Hi everyone! I’m Kelci Free, providing an update from Linn County. Over the last two months, I have learned so much more about Extension than I ever thought possible. I have quickly learned just how much time and planning goes into every event beforehand whether it be a farmers market, teaching in schools, or planning classes for the public. A few weeks ago, I was able to attend an event for women in agriculture at a small farm near Corvallis with the OSU Extension Small Farms Program. It was very inspiring to see what so many other women in agriculture were doing and get to hear their knowledge and experiences.
The owner of the farm showed us so many cool parts of her property and explained everything she does with her animals and garden and was able to answer lots of questions and give advice as well. It was an awesome experience to see how everyone fit into the agricultural industry and were able to come together and learn from each other.
I am seeing the mission of Extension being met daily, by all of the programmings my supervisor does as nonformal education. We have prepared and performed nonformal education for elementary schools, farmers markets, fairs and we are planning a class for rural living basics for the general public. Everything we do as Extension faculty is to benefit our community and its people which is part of the 4 “Ps” of Extension: People, Places, Programs, and Partnerships.
One of my biggest learning moments was while we were teaching at an elementary school in the first week and one of the activities I planned wasn’t working, so I had to adapt and change it. Being able to change plans quickly when one thing does not work out has been a common theme throughout my internship so far, and everyone says it is very needed in a career in Extension. I have quickly learned that you need to plan for the worst-case scenario and have lots of backup plans and the ability to adapt in order to be successful in this field. There have been countless learning moments in the few weeks I have had so far, I look forward to all I am yet to learn this summer.