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UW-River Falls CAFES awards scholarships and recognizes outstanding service

Kasten family members with the first Diane Kasten Memorial Scholarship recipient. From left: Jeff Kasten, Kate Kasten, Jennifer Fischer (recipient) and Lauren Kasten. Submitted photo

Submitted by UW-River Falls

Students, family members, donors, faculty and staff gathered April 18 at Kilkarney Hills Golf Club for the 53rd annual Scholarship and Awards Banquet hosted by the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES) at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Over the course of the evening, 177 scholarships totaling $187,000 were awarded to continuing students for the 2019-20 academic year.

Two new scholarships were among those awarded this year:

• The Diane Kasten Memorial Scholarship. Diane was the wife of Larry Kasten, emeritus professor of animal science. Long-time friends and colleagues of the Kastens, Philip and Judy George, established this scholarship to honor Diane's dedication to students in the animal science —equine emphasis program.

• The Environmental Studies Opportunity Scholarships. These scholarships were established for students working toward achieving positive advancements in the management of natural resources. The donor wishes to remain anonymous.

Bob Salonek, president of Value Implement, was presented with the 2019 CAFES Outstanding Service Award. Dean Olson, associate dean of CAFES and professor of agricultural engineering, nominated Salonek for the award. In 2009, Case IH signed a long-term partnership agreement designed to provide UW-River Falls with the latest Case IH farm equipment and technology. Since then, Salonek and Value Implement have worked closely with CAFES faculty and staff to provide tractors, loaders, combines, planters, tillage equipment, windrowers, mowers and conditioners, forage harvesters, balers and Advanced Farming Systems (AFS) technology for precision farming. UWRF students have benefited tremendously from having hands-on access to state-of-the-art equipment, valued in the millions of dollars, for use in their laboratory classes. At the laboratory farms, the equipment has improved operations, increased efficiency and safety and supported the university's aging fleet of farm machinery.

"Much of the actual work of implementing the Case IH partnership falls on our local dealership," Joe Shakal, professor and chair of the agricultural engineering technology department, said. "This is where Bob and his team at multiple Value Implement locations stepped in and took the initiative to make the partnership truly effective and beneficial for UWRF. And his approach has always been how can we make the partnership better?"

For more information, email laura.walsh@uwrf.edu or call 715-425-3535.

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