Ray Qin's agronomy research team.
Ray Qin’s agronomy research team.

Hi everyone!

This will be my last blog post as an OSU Extension intern. This summer has flown by and I’m happy to have spent my time at the Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center (HAREC).

I feel that my experiences from my internship have helped me to better understand the research process by seeing the amount of time and preparation that goes into getting results. This summer I assisted with a lot of sample collections and testing preparation for various research trials. It was really cool to learn about the trials being performed at HAREC and how it will benefit the producers in the Columbia Basin area. I worked mostly in collecting potato petiole, wheat, and alfalfa samples every week then getting them ready to be sent off for further testing.

One thing that I would like others to know about OSU Extension is that it serves a wide variety of people in the agricultural industry. I grew up in 4-H so I really only thought that extension was limited to 4-H and youth education. Extension plays a huge role in communities in a wide range of ways. I think people should get information about their local Extension service to see what programs they offer in the community and how they can get involved as community members. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with Extension this summer, especially at HAREC.

During this summer I learned the value of relationships and staying in touch with those you work with. The value of human connection is one that cannot be matched through virtual communication and meetings alone. I know this will aid me in the future as I pursue a career in agricultural education. The experiences and relationships I’ve gained from this internship are ones that I’ll forever be thankful for.

 

Hello! My name is Joseph O’Brien, and I am from Boardman, Oregon. I am currently co-attending the Oregon Health and Science University School of Nursing and Eastern Oregon University in La Grande, Oregon, for the class of 2023. I am on track to earn two bachelor’s degrees, in nursing and in science in health and human performance with a concentration in exercise science.

Joseph O'Brien holds tophy

Growing up, I was very involved in the youth organization 4-H. I raised and showed an abundance of livestock animals, participated in many projects (shooting sports, junior and teen leadership, etc.), held leadership roles within my club and county (club president, Morrow County ambassador, etc.), volunteered at community service events within the surrounding communities of my hometown, and much more. Sometime in the future, I would like to become a 4-H project leader and volunteer with the youth in the community I reside in.

Once I graduate with both of my undergraduate degrees and obtain my nursing license, I would like to travel to different American Indian/Alaskan Native tribal clinics within Oregon to help serve underrepresented communities. Additionally, I would like to obtain my wound care certification and relocate to eastern Oregon or Washington to work in a wound clinic.

I was one of the inaugural participants in the OSU Extension Service student internship in 2020, and I’ve returned this summer to the OSU Extension Service office in Umatilla County. As I enter this internship for the second time, I am very appreciative for my experience last year. Last year, many people had to adapt to working virtually – me included. The hardest challenge was not having the ability to connect with as many community members as I would have liked. With that said, I would not have changed the experiences and opportunities presented throughout last summer.

During our orientation this year, the other county interns and I were given a presentation about the four “Ps” within the Extension Service: People, Places, Programs, and Partnerships. In relation, my work this summer will be focused on collaborating with the Extension Open Campus/Juntos and 4-H programs.

I am very excited to connect with youth in Morrow and Umatilla counties, teach new or enhance educational content taught within the school districts, and conduct team-building activities that are fun and engaging! I will also help with the Umatilla and Morrow county fairs; assisting judges and show clerks at the livestock rings, setting up 4-H program educational booths and displays, and much more.

One of my biggest personal goals for this summer is to meet new people and listen to their stories, find hidden places within my community where learning and teaching can be taught or further enhanced, collaborate with other programs within the Extension Service, Morrow County, and Umatilla County to provide the best experiences for youth during workshops and camps, and find value/recognize the old, current, and new personal or county-wide partnerships throughout this internship experience.

Remember to stay safe and well!

Adrian Gallo, a graduate student at OSU, recently completed an internship in the Extension Communications office.

Oregon State University Extension programs reach into Oregon’s communities and help people of all ages, even if they don’t recognize it. Now approaching the end of my program, I’ve written about nutritional programs for underserved communities near metro areas and a new soilborne wheat virus affecting farmers in the sparsely populated drylands of eastern Oregon. No matter your geographic location, we are all connected, and Extension helps us to remember that fact.

Helping communities is at the center of Extension work, and it’s exemplified in our Master Naturalist programs. These programs help to educate Oregonians about the natural world around them, through field tours and site visits. This program encourages participants to contribute to community science efforts as well as promoting volunteer hours in the community where they did their field program – even if it isn’t their own place of residence.

