Anita McNally is an intern in the OSU Extension office in Lincoln County.
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to physically work in the Lincoln County office this summer due to the pandemic. However, I was able to shadow my supervisor, Pami, for a day. This gave me the opportunity to see the office as well as work in my own office space for a few hours.
We went to the Newport docks where I was able to see fresh seafood be purchased off the boat. This experience gave me a sense of what I would be doing if I worked in Newport this summer. At the docks, I would have been leading Oregon Sea Grant Extension Shop at the Dock tours, which show the public how to buy seafood from a vendor and which questions to ask the about their catch. I’ve never bought fish or seafood directly off the boat, so this was a new experience for me that I found unique.
Then we went to visit Gibson Farms in nearby Siletz, which sells grass-fed beef and blueberries. This was an eye-opening experience because I saw how close Pami was to the owner. They discussed how they were doing on the farm, what their process was, and some of the things that were happening around them. Seeing how open the farmer was to Pami, showed me that Pami’s work – helping support local farmers with things they need and staying in contact with them – made a close and professional relationship between them and built a trusting and respectful bond between them. We then participated in Gibson Farms’ U-Pick blueberries for a couple of hours until our bins were full.
I really enjoyed having this experience of getting to know Pami better as well as seeing what she does in the field. It allowed me to see what I could potentially be doing and the connections I would be making if I got a chance to continue with Extension.
I really enjoyed my experience visiting local farmers and seafood vendors and wish I could do it more. Working from home, I’ve been advertising the Eat Oregon Seafood website on our social media accounts and I’ve conducted interviews with Master Gardener volunteers for our blog posts on Facebook. I also had the opportunity to write a report on the benefits of local foods, which brought to light the reasons why we should support local food, the economy, and our environment.