2020-2021 Renk Scholarship Recipients

Meet Our Scholars

Su Jung Bae

bae45@wisc.edu

Hometown: Seoul, South Korea
Major and Expected Graduation: Agricultural Applied Economics with a certificate in sustainability, May 2023
Internship Interests: Agribusiness, Food industry, Sustainability, marketing, NGOs, Research and Development
Professional Goals: To be a contributing member of the agricultural industry to solve hunger/poverty problems in the most efficient and sustainable way.
Short Bio: Growing up in Seoul, South Korea, I was provided very little exposure to the agriculture industry. However, since I was a child, I wanted to help others who are struggling from poverty and hunger. As I continue my education, I realized that agriculture is a key to solving this problem. Coming to UW-Madison, where it is known for the best education in agriculture, I found my interest in agricultural applied economics, especially in sustainability and global economic policies. Also, through volunteering at OpenSeat and becoming a member of Sigma Alpha, I was able to take one more step closer to my future career.

Brandon Biese

bdbiese@wisc.edu

Hometown: Chilton, WI
Major and Expected Graduation: Dairy Science, Certificate in Business Management for Agricultural & Life Sciences, Certificate in Entrepreneurship from Wisconsin School of Business, May 2021
Internship Interests: Calf & Heifer Care/Nutrition, Genetics
Professional Goals: Calf/Heifer Care Specialist
Short Bio: Growing up on my family’s 350 cow dairy farm in northeast Wisconsin, dairy cattle have played a major role in my life since day one. I’ve now taken that passion for the dairy industry and used it as fuel to achieve a collegiate degree. I’m currently a member of Alpha Gamma Rho-Iota, Badger Dairy Club, and the Collegiate Dairy Judging Team. Last summer I completed an internship at Milk Source Genetics LLC, and this summer (2020) I’ve accepted an internship at Alta Genetics working as a calf care specialist. Post-graduation I plan to work in the calf/heifer care side of the industry while slowly transitioning into a full-time role managing our farm’s calf/heifer program.

Timothy Davenport

tcdavenport@wisc.edu

Hometown: Farmington, CT
Major and Expected Graduation: Agricultural and Applied Economics, Microbiology, with certificates in Global Health and Biology Core Curriculum Honors, May 2022
Internship Interests: Sustainability, Globalization, E-commerce
Professional Goals: Promote global health through research and outreach.
Short Bio: Despite growing up in a town called Farmington, my experience with agriculture has been rather lackluster. It was not until I arrived at the University of Wisconsin Madison that the integral interplay of agribusiness and health care became self-evident. On-campus I have had the opportunity to investigate the effects of polyamines on monocot plant root growth through independent research at the Department of Genetics. Through the moments of personal growth I have had and hope to make during my Wisconsin experience, I look forward to when I can take purposeful action against the pressing issues of modern agribusiness. After graduation, I aspire to attend graduate school and pursue studies in global health with a focus on emerging economies. Some hobbies include hiking, reading, and playing The New York Times daily mini crossword.

Emily Franke

erfranke@wisc.edu

Hometown: Oakfield, WI
Major and Expected Graduation: Dairy Science and Life Sciences Communication, certificate in Agricultural Business Management, May 2021
Internship Interests: Marketing, Sales, Dairy Business
Professional Goals: Pursue a career in agricultural marketing or finance.
Short Bio: I grew up on my family’s 500-acre cash crop operation and loved showing animals every year at our county fair. I always knew I wanted a career in the agricultural industry, but it wasn’t until working on a neighbor’s dairy farm that I realized how much I love the dairy industry. Fast forward to today, I am currently majoring in Dairy Science and Life Sciences Communication with a certificate in Agricultural Business Management. On campus I am involved in the Association of Women in Agriculture, where I have served as the Vice President and Treasurer and Badger Dairy Club, where I serve as the Activities Coordinator. I am also active in Collegiate Farm Bureau and the National Agri-Marketing Association. This summer, I will be serving as the Sales and Marketing Specialist for Folk Song Farm and Mayer Farms Beef.

 

Emma Gwidt

egwidt@wisc.edu

Hometown: Pulaski, WI
Major and Expected Graduation: Dairy Science with a certificate in Agricultural Business Management, May 2021
Internship Interests: Dairy Genetics and Reproduction, Marketing
Professional Goals: Reproductive/Genetic consulting, Dairy management
Short Bio: Growing up on a small 120-cow dairy farm in Pulaski, Wisconsin, I developed a passion for agriculture and especially the dairy industry. Throughout high school, I was very involved in 4-H and FFA and dairy judging. Those experiences have extended into my college career where I am very involved in Badger Dairy Club, the Association of Women in Agriculture and Collegiate Farm Bureau. I have enjoyed my involvement in these organizations through serving as the AWA Service Coordinator and the World Dairy Expo Grilled Cheese Stand Co-Chair for Badger Dairy Club. In the summer of 2019, I was a rotational intern at STgenetics Ohio Heifer Center in South Charleston, Ohio and during the summer of 2020 I will be interning for ABS Global as a Genetic Services Intern in DeForest, WI.

