• Derek Anibas 2019 fall graduate
  • Marley Malkow 2019 fall graduate
  • Wesley Korum 2019 fall graduate
  • Aaron Rathke 2019 fall graduate

College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences

The Future Looks Bright: CAFES Graduates Spotlight

Learn about our current graduating students who have bright futures ahead of them in agriculture, business, engineering, conservation, animal science and more! These soon-to-be graduates of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences have all gone straight from commencement to career with jobs lined up while they were still completing their senior years. Click on each story to read more.

Aaron Rathke 2019 fall graduate
Aaron Rathke

Major: Agricultural Business
Minor: Animal Science
Company Adell Cooperative
Position: Sales/Nutritionist

Aaron's story

When Aaron transferred to UW-River Falls with a background in FFA, 4H and helping on his parents' hobby farm, he knew he wanted to be involved in agriculture. With that in mind, he majored in agricultural business, minored in animal science, and was involved in a host of activities outside the classroom, from the Beef Management Team and Block and Bridle to the Livestock and Carcass Evaluation Team.

These experiences and college connections has him set up after graduation. First he heads to Kansas as one of four interns across the country to help run all operations on the second largest angus ranch in the U.S., Gardiner Angus Ranch. He is one of the first student interns from a smaller, non-land grant university to join their roster of interns. Professor Acquimedes Reyes, faculty adviser to the Beef Management Team, encouraged Aaron to apply for this unique opportunity.

After this unique four-month internship, he returns for a career waiting just eight miles from his family home as Sales/Nutritionist for Adell Cooperative, a dealer of Hubbard Feeds. He met a representative of Hubbard Feeds at the CAFES Pre-Career Fair Social. They then talked about open position the next day at the Career Fair, and he was ultimately hired by Adell Cooperative.  

"I will be working in southeastern Wisconsin with producers, formulating rations that best fit their operation as well acquiring new operations in the area," says Aaron about his new position.

Aaron continues, "My courses at UWRF gave me the foundation I needed for the position. And my overall experience in college has deepened my drive and passion for agriculture. This is the industry I want to be a part of and the chance to do that right out of college is very exciting!"

Derek Anibas 2019 fall graduate
Derek Anibas

Major: Agricultural Engineering Technology
Company: Jennie-O Turkey Store
Position: Associate Maintenance Engineer

Derek's story

Agricultural engineering technology graduate Derek thought he would choose a career as a test engineer working with farm machinery. Living and working on his grandpa’s family farm, farming machinery and equipment were most familiar to him.

However, that changed after taking courses that expanded his perspective of what he could do with a degree in agricultural engineering technology. Courses like Applied Electricity and Machine Design provided Derek with problem solving techniques and introduced him to other engineering processes. But it was especially agricultural engineering technology professor Youngmi Kim’s food process engineering courses that guided Derek the most toward his new career.

The courses introduced him to the specific processing systems and engineering principles used in food processing while the lab sessions gave him hands-on experience with equipment he would see and use in the industry.

"I will be starting out as an associate maintenance engineer and one of my main responsibilities will be directing maintenance, modification, and installation of equipment in the plant," says Derek. "I will be tasked with assuring that all preventive maintenance schedules for assigned buildings, equipment and machinery are completed on time and as directed. Another responsibility will be minimizing plant delay by identifying problem areas and recommending corrective action to reduce and eliminate mechanical delay."

To current and future students, Derek encourages them to take a variety of courses to gain an understanding of what career they would like to get into.

“If you are interested in certain courses, go to the professor and talk to them about job opportunities," says Derek. "They might have contacts and connections which could be a foot in the door with a company."

Marley Malkow 2019 fall graduate
Marley Malkow

Major: Dairy Science
Minor: Agricultural Business
Company: Select Sires - Central Star
Position: Artificial Insemination (A.I.) Technician

Marley's story

From potential intern to part-time job to career, Marley has had many experiences with her now current employer Select Sires.

"I will doing relief work, covering for numerous techs ranging from as far east as Lancaster to as far west as Lake Geneva and from south to Warren, IL back to north of Dane," says Marley, "Although it can be a lot of travel, I like the change of pace and scenery I get on a day to day basis. The wide geographic range allows me to see and work with a wide variety of producers in the dairy state."
Originally she applied for the internship at East Central Select Sires. Out of nearly 100 applicants, she was one of six individuals chosen to interview. While Marley ended up not being chosen to receive the internship, she was offered and accepted a part-time position that she continued until graduation when she was offered a full-time one.
Marley was an extremely successful track and field athlete at UWRF from her freshman to junior years, earning athletic academic honors and a three times conference qualifier. Sadly her athletic career ended with a car accident, though her academic and professional experiences continued to remain strong and flourish. Throughout college, she worked on three different dairy farms, was a member of the UWRF Dairy Club and participated in the Dairy Judging Team.
Many of Marley's courses were extremely influential in preparing her for her career.

"Dr. Justin Luther's class Physiology of Reproduction may have been one of the hardest classes I took during my time at UWRF, however, the knowledge I learned from the class was so much more advanced than my peers from other colleges in the areas of bovine reproductive anatomy, endocrine system, and hormone synchronization," says Marley, "Dr. Luther's Advanced Bovine Reproduction course really cemented the skills and gave me the opportunity to practice and expand my knowledge in a classroom environment. Also Dr. Kelm's Principles of Breeding class helped me understand the heritability of different traits, which is crucial during sire selection in my job."

Coming from a small town with a high school graduating class of only 17, Marley chose UWRF over other bigger universities that she was accepted to because it allowed her to broaden her horizons while still being small enough to feel like home.

"I will be forever grateful for the relationship between myself and my professors," says Marley. "The last few years have had a lot of ups and downs. I'm thankful for my professors to not only be there for my education but support me and my dreams going forward."

Wesley Korum 2019 fall graduate
Wesley Korum

Major: Conservation and Environmental Planning
Company: Willow River Company
Position: Project Manager

Wesley's story

What started out as an internship for conservation and environmental planning graduate Wesley, has now turned into his career.

"Over the summer at Willow River Company, I completed many tasks leading a crew of landscapers," says Wesley. "We worked on projects such as paver patios to general landscaping around different houses. My responsibilities during my internship as a foreman included leading the crew and keeping everyone on track to meet our company goals."

After his internship was complete, Wesley was offered a full time position after graduation as a project manager for the company. He is excited to start right away the beginning of January 2020.

To Wesley, Willow River Company is like family and everyone is so easy to get along with and work with as a crew. He is ready to learn and grow within a very successful company and to see where the opportunity takes him.
"When looking back at my time here at UWRF, many of my classes were very closely related to my internship and future job," says Wesley. "Some of the classes that really stood out to me included soils, forestry and hydrology. I like seeing how what I learned in those classes relates to real life situations now in my career."

Contact Us

College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences
Fax 715-425-3785
210 Agricultural Science
611 S. 3rd St.
Facebook IconInstaGram Icon Twitter Icon Linked In Icon