A message from CAFES Dean Dale Gallenberg
To say 2020 has been and continues to be a very different year would be an understatement. And yet, though uncertainty lies ahead, CAFES will push on in its ongoing emphasis on offering the highest quality educational experiences for our students.

Following the end of Spring 2020, this Fall will see a number of the courses in programs in the College taught in an online, alternative format. This is the reality still with COVID-19 and managing concerns for the health of students, faculty and staff. We know many of our students chose UWRF because of the hands-on experiences they want to get in and out of the classroom. Our goal will be to offer as much on-campus engagement with students as possible but it certainly will look different than a year ago. Opportunities outside the classroom will be different as well. Campus events and activities will be restricted in size, with health and safety guidelines in place. All but essential University travel during the Fall semester at least is cancelled. Other modifications to campus operations will also be in place. Rest assured though, while the modes of interacting with students will be different, faculty and staff remain committed to maximizing that interaction, whether face-to-face or online, in a productive and safe environment.

At the same time we’re dealing with COVID-19, UWRF is facing some significant budget challenges. Prior to the pandemic, we knew Fall 2020 enrollments of new students – freshmen and transfer students – were likely to see a decrease from last year. Though still a strong number, for the first time in 6 years the Fall 2019 new student total in CAFES did not exceed the previous year. Fall 2020 would likely see a similar result – strong numbers but down somewhat. The effects of COVID-19 and movement of more classes online are yet to be fully determined but we expect a smaller class of incoming students as well as perhaps continuing students. Combined with challenges in State revenues and budget challenges in the UW System, UWRF is in the position of needing to plan for a reduced budget in 2020-21 and into the near future. Short term decisions, including employee furloughs, have accounted for some one-time savings. Furloughs and additional one-time reductions will continue into the next year as well. CAFES and the other Colleges and units at UWRF are each developing scenarios for base budget reductions beginning in 2020-21, with an initial target of 10%. Fall enrollments will help inform additional decisions.

So, the year ahead is a challenging one to be sure. And while the full effects are still to be determined, one thing is certain: the faculty and staff in CAFES remain committed to working with our students to the greatest extent possible. We will do what it takes to maintain this core value that has been the basis of our mode of operation for so long. I hope next time we have a chance to visit here or via another medium or venue that we can all look back on our successes in spite of the increased challenges. In the meantime, thank you for your continued good thoughts and support.

Dale Gallenberg, Dean of CAFES
Spring CAFES Award Announcements
2020 spring graduate Paul Tietz (environmental science) was one of the recipients of the Chancellor’s Award for Students. Read more .
Our two awards for CAFES seniors include: Gabby Peterson - 2020 Rochelle Junkman Seymour Award and Virginia Lee - 2020 Dr. Earl Hildebrand Memorial Award for the Outstanding Senior in CAFES. Read more .
CAFES held a virtual scholarship announcement evening on Thursday, April 16. View all of the scholarship announcements in the following booklet.
The CAFES Outstanding Faculty was awarded to Professor David Zlesak. Read more.
Kristine Andrews is the 2020 Wisconsin Distinguished Agriculturalist. Kristine is the Associate Vice President for Federal Relations for the University of Wisconsin System. Read more.
Other CAFES News and Updates
Environmental Engineering was approved as a new program of study beginning fall 2020! Read more.
The Dairy Innovation Hub at UW-River Falls has announced funding for six faculty research fellowships. Read more. Follow the new Dairy Innovation Hub social media pages: Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.
If you wish to support our students during this uncertain time, we encourage you to donate to the UWRF Student Emergency Fund. Read more.
You're Invited - Virtual Alumni Gathering
Since our alumni events have been canceled for the foreseeable future, we hope you will join our virtual gathering open to all alumni of CAFES! Our alumni board members will host with updates from CAFES and good conversation. Join us Thursday, July 23 at 4 p.m. Please register online in advance to access to the meeting details.
Alumni Board Elections
Alumni Board elections were delayed this spring but will move forward by fall. Three of the nine Board positions are up for election. There are incumbents for two seats that may choose to run for re-election, the third is an open seat.  The deadline to apply is Monday August 3.  Apply online .
Stay Safe and Healthy!
UW-River Falls College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences | Website