Alumni Association

Rural Development Leadership 

The Rural Development Leadership Scholarship is designed to encourage individuals to seek leadership training opportunities that would result in a strengthened rural Minnesota by providing funds to offset the cost of these training opportunities. Leadership education or training may include but is not limited to programs such as MARL – Minnesota Agriculture and Rural Leadership Program; The Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership; Leadership Programs in FFA or 4-H and other programs. These programs are only examples, all educational opportunities will be considered.

Scholarships Available 

Two $1,000.00 scholarships are available to a child, grandchild or great grandchild of an alumnus with a GPA of 3.0 and above, and who is pursuing a 2- or 4-year post secondary degree. The scholarship is available to any high school senior or graduate in first 4 years of college pursuing a two- or four-year degree. Questions can be directed to Deanne Nelson (507) 837-5629.  Application deadline is January 8, 2024. 

2023 Scholarship Recipients

  • Andrew Burns - Parents: Curt and Jackie Burns, Curt attended UMW 1989-1990 majoring in Agronomy Technology before continuing his education at the UM twin cities.   
  • Colby Brandt - Parents: Brian and Brenda (Pfarr) Brandt. Both graduates of UMW, Brian graduated in 1988 with a degree in Diversified Agriculture and Brenda graduated in 1992 with a degree in Childcare Services. 


The Alumni Association works to support agricultural education, career opportunities, personal growth and development for fellow alumni members and their communities. The Association provides scholarships, networking opportunities, and provides this newsletter to keep the members informed about the activities of the Association. It also is a forum for everyone to catch up on what our fellow members are doing in their careers.

Southern School of Agriculture (SSA)


The Southern School of Agriculture, a high school with grades 9 through 12, specialized in agriculture, business and homemaking, operated six months each in residence and in work experience. The talented and dedicated faculty, staff and nearly 1,000 students, continue to have a lasting impact in their communities.

University of Minnesota - Waseca


The University of Minnesota - Waseca, a two-year college, provided a unique blend of technical training and courses in arts and sciences. Students were prepared in agriculture and services to rural areas for career opportunities or for college transfer options. This nationally recognized college touched the lives of nearly 20,000 students. Their achievements attest to the commitment of the student-oriented faculty and staff of UMW.


The mission of the UMW/SSA Alumni Association is to help support ag education, career opportunities, and personal growth and development of the UMW/SSA alumni and their communities. The Association shall provide opportunities for members:

  • To support and recognize alumni who have become outstanding leaders in their communities.
  • To support ag education in their communities by providing assistance and services to ag programs (eg., 4-H, FFA, Extension).
  • To develop networking for further enhancement of career building and opportunities.
  • To support rural development.
  • To support outreach programs of the U of M Southern Research and Outreach Center, Waseca.
  • To develop and foster skills and talents related to becoming capable leaders and successful individuals.
  • To develop friendships and to find support within the Association.


The purpose of this Association shall be to encourage, foster, and support the SSA/UMW alumni, U of M Southern Research and Outreach Center, Waseca, and the career areas of our alumni.

If you are interested to carry on the tradition of UMW/SSA in a more active role, contact:

Deanne J. Nelson
University of Minnesota
Southern Research & Outreach Center
35838 120th Street
Waseca, MN 56093-4521
Phone: 507-835-3620
[email protected]

Mohr's dairy production is with brush on canvas

Published in The Land – December 9, 2022
Written by: Richard Siemers, The Land Correspondent