Jiahang He

Jhe248@wisc.edu

Hometown: Harbin, China
Major and Expected Graduation: Agricultural & Applied Economics, Environmental Studies, and Japanese, May 2022
Internship Interests: Agricultural and Environmental Marketing, International Agricultural Trade, Environmental Conservation
Professional Goals: Pursue a MS or PhD, get a career as an international trade specialist in agriculture or environment related company
Short Bio: Growing up in Harbin, China, one of the biggest crop-producing areas in the world, I learned a lot about agriculture, and the environment from my grandparents who have been involving in crop production and agribusiness for their whole life. Since then, I have decided to learn more about agriculture and the environment in college. In my home country, I have been involved in research about aquatic ecology for two years. Right now, I am passing my passion toward the environment and agriculture from my hometown to UW-Madison. I am an active member of The Wildlife Society, and I am researching ponds macroinvertebrate diversity in Preston lab. For this summer, I will become a peer advisor and for this fall, I will join the CALS Ambassador team to introduce CALS to all incoming freshmen and encourage them to join this big family.

Jaden Henneman

jhenneman@wisc.edu

Hometown: Whitewater, WI
Major and Expected Graduation: Agricultural Business Management & Psychology with a certificate in Criminal Justice, May 2023
Internship Interests: Marketing, Event Planning, Client Relations & Communication
Professional Goals: Managing family’s dairy farm, Event Planner, Ag Outreach, Ag Educator
Short Bio: Having family ties to the dairy industry allowed me to find a passion in agriculture by growing up and working at my mom’s work, a dairy embryo transfer facility in Whitewater, Wisconsin. I knew that I always had a future in 4H and FFA, so I pursued my goal of being a leader in both clubs, along with others at my school. I continue on with this goal going into UW-Madison and hope to continue learning in the Association of Women in Agriculture, Badger Dairy Club, and Criminal Justice and Juvenile Student Association (CJJSA). I hope to pursue my professional goals by helping at World Dairy Expo this fall and by being treasurer for CJJSA.


Hannah Herbst

hlherbst2@wisc.edu

Hometown: Gratiot, Wisconsin
Major and Expected Graduation: Agricultural Business Management with a certificate in Educational Policy Studies, May 2022
Internship Interests: Marketing, Communications, Policy, Education
Professional Goals: Pursue a career in policy or the education of agriculture and agriculture related fields
Short Bio: Growing up in a rural town I have been surrounded by agriculture my entire life. I lived on a beef cattle farm and showed swine at the county fair. It was growing up that I realized I always wanted to play a role in the agricultural industry. I have decided to pursue a career in agricultural business management in order to expand my knowledge on agriculture, while working towards an educational policy studies certificate. I am currently a member of the Association of Women in Agriculture and I am a teaching assistant for a course here at UW-Madison.

 

Hunter Huschitt

hhuschitt@wisc.edu

Hometown: Monroe, WI
Major and Expected Graduation: Agriculture Business Management, May 2023
Internship Interests: Agriculture Business, Agriculture Finance, or Real Estate
Professional Goals: Agriculture Finance Professional or related career.
Short Bio: Although I did not grow up on a farm, my passion for agriculture was sparked when I raised pigs at my uncles for the county fair. This is a project I take pride in and continued through high school. Knowing I wanted to become further involved in agriculture, I joined FFA and took advantage of the many opportunities it had to offer, further growing my passion for agriculture. Outside of 4-H and FFA, I was involved in National Honors Society, Basketball, and several other clubs. Going into my sophomore year, pursuing a degree in Agriculture Business Management, I look forward in growing inside and outside of the classroom and exploring more of what the University of Wisconsin-Madison has to offer.

 

Maxwell Lawrence

mclawrence@wisc.edu

Hometown: Middleton, WI
Major and Expected Graduation: Agricultural Business Management
with certificate in Global Health, May 2021
Internship Interests: Sustainability, Commodity Markets, Renewable Energy, Research and Development, Economic Policy
Professional Goals: Grad School, Resource Analysis
Short Bio: Growing up in Middleton, Wisconsin provided very little exposure to the agriculture industry. However, working landscape for a few summers hinted an initial attraction towards land management and use. It wasn’t until I began my career at UW-Madison where I found my own exposure to agriculture through classes and work. My interest was sparked through Agricultural Economics and Commodity Markets, especially policies concerning trade and sustainability. Over the past summer, I had the opportunity to work through Silva Labs on campus doing research on Sustainable Production Systems with hopes of new doors being opened in the future.

