Debbi Gardiner McCullough


Originally from New Zealand, Debbi brings the perspective of a newcomer to Wisconsin in her stories. She now lives in Muskego, Wis., with her husband and two sons.

Debbi has reported on social and business trends for 25 years for publications including the Economist, the Financial Times of London and the Guardian. When she’s not writing (or editing), she teaches business communication to online MBA students at UNC Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler Business School. In 2016, she won a press fellowship to attend the Women Deliver conference in Copenhagen and trained with Reuters on how to report on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

She’s a graduate from the University of California at Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism where she studied print, photography, business and radio. She’s also an artist who loves to illustrate children’s books and paint abstract botanicals on rocks, wood and canvas.

Ways to Connect

Debbi McCullough

Spring has officially begun, and sunlight will represent a majority of our soon to be warmer days for the next six months. While that’s welcome news, I'm a little conflicted about winter’s demise. That's because I'm a New Zealand transplant whose family picked up a new hobby over the winter: ice fishing. 

Census data shows that of the 1.4 million licensed anglers within Wisconsin, roughly one-third of those report to ice fish. Within Wisconsin, ice anglers catch 14 million fish each season.

Mitch Teich

This fall, the national supermarket chain Kroger and its Wisconsin outlets (Pick-n-Save and Metro Market) announced plans to phase out single-use plastic bags in their stores by 2025. It’s the latest in a movement to reduce the flow of single-use plastic items to landfills in this country.

Other chains, including Starbucks, are eliminating plastic straws, and some cities and other municipalities have passed more widespread bans. But perhaps none is as strong as New Zealand, which will end the use of single-use plastic bags and implements in 2019.

Debbi McCullough

Experts estimate around 1.5 million barns exist on America’s farms. And the state of Wisconsin sits in the top five states for barn ownership (along with Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Tennessee). Growing numbers of Wisconsinites use these romantic, patriotic structures in traditional, and even innovative, enterprising ways.