Kirsten is from Bemidji, MN and trekked down to Morris, MN, to obtain her bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota, Morris. While working on her degree in environmental studies, Kirsten discovered the world of agriculture and has not looked back. Kirsten is pursuing a master’s degree in Animal Science under her advisor, Dr. Bradley Heins. She commutes from Morris to attend classes on the St. Paul campus. Her office is located at the University of Minnesota’s West Central Research and Outreach Center, where her passion for dairy first began. Her research focuses on targeting specific areas within dairy barns where electricity use can be reduced. The goal for this project is to help producers meet rising consumer demands of more sustainable food production and reduction of fossil energy use. Kirsten is also investigating nutritional aspects of pre-weaned organic dairy calves in an automatic calf feeding system. She is comparing the health, performance, and economics of calves raised on an organic milk replacer versus whole milk. In her spare time, Kirsten likes to spend time outside with her dog, paint and draw, and check out the brewery scene.