Megan Lehr

melehr@wisc.edu

Hometown: Monticello, WI
Major and Expected Graduation: Agricultural Business Management, May 2021
Internship Interests: Agricultural Lending or Finance
Professional Goals: Marketing, Sales, or Finance
Short Bio: I am from Monticello, a small farming community south of Madison that fueled my passion for agriculture. As a middle school student, I joined FFA and gained valuable knowledge and leadership skills that led me to pursuing my degree at UW-Madison so that I can continue learning about agriculture and be involved in the agricultural industry. On campus I am actively involved in the Association of Women in Agriculture and the Agricultural Business Management Club. These student organizations allow me to further my own experiences and knowledge in the agriculture industry and have helped me grow though leadership, service, and professional activities.

Shanice Lim

lim74@wisc.edu

Hometown: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Major and Expected Graduation: Agricultural Business Management & Economics, December 2020
Internship Interests: Trading/(Agricultural) Banking/Finance/Business Management and any related jobs
Professional Goals: As of now, there is a chance that I will be doing M.S. Financial Economics or Healthcare Management. Regardless of what industry I ended up in, my career goal is to eventually be an influential, well-respected woman leader and keep on learning.
Short Bio: Unlike many other Renk Scholars, I did not grow up on a farm nor have I worked on a farm. It was a bit of exploring before I decided to major in something along the line of business or economics and what had finally made me set foot in ABM is, ironically, my lack of exposure to agriculture growing up a city girl. The unfamiliarity towards this industry catalysed my interest in understanding the art and science of producing human essentials like food, clothing, and energy (biofuel). I transferred here in Spring 2019 and due to the work authorization policy I was prohibited to intern during the summer but this year, Summer 2020, I continue exploring my interests and will be interning as an Investment Banking analyst at Alpha Capital.

Josie Minz

jminz@wisc.edu

Hometown: Waukesha, WI
Major and Expected Graduation: Agricultural and Applied Economics – Environmental and Resource Economics Focus and a certificate in sustainability, May 2023
Internship Interests: Economics, Sustainability, Natural resource management, Agricultural or Environmental Law
Professional Goals: To work as a Natural Resource Economist, Environmental or Agricultural Economist, Renewable energy analyst, or a Financial Analyst.
Short Bio: Growing up in Waukesha, Wisconsin I grew up appreciating agriculture and the outdoors through trips to family and friends farms, hiking trips, and years spent gardening in my backyard. I was taught to look for sustainable practices from a young age which is something that I have become extremely passionate about. At UW Madison I was able to implement this passion within my role of VP of operations of Enactus, a social entrepreneurship club that focuses on sustainable development goals. I am also involved in Women in Economics and work at the Makerspace here on campus, working with other bright-minded students towards innovation.

Dawson Nickels

dnickels@wisc.edu

Hometown: Watertown, WI
Major and Expected Graduation: Dairy Science with a certificate in Agricultural Business Management, May 2021
Internship Interests: Sales, Finance Professional Goals: Consulting, Sales
Professional Goals: Sales, Finance Professional Goals: Consulting, Sales
Short Bio: I grew up on a small-scale farmette on the outskirts of Watertown, WI. There my sister and I began our own business, boarding registered dairy show cattle. This was the gateway that allowed us to become successful and passionate about the dairy industry. Within my collegiate career I have become active with Alpha Gamma Rho, Badger Dairy Club, and Badger Aviators. These clubs have extended my reach into industries that I find interesting. Additionally, I’m currently completing an internship at the Great Northern Land and Cattle sale arena in Fonda Lac Wisconsin, specializing in sales.

 

Jessica Noble

jcnoble2@wisc.edu

Hometown: Burlington, WI
Major and Expected Graduation: Dairy Science with a certificate in Business Management for Agricultural & Life Sciences, May 2021
Internship Interests: Commercial Dairy Farm, Heifer Raising
Professional Goals: I will be returning to my family’s dairy farm where I will work towards becoming a partner in the operation.
Short Bio: Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Wisconsin, my passion for cattle was
seeded early in my life. I spent my summers working full time on the farm and loved every
minute of it. In high school I was heavily involved in FFA, and received my American Degree
this past fall. Currently on campus I am involved in Babcock House Cooperative as well as
Badger Dairy Club and Collegiate Farm Bureau.