One of the Master Naturalist programs often enrolls Portland-area residents for a course in the Klamath-Siskiyou mountains. After the weekend field tour, they continued returning to the area for recreation and volunteering. In the process of learning more about their state, they were also contributing to the southwestern Oregon economy. This increase in tourism and ecological awareness from others around the state may help keep smaller communities more stable in the long run.

In addition to connecting disparate communities that otherwise may not interact, Extension also supports the individual needs of tight-knit communities. For example, I wrote about one 4-H program specifically aims to teach Latinx children the importance of healthy eating as they are more likely to have issues with food security. Another 4-H initiative I wrote about helped save a middle school cross-country program from going defunct allowing more home-schoolers to also join. I also wrote about an even more ambitious endeavor by Extension faculty to work alongside Indigenous communities to make higher education more accessible to their citizens.

As a student, it’s easy to get wrapped up in Corvallis culture. As a research scientist, it’s all too common to try and keep the blinders on to other distractions in the world. After all, we only have so much time in the day. But even with my short time in Extension Communications, I’m learning about all the positive impacts Extension has throughout the state – impacts that wouldn’t be possible without leveraging the institutional and academic power of OSU. So, as an Oregon resident, I’m grateful to know Extension is constantly trying to make positive impact, and we should continue advocating on its behalf.

Anita McNally recently completed an internship in the OSU Extension office in Lincoln County.

Hello again! As my time here at Lincoln County Extension is coming to a close, I’ve realized how much I have learned from this experience and am grateful to have this internship opportunity. During my time being here I have learned numerous skills and have observed what a career at OSU Extension looks like.

Working on my assignments, I’ve built professional confidence in conducting interviews, experience in writing and creating brochures, as well as a deeper understanding of Extension’s purpose and goals. I really enjoyed working with my supervisors and team. They were very helpful, positive and supportive. My supervisors allowed me to sit in on Zoom calls which allowed me to participate in thinking outside of the box and provide input, as well as observe how everyone communicates and works together on a common goal.

I’ve helped communicate and develop information for our Eat Oregon Seafood website that we’re trying to enhance and I have updated our social media pages which support local seafood businesses and at home seafood recipes to try. I’ve learned the importance of supporting local and sustainable farmers as well as how much of an importance they are for our community, culture, and environment.

COVID-19 brought its challenges with this internship, and I would have loved to have more work days in the office or in Lincoln County. Due to these challenges it also limited the work that I could do, therefore if I was able to be in the office I may have had more assignments and in-the-field experience, as well as better connections with other coworkers and community members that I would have met in the office and field. I am glad I had the chance to go visit some local venders and the office at least once during my internship.

As my internship progressed, I was able to make connections between Extension and my environmental science major at OSU. Within this last week I was able to help call local farmers for an Agriculture Climate Adaption survey to understand what changes they have seen on their farm and how the county can help. I’ve also been taking a beginners’ short course for Introduction to Urban Agriculture, which has helped me broaden my understanding between the environment, community, and culture, and also connect this class to what I’ve been doing for Extension by helping support local foods and farmers. I really enjoyed my experience as an Extension intern and have learned a lot about Lincoln county and its community.

 

 

Joseph O’Brien recently completed an internship in the OSU Extension office in Umatilla County.

I would like to start by saying I’m very grateful and appreciative to have had the opportunity to work as a student intern through the OSU Umatilla County Extension Service. Throughout these past 10 weeks, I’ve worked on countless projects, interacted with community members, and grown personally.

As I have mentioned in previous blogs, this internship has proved me wrong again and again. For instance, obtaining knowledge about the programs, resources, and workshops offered to everyone in the nearby communities of Umatilla and Morrow counties.

Toward the beginning of this internship, I was encouraged to create two personal objectives. Here is what I came up with: Grow within a professional work environment/improve my work ethic skills, and provide educational content about community health to young adults and youth in nearby communities.

