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Bob Bruininks; "Bob," the calf; and Cliff Lamb

President Robert Bruininks, "Baby Bob" (a newborn calf) and Cliff Lamb take advantage of a photo opportunity at the U's North Central Research and Outreach Center in Grand Rapids.

Bruininks tours north central Minnesota

Oct. 24, 2006

President Bob Bruininks spent two days last week in north central Minnesota touring University facilities, meeting with citizens and community leaders and outlining his vision for the future of the University of Minnesota.

And while in Grand Rapids--at the University's North Central Research and Outreach Center (NCROC)--Bruininks received an unexpected honor, albeit one quite appropriate for the head of a land-grant university with deep roots in agriculture. He had a newborn calf named after him: Bob.

The president and his three-hour-old namesake even took a break from their routines to pose for a few pictures.

Bruininks toured the Reproductive Biotechnology Center at the NCROC. The NCROC hosts University beef cow-calf research on 240 acres of pasture, with a modern laboratory, housing and handling facilities for 250 head of cattle at two locations. The center's research program is a national model for using advanced levels of technology to improve reproductive management and efficiency in beef cattle.

The NCROC and the University of Minnesota Extension Service's Beef Team have coupled their knowledge and expertise to provide beef producers in Itasca and surrounding counties a wealth of research-based knowledge to assist them in their day-to-day management practices.

Later that day, Bruininks spoke at a lunch event to the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, joined by Anthony Baraga, chair of the U's Board of Regents. Bruininks outlined how the U is transforming itself to meet the needs of Minnesota in the 21st century, including how the institution is reaching out to the private sector through new and innovative avenues.

He also provided an update on new projects on campus and a recent survey of alumni impact on the state's economy. Following the chamber event, the President spent time with local community leaders and attended an alumni event hosted by the University of Minnesota Alumni Association.

The next morning, Oct. 20, Bruininks toured the Coleraine Minerals Research Center, part of the U's National Resources Research Institute. The Coleraine facility acts as a research and development lab for minerals research both in the University and in industry. The primary focus in the lab is on taconite ore operations and value-added iron focusing on nugget technologies, environmental remediation and waste rock by-products.

Bruininks was also a live in-studio guest on KAXE Radio Grand Rapids and toured the local University of Minnesota Extension office.

Last week's trip was part of a series of Bruininks visits to cities in greater Minnesota. Earlier this month Bruininks spent three days in northwest Minnesota, spending time both at Crookston and in the Fargo-Moorhead area. He will visit Rochester in November. The visits allow Bruininks to tour University facilities throughout the state and share his message about the future of the University and the importance of the University to all of Minnesota.

Further Reading "Technology and collaboration to advance Crookston campus vision," Oct. 18, 2006.