Note from Dean Buhr — Impact: Winter 2023

January 31, 2023

Greetings from CFANS! I hope your 2023 is off to a wonderful start. We wrapped up another successful fall semester and are entering spring semester this month with energy and enthusiasm after a restorative winter break. 

In this issue of Impact, our feature story takes you on a journey to the Cloquet Forestry Center (CFC) a 3,400-acre forest within the Fond du Lac Reservation, where a collaboration between the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the U of M is opening a new chapter by embracing the role of Indigenous fire in shaping the Center’s forests. Last May, with a number of other Tribal partners, they lit the first prescribed fire the forest had seen in 20 years. A longer version of the story and a video about the collaboration are available online at I encourage you to check out the footage, which includes interviews with Vern Northrop, an elder of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, and CFANS alumni and CFC forest manager Kyle Gill. It is an inspiring and moving piece. 

You’ll also meet alumni Mike and Geoff Graham, brothers who both received University of Minnesota Outstanding Achievement Awards for their revolutionary leadership in plant breeding this past fall. This is the highest honor the U of M bestows on its graduates, and is a testament to how a CFANS foundation truly prepares students to improve the world.

I think you’ll also enjoy hearing from CFANS freshman Grace Finnerty, who shares in her own words the rewarding experiences she had in 2022 at the Minnesota Youth and Global Youth Institutes. With committed and compassionate students like Grace, CFANS will continue to meet the world’s grand challenges and create a brighter future for generations to come. 

Thank you for being a part of that bright CFANS future, and enjoy these winter days that will soon turn to spring.

Brian Buhr.

Brian Buhr
Dean, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

Impact Winter 2023: Table of Contents