About the IRRA

By establishing and cultivating partnerships with regional businesses and

organizations, the IRRA aims to strengthen support for Agriculture, Food

and Natural Resources (AFNR) programs at Minnesota State University

Mankato. The IRRA assists in identifying applied research opportunities for

faculty and students. The IRRA assists in promoting AFNR programs to

potential students. The IRRA is a conduit for industry partners to

communicate regional workforce needs to the University in order to

prepare students for future career success.


In 2016, Minnesota State University applied for and was granted official

status as a Non-Land Grant Agricultural School. This was in response to

University Administration hearing from students and from regional industry

partners that wanted an “Ag Program” at MSUM.


The IRRA was launched in September of 2019 with the hiring of Jeremy

Geske as Director. Since it’s inception, the IRRA has been gathering input

from external partners and worked to establish an external advisory board.

The Director is charged with developing a strategic plan. In addition, the

Director has collaborated with several faculty on grant applications geared

towards strengthening AFNR programs at Minnesota State Mankato, as

well as efforts to promote these programs to prospective students.


Several faculty from multiple colleges who had an interest in Agriculture-related 

fields formed an AFNR Affinity group. This group meets periodically

to collaborate on research grant opportunities and to set the curriculum for

Agricultural Sciences majors and minors. In the Spring of 2020, the

College of Business began offering a minor in Agribusiness and Food

Innovation. In the Fall or 2020, the College of Science, Engineering and

Technology began offering a major and a minor in Agricultural Sciences.


Refer to the links tab for more information on these programs. MSUM has

added several new faculty with expertise in soil science and other AFNR