One way I’ve incorporated these objectives into this experience is through the STEM Saturday experiments for kids that my fellow intern Ruben and I have been working on throughout this entire internship. An example would include a water tension experiment. I explained that when you dip dish soap into pepper-covered water, the water tension is disturbed. Therefore, the pepper is pushed to the edges of the plate. One way I related this to my community health objective is washing your hands. This allowed the kids to imagine that the pepper is dirt, bacteria, or any other bacterium/infective agent and explaining how important it is to wash your hands under warm water with soap for at least 20 seconds. I felt this was especially important to include considering the global COVID-19 pandemic.

During this process, Ruben and I created “Take and Make” sheets and a lesson plan for these six different water-based experiments. This part of the project really incorporated both objectives I created by allowing us to provide knowledge, collaborate with each other and relay information to our supervisor, and educate others while still having fun!

On the occasion that I was asked what my internship entailed, I made sure to tell them about how I was able to connect with community members, help at workshops, take projects head on, grow professionally, and develop skills that are not offered many places. Additionally, I would like to encourage those who seek challenges, a variety of tasks, and who want to learn more about the community they reside in to research this internship opportunity.

None of this would have been possible without my amazing supervisor, Anna Browne or fellow intern and friend Ruben Lopez. When I look back at this internship experience and my involvement with the OSU Extension Service here in Umatilla county, I would not change anything.

Stay safe everyone and remember to practice social distancing and wear your mask!

Ruben Lopez-Carillo is an intern in the OSU Extension office in Umatilla County.

My favorite part about the internship so far has been working at the local Nuts Bolts and Thingamajigs Camp for youth – NBTC for short. This camp was dedicated to preparing and motivating Umatilla County kids to understand the different paths they can take in getting their education. One of the main activities I took lead in this camp was team building games with the students.

When I came into this internship I was looking forward to the community-based aspect of OSU Extension and this camp helped fulfill this value.

The COVID-19 pandemic had made it tough for OSU Extension to meet all aspects of the its mission to serve Oregonians. We have been able to work around some obstacles and accomplish the mission effectively. One example is a project we have been working throughout this pandemic called 4-H STEM Saturday – an in-home activity for youth to keep learning.

The biggest learning opportunity I’ve had throughout this internship has been growth in my ability to adapt to challenging situations. Similar to everyone else in the world, the biggest challenge has been working through the conditions with COVID-19. It has really been testing our adaptability and patience to accomplish our tasks. I’ve gone through many changes in the past that required me to become adaptable and this here feels like the greatest challenge of all. After this experience I feel that I will be well prepared for any future challenges.

Carrie Harris recently completed an internship in the OSU Extension office in Coos County.

A final hello from Coos County!

Working for the OSU Extension office this summer in Coos County presented many challenges that I was happy to take-on. I began the summer assisting my supervisor, Elissa Wells, and the Coos Youth Auction Committee in putting together a virtual and in-person livestock auction. I was able to learn a lot about the work that goes into the youth livestock auctions throughout the state, and the state guidelines that would have to be followed for COVID-19 regulations. I put together a slideshow of the youth and their projects to display during the auction, as well as called bids during the auction.

Then I was able to learn a lot more about the static exhibits that are included in 4-H, while helping check them in and returning them to the youth after their judging was completed. These are exhibits that include photography and drawing, and arts and crafts. I also learned more about the clerical side of 4-H activities while helping package the ribbons to send out to the youth for their virtual livestock judging and fair entries.

I ended my internship by putting together a few contests that could be done virtually for 4-H clubs. I put together a livestock breeds identification contest, which included large and small animal species. I created separate documents for juniors, intermediates, and seniors, with the difficulty increasing respectively. I also put together an equipment identification contest which included basic tools that are used to care for livestock. I was excited to be able to put something together for 4-H youth to do virtually this upcoming year.

I would like others to know that the OSU Extension goes above and beyond to help 4-H youth and the community around them. This summer I saw the OSU Extension office be as flexible as possible with 4-H youth, as well as others helping 4-H to make things possible during difficult times. The Extension office is a great learning resource for youth in the community, and not only those in 4-H. I appreciated the opportunity to work with OSU Extension, and to learn more about it, as well as learning about new ways to help the community I live in.

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.

The Newport docks.

 

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.

Anita McNally at the Gibson Farm in Siletz.

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.

Maggie Justice recently completed an internship in the OSU Extension office in Grant County.

