Maggie Justice is an intern in the OSU Extension office in Grant County.
One of the first jobs that I was given when I started working in the Grant County Extension office was looking through old records for a community member who is writing a book. At the time, the task seemed a little daunting, especially because these reports spanned 30 years. But at the same time, I was excited because I knew there were treasures hiding in the old boxes and books. For many people, this would have been the most boring task in the world, but to me, it was one of the coolest things I have gotten to do.
I grew up living with my great-grandmother, who was about 90 years older than me. From her, I was privileged enough to understand that history is not just dates and events, it is the lives and stories of the people from the past. Her experiences from her past taught me to love history, family, and homemade fudge. Nothing excites me more than looking through the scraps of different people’s life, and to see how different it is from mine.
As I looked further into the old Extension reports and photographs, I was surprised to see that at its essence, nothing had really changed. There were still kids competing in livestock and static events, Extension agents working hard to help their community, heck, even the same willow tree was in front of the fairgrounds. Everything was familiar, but at the same time very different. I grew excited when I started recognizing names from people that I had known my entire life. One of the more exciting photos that I stumbled upon was one of my mother and uncle. Though it was a little funny to think of all these people as 4-H’ers, it made so much more sense about why they wanted to help me as much as they did when I was growing up.
Looking through the old photographs allowed me to have a clearer image of what Extension does for its communities, because they showed that from the beginning, Extension is helping. I have seen all the hard work that the Grant County office has put into this summer’s modified youth static and livestock exhibits, and I know that they are trying to really make a difference in our community. It’s not an easy task, but every year, they make it look easy, and make it a beloved event for everyone in the community.