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BVU Junior Finds Winners in Ag Programs and Football

March 26, 2021 1:12pm

Cody Berens came to Buena Vista University intent on studying business education.

But something happened on the way to his bachelor’s degree.

“The ag program at BVU just took off,” says Berens. “The opportunities in agriculture were more suitable for me.”

Berens is now a junior majoring in ag business, one of three agriculture majors that have sprung to life at BVU. His twin brothers, freshmen Dylan and Lucas Berens, study ag business as well. All three sons of Becky and Jeff Berens were raised on the family farm west of Dunlap, a grain-and-livestock operation boasting cattle, chickens, corn, soybeans, and more.

Two of Berens’ favorite interests collide this week as it’s National Ag Week and, at 6 o’clock this evening (Friday), the BVU football team begins its spring season by hosting the first of three scrimmages as the Simpson Storm battle the Beavers on Peterson Field at J. Leslie Rollins Stadium.

Cody Berens plays defensive end for Coach Grant Mollring’s club. Dylan is also a member of the football team, while Lucas just concluded his freshman season as a member of the American Rivers Conference runner-up basketball team.

“I was recruited as a tight end, but Coach ‘Mo’ moved me to middle linebacker my freshman and sophomore seasons,” he says. “After my sophomore season, I was moved to defensive end as the coaches liked what I was doing for our scout team in practice.”

The position change suits Berens, who played defensive end in high school. The former Boyer Valley Bulldog logged a career-high eight tackles in a BVU victory over Luther to conclude the 2019 campaign.

Berens says he’ll use spring scrimmages to fine-tune his approach while helping younger members of the team prepare for true tests next fall as the official 2021 football season commences.

“Our competition this spring will really be helpful as our freshmen get ready to be key contributors in the fall,” he says.

When he’s not working or studying game film, Berens can be found in class or at BVU’s Agricultural Experiment Station on Storm Lake’s northern edge. The diversified farm, owned and operated by Mike and Dana Christen, became Berens’ go-to spot at BVU even before it officially became a part of campus in the summer of 2020.

“I’ve worked with Mike Christen (BVU Land Unit Manager) for two years,” Berens says. “Nicole Lange, a classmate of mine at BVU shows cattle and she knew I wanted to work on a farm near Storm Lake, rather than having a job in town. She introduced me to Mike, and it’s worked out great.”

Berens feeds cattle, bales hay, and has helped vaccinate cattle, deliver calves, and more.

“It is so cool that BVU actually has a working farm where students like me can get more experience,” Berens says. “We have great professors in the ag program, like Landon Sullivan (Instructor of Animal Science), Dr. Geoffrey Ecker (Assistant Professor of Agronomy), Kevin Price (Instructor of Management and Agricultural Business), and Jennifer Hecht (Assistant Professor of Accounting). Plus, Rich Crow (Director of the BVU Institute for Agriculture) is working to get the BVU Ag Club going.

“Being able to apply what we’re learning in class to a working farm helps everything stick with me,” Berens says. “It will all help me as I look toward a career in agriculture, which I’m passionate about.”