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Internships let women in ACES try conservation agriculture on for size

girl in strawberry field

URBANA, Ill. – Sometimes, a summer can change everything. For several undergraduate women in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) at the University of Illinois, a summer internship with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service revealed new career goals and delivered the skills and experience to get there.

For Micha Marchetti, a senior in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, agriculture was never much of a draw. But when she saw an ad for an ag-focused internship geared specifically toward women, she decided it was worth a closer look.

“I’m really passionate about the environment, but I don't have any background in agriculture,” Marchetti says. “I was a little hesitant about an agriculture-focused internship, but when I learned it was catered towards women, it made the whole atmosphere really welcoming and inviting.”

Apply now for a summer 2023 internship at Illinois NRCS offices.

Marchetti spent the summer of 2022 at NRCS field offices serving Peoria, Woodford, and Tazewell counties in Central Illinois. Shadowing engineers, soil conservationists, and soil technicians, she learned the importance of conservation planning and the value of stewarding agricultural land.

Read full release from College of ACES.

Photo: Sam Henry, pictured, spent a summer learning about careers in conservation agriculture through an ACES-USDA NRCS internship. Credit: College of ACES