Nurturing Legacies

May 13, 2021

“I had the best job in the world,” said Jean, as she reflected on her 34 years working with graduate students in the Department of Applied Economics and as Founder/Director of The Food Industry Center. “It was a great time to be a professor! I enjoyed the responsibility and independence. I had the opportunity to develop my passion at a place that was very good for me.” Jean’s passion centers around consumer food behaviors and public policies.

CFANS Professors and Directors Emeriti Jean Kinsey and Frank Busta

When she retired in 2010, finding that it was much harder to get funding for student research than it was earlier in her career, she decided to do something about it. “I wanted to give back, and I wanted to ensure this work continues.” She created the Jean Kinsey Graduate Fellowship to help students whose research focuses on the economics of consumer and food behaviors, the food supply chain, marketing, and public policies impact on health and wellbeing.

Of creating the fund, Jean fondly recalls, “I received support from faculty and corporate partners—even some former students contributed! With the 21st Century Graduate Match (an endowment through the University of Minnesota Foundation), it was too good of an opportunity to pass up.”

The most rewarding part about the fund for Jean is hearing from and meeting the students she’s helped and learning about their passions and aspirations related to food behaviors and policies. She continues to make yearly donations to the fund and has included it in her estate plan.

Frank retired in 2014 after a 33-year career at the University of Minnesota, where he served as professor and department head in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition and as Advisor and Director for the National Center for Food Protection and Defense.

His generosity also spans the decades as a member of the President’s Club. After his first wife, Beverly, died, he created a fund in CEHD in her memory and found the experience to be very rewarding, especially getting to know the students and knowing that Beverly’s memory and passion live on. It also made him consider what he’d like to do for CFANS, what he’d like his own legacy to be, and what he would like to nurture for future generations.

Food safety and defense is his passion, but, as Frank says, it’s not a highly visible field because, “If you’re doing a good job with food safety, no one knows about it. They only know if you’re not doing a good job.” Knowing the lack of recognition for this critical area, he decided to make plans in his estate to reward CFANS faculty working in food safety and defense—the Busta Faculty Award.

Though a future gift from his estate means he can't meet the recipients of it, it's satisfying for Frank to know that his gift will be appreciated in the future. He knows that his estate gift will reward the work that is so important to him and so critical for society.

As he looks back at his life, Frank reflects, “I’ve always been blessed, and that deserves giving back. I believe it is a good way to express appreciation for my many blessings. Besides, it feels good to give.”

Please visit Give to CFANS to learn more about how you can also nurture a legacy by giving now or establishing a future gift. And to learn how you could leverage a matching program to create a fund, as Jean did, visit the Bentson Challenge.