Discovered passion for wine industry through study abroad, internships and classes

Name: Madison Porter

Hometown: Woodstock, IL

High school: Woodstock High school

Major & Concentration: Agribusiness Management with a minor in Sociology

Why did you come to Purdue: Originally I came to Purdue undecided about my major.  I knew I wanted to attend a larger university and when I first visited Purdue, I fell in love with the traditional college campus environment and all the opportunities it offered.

Favorite Purdue tradition: The tradition of not walking under the bell tower until graduation or else you won't graduate. In May, I'll be walking under it!

Top three influences at Purdue:

  1. My AGEC professors for providing me with experiences and the tools to succeed in the future
  2. My advisor Ryan Musselman for always helping me when I need career advice.
  3. My Sorority for introducing me to my friends who have always been so supportive throughout my experience at Purdue.

Five words to describe Purdue:

  • Opportunities
  • Dedication
  • Adventurous
  • Fun
  • Successful

Top five highlights of your career:

  1. Studying abroad in Toulouse, France. I took classes at Ecole d'Ingénieurs de Purpan and studied viticulture and enology. I was exposed to European culture and toured different wine regions like Boudreaux and Provence.
  2. Interning for Château Clématis as a vineyard assistant located in Sainte-Cécile-les-Vignes. The internship was only a month long, but I learned how to prune grape vines and inspect grapes of pesticides and diseases.
  3. Interning for E. & J. Gallo winery in Lodi, CA as the Grower Relations Intern for 6 months. E. & J. Gallo Winery is the leading U.S Winery and exporter of California Wines. My responsibilities of being a Grower Relations intern has taught me a variety of skills. My focus was on pest and disease scouting in the vineyards. Additionally, I sugar tested grapes to analyze their sugar content and mapped vineyards using a Geographic Information System (GIS). During my internship, I was able to shadow different departments of the company and participate in wine sensory trainings as well.
  4. Becoming a member of Zeta Tau Alpha, Alpha Theta Chapter at Purdue. Joining the sorority introduced me to so many of my supporting friends and opened many opportunities for me to get involved in the house like becoming assistant treasurer for a semester and taking on the role of marketing chair for our philanthropy BMOC.
  5. Being involved with Purdue University Dance Marathon (PUDM) as a public relation chair member. Promoting the organization to campus and raising money for Riley Hospital for Children was so awarding. Staying on your feet for 18 hours was fun as well!

Something you wish you would have done at Purdue: Applied to become a Purdue Ag Ambassador

Places you have been as a Purdue student:

  • Study Abroad in Toulouse, France
  • Internship in Sainte-Cécile-les-Vignes, France
  • 6-month internship in Lodi, California

Have to redo college in a major not in Ag: If I had to redo college in a different major, I'd probably choose business management or marketing in the school of Krannert. However, I can't imagine not being in the college of agriculture.

Favorite club/organization: My favorite organization was Purdue University Dance Marathon. I was on the Public Relations chair and helped raised money for Riley's hospital for children.

Favorite Student-led event/initiative: Big Man on Campus which is led yearly by my sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha. Every year we work with all Greek Life to put on a talent show that raises money for breast cancer awareness, education & research.

Favorite Purdue event: My favorite Purdue event would be any Football or Basketball game. Being a part of a Big 10 school has always been one of my favorite things about Purdue.

Favorite place to study: My favorite place to study would be Rawls on the 2nd floor in front of the big windows or Starbucks on third street.

Over your career where were you most likely to be found on campus: You could find me in Krannert where most of my AGEC lectures were held or at my sorority house.

Favorite spot on campus: My favorite spot on campus is the view of the liberal arts fountain.

Favorite thing about AGEC: It's more than just supply and demand of ag commodities, its keeping up with the trends that influence the industry and what advances may occur in the future due to the trends.

Favorite thing about your major: I did not grow up with an agricultural background, but I have learned the different practices of Agribusiness from farm management to how to finance an agricultural business. I've even been able to learn about the sales and marketing procedure of an agricultural product.

Favorite class: AGEC 331

Favorite professor: Professor Tim Baker

Coolest project: Creating a product along with a marketing plan with a group for AGEC 427 (advanced marketing)

Three biggest accomplishments:

  1. Being accepted into the AGEC program at Purdue University
  2. Studying abroad in France
  3. Interning with E. & J. Gallo

Things on your resume not listed above:

  • Member of Purdue Marketing Association
  • Was a member of Purdue Helping Paws

Three words to describe you:

  • Friendly
  • Dedicated
  • Thoughtful

What are you passionate for: I'm passionate about my education at school and furthermore, establishing a career in the wine industry. I also have always had a passion for helping animals.

What intrigues you about the Ag industry: What intrigues me about the Ag industry is specifically the wine sector. I have been fortunate enough to have had great opportunities for internships to learn more about the production of grape cultivation. I thank Purdue for these possibilities, and I hope in the future, Purdue can continue to provide courses for wine.

What motivates you: My family and friends.

Favorite quote: "you only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough" -Mae West

Personal Motto: Everything happens for a reason

Where do you want to end up: Within the wine industry, hopefully somewhere in the West Coast.

Advice for underclassman:  Studying abroad! It opened my eyes to a different culture, and it helped me develop my passion for the wine industry. It was by far the best summer of my life and I strongly encourage others to try it!

Biggest takeaway from Purdue: To enjoy the time I have had here and take advantage of all the opportunities Purdue offers. The four years go by fast and I'm beyond grateful to have been involved in such meaningful organizations and meet some great people because it.

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