Erik M. Ohman

eohman@wisc.edu

Hometown: Plymouth, WI
Major and Expected Graduation: Majoring in Microbiology and gaining a certificate in Business Management for Agriculture and Life Sciences and a certificate in Food Systems
Internship Interests: Global Nutrition, Sales, Genetics, Environmental Conservation
Professional Goals: Global Nutrition, Sales, Genetics, Environmental Conservation
Short Bio: I first created my passion for agriculture as I grew up on my family’s farm in rural Wisconsin. Throughout high school and into college I have expanded that interest to include how agriculture will affect our environment as we attempt to feed our ever-growing population, and how we can use advanced science and technology to curb the negative effects. I continued my journey this past summer with Land O’Lakes as a Global Food Challenge Intern where I learned about world hunger, agriculture, and sustainability by traveling to various Land O’Lakes member farms and three countries in Africa. I will be returning to Land O’Lakes this summer for a Supply Chain Internship. In the coming years, I plan to attend graduate school in Microbiology or Food Science to continue building my strong base in science and sustainable food production.

Lindsey Sarbacker

lsarbacker@wisc.edu

Hometown: Stoughton, WI
Major and Expected Graduation: Dairy Science and Life Science Communications with a Certificate in Business Management for Agricultural & Life Sciences, May 2021
Internship Interests: Communications, Marketing, Sales, Ag Finance
Professional Goals: Agricultural Marketing or Sales
Short Bio: Growing up on a small farm, I quickly fell in love with the Holstein cow. I developed a strong work ethic and a keen attention to detail working in an ever-changing agricultural setting. As a passionate ag-vocate for the agricultural industry it is my personal goal to share my story with others who may not know the crucial impact that agriculture has on their lives. Through organizational events on campus I am able to engage in conversation with others about agriculture. I am the Communications Officer for the Association of Women in Agriculture, serve as President for the National Agri-Marketing Association and I am also an active member of Badger Dairy Club and Collegiate Farm Bureau. In the summer of 2017 and 2018, I interned with Compeer Financial in the Crop Insurance department. Currently I work at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Agency as a Food Export Intern and I plan to continue to build upon this experience through the summer.

Justin Schmiesing

jsschmiesing@wisc.edu

Hometown: Madison, WI
Major and Expected Graduation: Agricultural Business Management with a certificate in Entrepreneurship, May 2020
Internship Interests: Business and Sales
Professional Goals: Work in Sales in equipment or seed
Short Bio: I grew up in a family where both of my parents were educators that were raised on family farms. I did not really have an interest in working in the agriculture industry until I started working for my cousin who sells DeKalb seed and farms about two thousand acres in Minnesota. After seeing how his business operated my sophomore year of college I switched my major from Civil Engineering to Agriculture Business Management. Outside of school I have been very involved at my high school where I have coached both football and basketball. After school I want to pursue a career in sales in the agriculture field or in athletic equipment.

Mena Schmitt

meschmitt2@wisc.edu

Hometown: Sun Prairie, WI
Major and Expected Graduation: Dairy Science with a certificate in Business Management for Agricultural & Life Sciences, December 2020
Internship Interests: Reproductive Technologies, Agricultural Business Finance
Professional Goals: Returning to family farm, Ultrasound Technician
Short Bio: My passion for agriculture was cultivated growing up on my family’s dairy farm in the heart of Dane County. Being involved with the farm, summers showing cattle, and learning anything I could from dairy industry professionals lead me to pursuing a degree in Dairy Science and a certificate in Agricultural Business Management. On campus, I have gotten involved with the Association of Women in Agriculture, Collegiate Farm Bureau, and Badger Dairy Club. In the summer of 2020, I will be interning with ST Genetics as the Genetic Services intern in Middleton, WI.

 

Ashtyn Smits

arsmits@wisc.edu

Hometown: Cambria, WI
Major and Expected Graduation: Agricultural Business Management with a certificate in Sustainability, December 2020
Internship Interests: Crop Insurance, Agricultural Finance
Professional Goals: Work directly with farmers to assist with their needs in crop insurance or lending
Short Bio: All my life I have been surrounded with corn fields and my dad’s dairy herd and have been passionate about the impact farmers have on the lives of the world’s population. My dream for attending UW-Madison came true and I am pursuing a degree in Agricultural Business Management. In February of 2020, my fiancé and I purchased a farm to expand our cow-calf beef operation and cash crop.  Using the skills I’ve accumulated as a student studying agricultural business has made the experience much more streamlined and efficient. In the summer of 2019, I interned at SeedLink LLC, a Pioneer Seed sales agency, as a Sales Intern.  Currently I am an intern for Compeer Financial in the Tax and Accounting department and am looking forward to spending my summer in the Crop Insurance department as well!

