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U of M, Crookston SIFE Students Partner to Explore Alternative Energy and Sustainability Opportunities with the Red Lake Nation
May 28, 2009

Contact: Eric Burgess, business instructor, 218-281-8190 (; Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (

Representatives from the Red Lake Nation Indian Reservation visited the Crookston campus on May 22nd to participate in a video conference with  Lowell Rasmussen, vice chancellor for finance and facilities at the University of Minnesota Morris Campus.  The video conference was organized by Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) project leader Marshall Johnson.   Even though Johnson graduated this spring, he has pledged to remain active on this project until it can be transferred to a new SIFE project leader during the fall 2009 semester.  

Vice Chancellor Rasmussen and members of the Morris campus have been successful in securing federal funding to build a wind turbine that has significantly reduced their energy costs, and are assisting the UMC SIFE team in developing preliminary feasibility plans for a similar project.  The Morris campus is currently working on another project of their own to establish two more wind turbines in their region. 

Video conference participants included, SIFE Advisor Eric Burgess, Extension Educator Art Nash, the Economic Development Director for the Red Lake Nation Sam Strong, and two Red Lake Nation administrators who work with Strong.  The focus of the conference was to explore the feasibility for a joint wind energy project with the Red Lake Reservation and the Crookston campus. 

Members of the SIFE team are also planning to visit the Red Lake Nation later this month to begin the implementation of several recycling projects on the reservation.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers more than 25 applied-science undergraduate degree programs and 50 concentrations, including several online degrees, in agriculture; arts, humanities and social sciences; business; math, science and technology; and natural resources. To learn more, visit