Hello! I’m Sophia Hampton, and I’m back again to recap my summer as I head into my last week as the small farms outreach intern in Polk County. These past nine weeks have flown by, and I have learned so much. Since my last post, I’ve been continuing to manage social media pages, put together our email newsletter, and create marketing materials. I feel more confident in my graphic design abilities and have gained a new understanding of the importance of marketing and effective marketing strategies. I have really enjoyed this aspect of my internship, and I know these skills will be valuable in the future.  

Two women sit at a sign in table for an event.
Sophia (left) and heather Stiven greet attendees at the Small Farm Social. Photo by Audrey Comerford.

I’ve also gotten experience in event planning, and one of the main events that I helped put on was Small Farm Social. This was an evening for farmers in the mid-Willamette Valley to connect with each other and meet service providers. It was rewarding to go through the process of planning and preparation and have a successful event by the end of it. It was a reminder that any event takes a lot of work and energy to come to fruition. I created many of the printed and virtual marketing materials, managed our RSVP list, sent email reminders, and helped with the check-in table on the evening of the social. 

A woman draws petals on a simple line drawing of a flower.
Sophia teaches about pollination at the Polk County Fair. Photo by Hayley White.

My independent project for this internship was to come up with an activity for the Cultivating tent at the Polk County Fair, and I led an activity aimed at youth to teach about pollination. I used chalk to represent pollen and cotton balls to represent bees to show the process of pollination, and I think the kids enjoyed the interactive demonstration. I appreciated being able to connect with the community, and it was great to see the interest the public has in Extension programming and services.  

Ultimately, I’m so grateful for this summer and this internship experience. I have great respect for all those who work in Extension; they care about the people they serve, were always willing to talk to me about their journey to their current position, and are making a real and important difference in communities. I would like to especially thank Hayley White, my supervisor, for her support and guidance as they are major reasons for my wonderful experience! 

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