 

Olivia Spaight

ospaight@wisc.edu

Hometown: Waterford, WI
Major and Expected Graduation: Dairy Science with a Certificate in Agricultural Business Management, May 2023
Internship Interests: Genetics, Marketing & Communications, Reproductive Physiology
Professional Goals: Dairy Research or Agricultural Communications
Short Bio: As the first generation of my family removed from the farm, I was lucky enough to find my passion for agriculture on my grandparents’ dairy when I was very young.  From there, I found opportunities through 4-H and FFA to expand my knowledge of agriculture and the dairy industry beyond feeding calves and milking cows. My interest and love for the industry has only grown since beginning my education at UW-Madison, where I have found an abundance of opportunities to grow as a leader and agriculturalist. While on campus, I enjoy being involved in Badger Dairy Club, the Association of Women in Agriculture, and Collegiate Farm Bureau, as well as helping out in Dr. Laura Hernandez’ lab in the Dairy Science Department. At home, I am still active in 4-H and FFA through the sheep and dairy projects and spend time with the Young Farmer and Agriculturalist committee through my local Farm Bureau to organize a Farm to Table meal every fall.

Brittany Teunissen

teunissen@wisc.edu

Hometown: Cedar Grove, WI
Major and Expected Graduation: Agricultural Business Management, May 2021
Internship Interests: Agribusiness, Precision Ag, Agronomy
Professional Goals: Pursue a career where I get to work hand in hand with farmers helping them reach their highest potential as a farm and business.
Short Bio: Being involved in agriculture from a young age has developed my love and passion for the industry. I grew up on my family’s cash crop farm where we run roughly 900 acres of corn, soybeans and wheat. In elementary school I became involved in 4-H, showing swine at the county fair and being a member of the county’s livestock committee. In 2014, my parents built a Free-Range layer hen facility where we raise 40,000 chickens. Here at UW, I have enjoyed being a member and the secretary of Collegiate Farm Bureau. I have enjoyed making connections with others in the ag industry, learning more about what Wisconsin agriculture has to offer, and sharing my passion with others.

 

Sofia Weinstein

sweinstein4@wisc.edu

Hometown: North Potomac, MD
Major and Expected Graduation: Agricultural and Applied Economics and Plant Pathology, May 2022
Internship Interests: Environmental and Agricultural Policy, Sustainability
Professional Goals: Public policy and regulation for agricultural and environmental programs.  Agroecology Master of Science.
Short Bio: Growing up in a suburban community outside of DC, I was never directly exposed to agriculture or agribusiness. However, I have always had a passion for the environment, sustainability and food systems. I decided to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison to explore my interests in agriculture and the economic ramifications of agricultural policy. This is why I decided to major in Agricultural and Applied Economics. I am extending my background by also majoring in Plant Pathology. I am currently working in a Plant Pathology lab and enjoy researching different bacteria that infect plants all across the globe. This research highlights the troubles many farmers face in keeping their crops healthy and I am looking forward to using my scientific background to make economic change. On campus, I am involved in my sorority’s cabinet and I am a member of the largest philanthropy organization in Wisconsin known as Humorology. I am looking forward to what this next academic year brings.

Billy Zeimet

wzeimet@wisc.edu

Hometown: Cottage Grove, WI
Major and Expected Graduation: Dairy Science with a certificate in Agricultural Business
Internship Interests: Production agriculture
Professional Goals: Attain a bachelor’s degree in Dairy Science and own/operate a dairy farm
Short Bio: I grew up on a small hobby farm in Cottage Grove, WI, where I raised feeder cattle throughout high school. I also have worked on a neighbor’s dairy farm since I was thirteen years old. My passion for agriculture began when I was very young accompanying my dad to go and visit our neighbor. At the time he was milking 50 cows in a stanchion barn. As a little kid I would stand in awe as I took in all of the sights and smells of a dairy barn! As I have matured, my appreciation for dairy cattle and everything they do for us has only grown. I truly love watching the livestock as they grow and mature to become productive farm animals. It is this love for the dairy industry that has brought me here to UW-Madison to further develop myself as an industry professional! In 2018 I graduated from the Farm and Industry Short Course Program and decided I wanted to attain a bachelor’s degree from this school because I enjoyed Dairy Science so much. I am also am involved with Collegiate Farm Bureau and Badger Dairy Club here on campus.