Dean And Beth Breier Buchholz
A fondness for all things equine and agriculture brought Dean and Beth Breier Buchholz to UW-River Falls in the late 1980s and that love has inspired them to keep giving back to their alma mater.
The pair graduated from UWRF in 1992, Beth in May with a degree in animal science with an equine emphasis and Dean in December with a degree in agricultural engineering technology. The university's equine program is initially what drew Beth to campus.
"A good friend had family that had attended UWRF and after learning about the horse program and a campus visit, I decided that was the place for me as well," said Beth. "My Dad used to tell people I was going to college to be a cowboy."
Dean hadn't planned to attend college, but after winning the FFA Ag Tech competition in farm management held at River Falls in 1988, he decided to enroll. After starting as an economics major, he found a better fit in agricultural engineering.
The couple met on campus while doing work study at the horse barn and moved to central Illinois shortly after graduation when Dean was hired by Morton Buildings. They currently reside in Dunlap, Ill., where both have built careers with Caterpillar. Dean started with the company in 1997 and is a senior engineering specialist, while Beth is the Global Filters buyer, joining the company in 2000.
The Buchholzes connection to both the university's equine and agriculture programs is reflected in their support of UWRF. They are members of the Chancellor's Circle and give annually in support of their majors. They have also included UW-River Falls in their estate plan.
"We both feel it is important to give back to UWRF considering we would not be where we are, or the people we are, if it wasn't for our time spent there," they said.
They also emphasized the importance of supporting the programs they graduated from.
"The UWRF equine program is such a unique part of the UW System and we believe it is important that it continues on to support and educate those that want to follow their horse passion. The ag engineering program is excellent for the individuals that have the drive to expand their technical knowledge and skills but also want it to remain applicable to the 'countryside.' We decided to include UWRF in our estate plan as a way to enable UWRF to continue to offer both of these unique majors," Beth said.
Dean and Beth recognize that they have benefitted from the unique offerings at UW-River Falls and are hopeful that others will as well for years to come. They are aware though that times and technology are ever-evolving. Their hope is that by giving back to their alma mater, they can ensure that students to come will be able to continue nurturing their interests in the agricultural engineering and equine programs.
"We hope our contributions will help UWRF to remain the ag school we remember it to be but enable it to grow and update," Dean said. "Things have changed so much since we've graduated, it's daunting to think of the advances that are around the corner and we hope that through our contributions we are helping in some small way to ensure that the equine program, agricultural engineering and UWRF will remain to educate others."