Ag Ed Undergraduate Student Spotlight: Patric Pehrson
When this semester comes to an end, Patric Pehrson will achieve a life goal of acquiring a degree to teach agriculture to upcoming generations. Pat has been at the University of Minnesota for two years working towards a degree in Agricultural Education. Throughout his life, Pat has been involved and very interested in the agriculture industry. He grew up on a dairy farm in southern Minnesota near the town of Saint Peter. He attended the University of Minnesota Waseca and received a degree in animal science. Upon graduating, he moved home to take over the family dairy operation. After selling the cows in 1992, Pat worked at the Saint Peter high school as a paraprofessional, but for the last eight years, he has worked in Nicollet County as a correctional officer.
One year, Pat was chaperoning an FFA chapter at the Minnesota State Fair. While he was standing in the AgStar Arena watching the sheep show, an agriculture teacher approached him and asked if he ever considered teaching agriculture. “I asked him why and he said, ‘Wherever I go, you always seem to be there too.’ It’s always amazing that someone can know what your passion is,” Pat said. Following that encounter, Pat enrolled at the University of Minnesota to pursue a degree in Agricultural Education. Ultimately Pat said, “Being involved with students in the local FFA chapter gave me the huge interest to become an agriculture teacher. I also had a lot of encouragement and support from the local ag advisor.”
“Back in the day,” Pat was involved in the animal science club and dairy club. His favorite class at the U of M was Animal Science. His experience in education goes back to 2000 when he was a paraprofessional. Working in that position for eight years, Pat also had the opportunity to participate actively in the Saint Peter school system as an assistant wrestling coach, varsity soccer coach, ninth grade baseball coach, and an adaptive bowling coach. He completed his agricultural education internships with the Saint Peter, Waseca, Forest Lake, and Nicollet High School agriculture programs. This spring, he will have concluded his Agricultural Education degree by student teaching at the United South Central High School in Wells, Minnesota.
Pat’s dream job is to have his very own building next to a school where he could teach agriculture in an innovative, hands-on approach. “It would be exciting to have a specific building in which I could teach meat cutting and processing, dairy processing (like making ice cream for school), agricultural mechanics in a big shop that could fit a combine, and having animals to teach animal digestion and management,” Pat said. His advice for new and current U of M students is to, “know what you want and believe in it; the rest will come naturally!”
Pat resides on his family farm with his wife of 25 years. Their oldest son, Luke, is a freshman at Bemidji State, and their twins, Jacob and Grace, are juniors at Saint Peter High School. Outside of agricultural education, his hobbies include fishing, woodworking, and spending time with his kids.
- Color: Navy Blue
- Song: “The Dance” by Garth Brooks
- Animal: Cow
- Movie: Miracle On Ice
- Book: “The Shack” by William P. Young
- Quote: “Working hard for something you don’t care about is called stress; working hard for something you love is called passion.”
- Food: Cheese
- Hobby: Woodworking and fishing