Student Voice


February 21, 2024



Ag student receives national award

May 5, 2011

A UW-River Falls student was named the 2011 Agriculture Engineering Student of the Year by the American Society of Agriculture and Biological Engineers, or ASABE.

The recipient of the award, Melissa Sattler, said she felt like UWRF was a better fit for her than other schools she looked at with similar degree programs.

“It had nothing to do with the fact that my dad went here,” Sattler said.

Sattler said she toured campuses like the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and the UW-Madison before making her decision to come to UW-River Falls, and she defends the fact that she made her own decision on where to continue her education.

“I just liked the feel of it,” Sattler said, “I enjoyed the atmosphere and the small campus, and how everything was located in walking distance from everything else.”

The fact that UWRF emphasized agriculture sealed the deal for Sattler, and four years later she is now graduating with her degree in agricultural engineering, with a job lined up at Cargill Kitchen Solutions in Monticello, Minn.

She applied for the award on the recommendation of Jerry Nechville, her academic advisor.  He said that Sattler has always been a hard worker, and possesses the necessary technical skills to succeed in the engineering field.

“Melissa is a very effective leader both in and out of class.  She always performs at a very high level, allowing herself to exceed expectations,” Nechville said.

The purpose of the award, according to the ASABE Wisconsin Chapter’s website, is to “recognize an undergraduate enrolled in an Agricultural Engineering Technology, Agricultural Mechanization, or Agricultural Mechanization and Management program for achievement in preparation for a career in the profession.”

To win the award, Sattler had to show excellence in her scholastic record, display care for her community by giving back, show her affiliation and activity within ASABE and tell of her future goals, which include her career at Cargill.

Sattler, who has made the dean’s list a few times, said she always tried her hardest in school. Her community service was displayed through her activity with the Agriculture Mechanization Club at UWRF, which holds lawnmower and snow blower tune-ups for people in the community.

She fulfilled the ASABE affiliation requirement by competing on the Falcon Pulling team, which competes in ASABE’s one-fourth scale tractor competition.

Sattler said that she is eager to continue her agricultural practices after graduation.

“Cargill is a good company with good values,” Sattler said, “I’m very excited to start working.”
But her life doesn’t stop there. Sattler said her future beyond college obviously includes working hard and moving up in her company, but there might be more to her career than just climbing up the corporate ladder.

“Ever since, like, middle school I’ve had a plan,” Sattler said. “Get to high school, do good in high school and come to college, and then graduate with a job ready in my major. And that’s where my plan stopped. So now I have to do a little bit more soul searching and figure out what my goals are.”