Spring 2017| Posse Chicago Quarterly


UW-Madison Scholars Succeed in Agricultural Sciences

​Abby Cantania

Debbie Machuca

Abby Cantania, a junior agricultural business management major, and Debbie Machuca, a freshman dairy sciences major, have both found their passion at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, a unique space for the two Scholars from Chicago.

Debbie currently serves as the vice president of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANNRS), and Abby previously served as its president. MANNRS promotes academic and professional advancement by empowering minorities in these fields of work and study.

Abby and Debbie each credit their Posse training and the network from MANNRS for their success in acquiring relevant summer internships. Abby has spent two summers interning for Deere & Company, which manufactures agricultural, construction and forestry machinery. This summer, she will be in Des Moines, Iowa, interning for DuPont Crop Protection.

Debbie currently works at Bucky’s Butchery, a retail shop and processing plant operated by undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin’s Meat Science and Muscle Biology Laboratory. She will venture to Nebraska this summer to intern for Monsanto. Although raised on the northwest side of Chicago, Debbie has found her passion in this work and would like to inspire more people from urban backgrounds to think about agricultural and meat sciences.

 “Most of the students in the lab and in my classes are from rural areas in Wisconsin," says Debbie. "I bring a unique perspective, coming from Chicago. I can see the big picture of the food industry and I think it’s very valuable for people from urban areas to think more about this industry.” 

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