He says it's what he daydreams of when he looks out the window.
At any given moment, Junior Jordan DeBoer could be standing on the spot where his great grandmother, alumna Una Briden DeBoer 1922, stood 96 years ago. DeBoer transferred to the University of Minnesota Crookston in the fall of 2017—exactly 100 years after his great grandfather, Veral Gibbons, came to the school in 1917.
His family’s legacy on the campus spans the Northwest School of Agriculture (1906-68) the University of Minnesota Crookston Technical College (1966-93), and the University of Minnesota Crookston. Deeply rooted in farming, his love for agriculture is obvious from the moment you meet DeBoer.
“There is a story about the artist Terry Redlin being known for staring out the window daydreaming about the great outdoors,” DeBoer says. “It earned him the nickname ‘Windows Redlin.’ I do the same thing, only I daydream about being in the field.”
This passion for agriculture knows no bounds. DeBoer enjoys every aspect it seems and its influence is evident in his decision to major in agricultural communications at the U of M Crookston.
An opportunity to job shadow at Red River Farm Network (RRFN) last winter, encouraged by speech instructor Jacob Bell, led to an internship at the radio network this summer and a chance to visit with farmers across the region.
“The best part of my internship was talking with farmers,” DeBoer says. “It also gave me a chance to try my hand at broadcasting.”
His interest started with a book by Orion Samuelson entitled You Can’t Dream Big Enough. A broadcast script is included in the book. “I wondered when I was reading the script what it would sound like if I recorded it, so I tried,” he says. “After listening to my recording, I wondered if I might have a voice that worked for radio.” It certainly seems to be the case and that idea came as a surprise to him.
“I didn’t particularly like public speaking in high school,” he recalls. “But, it turned out to be one of my favorite classes in college. I never would have expected that.”
His summer gave him several opportunities to share with listeners about the new major at the University of Minnesota Crookston in agricultural communication and interviews with faculty and Chancellor Mary Holz-Clause that aired on the network. It also brought him back to campus to cover FFA INTENSE, a college and career exploratory experience for high school students.
When he has the chance the work on the farm he most enjoys digging ground in the fall and running the rotobeater during sugarbeet harvest.
DeBoer likes to think about the generations who came before him who farmed the land. “It is farmers who make the Red River Valley what it is,” he says.
He isn’t sure what the future holds for him whether it takes him back to a life that is focused in agriculture or perhaps on to the seminary.
His agricultural communication degree will prepare him well for whatever he chooses to do.
His final years at the U of M Crookston will have him considering his options, but one thing is sure, he will carry his love for agriculture with him regardless.
And, it will keep bringing him back home to family and to the land he has come to care so deeply about.