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Ray Kruse grew up on a Brown Swiss dairy farm east of Dyersville. Growing up he was involved in 4-H raising horticultural crops for the county fair. After graduation from Western Dubuque High School, he attended Iowa State University focusing on soils in the Agronomy, Bachelor of Science program. He was accepted into the Iowa State University’s Horticulture Graduate Program with Dr. Ajay Nair after completing his bachelor’s degree. In graduate school he focused his studies on sustainable vegetable production using cover crop rotations. Continuing his interest in research he worked in a soil analysis lab studying nitrogen in soil. As of July this past summer he has joined his fiancé in Dyersville and started his current position as a Food System Coordinator with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in Dubuque County.