The trip, under the direction of Harouna Maiga, head of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department, will take students to visit farming operations in France, something Rempel is looking forward to and another way he can add to his experience in the field.
His involvement on campus keeps Rempel busy as well. He serves as treasurer for the Crookston Student Association, as a senior community advisor in residential life, and works at the information desk in the student center. He is also a member of Crookston Students for Sustainable Development, and the horticulture, agronomy, and archery clubs.
His favorite class has probably been crop and weed identification. “The class is challenging,” Rempel says. “But, I enjoyed the challenge.” He also liked the introduction to horticulture class because it shows the way his two majors meld perfectly together.
“Watching your handiwork flourish is the thing I enjoy most about growing things,” Rempel says. “For me it all goes back to the plant and having it grow in the best way possible. That is what I find most rewarding about agriculture and horticulture, and it’s what I love to do.”
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 www.umcrookston.edu.