When I was growing up, the worst week of the summer was not right before school started, but instead the week after our county fair. The whirlwind of fair prep and fair was over just as quickly as it began, and all we could do was wait for the dust to settle. Everything was uncharacteristically quiet, something that would drive my young mind crazy, but did allow for proper reflection over the work that had been done, and how it would continue in the next year.

I guess the same could be said for this year, after all the preparation and stress, I have this time to reflect on what I have done over the summer, and what I want others to glean from my experience.

Our local “fair” went off without a hitch, even though it was almost unrecognizable from the fairs I grew up with. The kids showed their animals wearing masks, and every couple days each livestock group, instead of staying on site for the whole fair, were there only on showmanship and auction days.

A youth shows his grand champion market pen.
A youth shows his grand champion market pen.
Youth competing in the overall champion poultry showmanship. Photo by Tracy Wyllie.
Youth competing in the overall champion poultry showmanship. Photo Photo by Tracy Wyllie.

While it was easy to keep busy, I definitely missed the bustle of a filled barn. It was wonderful to see how supportive our community is towards its youth, respecting the rules that were set up, while still being able to watch livestreamed livestock shows. Members of the community also made sure every kid got a good price on their animal, making this auction the best one our community has ever seen.

My sister, Ellie, won the highest award given in the county, the Delley Officer Award for sportsmanship and hard work. On the right is Delley’s brother, Scott.
My sister, Ellie, won the highest award given in the county, the Delley Officer Award for sportsmanship and hard work. On the right is Delley’s brother, Scott.

A lot of hard work went into making a nice event for the 4-H and FFA kids in our community. There was careful planning that went into every detail, from the awards given, to the set-up of the barn, and most importantly, the careful maneuvering of each show.

There were a lot of things during the summer that I learned about, which were completely unexpected. For one, I learned how much the details matter, especially when planning an event that has many guidelines and regulations. Detailing minute details of shows was a foreign concept, but something that was definitely a useful skill that I will continue to use in my life moving forward. I also learned the value of working on a team, seeing that there are many entities and parts that make an event into something great. Also, I learned that I really do care about hand sanitizer texture, because some of that stuff is gross.

On a more serious note, my summer as an OSU Extension intern was something that was extremely wonderful for me and gave me nothing but good experiences and skills. I think that many people today do not fully comprehend how much Extension offices contribute and help the community, because they truly do a lot that goes unnoticed. As I think about our livestock and static shows, I think that truly shapes what Extension strives for. That people from all walks of life can come together for the betterment of their community. I feel so blessed that I got to be a part of something this awesome, and I hope that I can continue to help others through Extension.

Hello, my name is Angeleen (Leen) Somoza. I’m 21 years old and I have two younger identical twin siblings: Happy and Shai. We live with my mom in Astoria, Oregon, and I’m doing my summer internship at the Oregon State University Extension Service office in Clatsop County. I’m currently finishing my associate degree, with a major in biology, at Clatsop Community College. I’m very excited and enthused to have this opportunity to work with OSU Extension.

Angeleen (Leen) Somoza

My favorite subjects include anthropology, biology, mathematics, psychology, sociology and religious philosophy. I aspire to be research biologist, but I also just crave experiences and to try everything. I just want to learn from my surroundings. I enjoy knowledge and structure.

My impression of Extension in Clatsop County before I started was that it was in a small office in a big building with programs such as Master Gardeners, 4-H, and fisheries. It was where I applied – and won – a Master Gardener’s scholarship in my senior year of high school in 2017.

View of Astoria and the mouth of the Columbia River.
View of Astoria and the mouth of the Columbia River.

In my Extension internship, I’ve been working with Lindsay Davis, administrative office manager and local liaison for Clatsop County Extension. I’ve been doing case studies on small businesses in Astoria from a psychological and sociological aspect. I then create social media posts, blogs and other things they need to communicate to other businesses.

I’ve become a social media “consultant” for OSU Extension in Clatson County. I meet with Joyce Senior Angulo, who works in Extension’s  Family and Community Heath and SNAP-Ed programs, the Latinx/Latino Club at Clatsop Community College, and may other things. Joyce has me being a fly on the wall, so to speak, during the Latinx meetings on Mondays and she’s available whenever I have questions and concerns. Finnware

At the same time, I’m working with Lindsay with two small businesses in Astoria – Finn Ware and Forsythea. We recently had our assessment needs meetings with both businesses  and we’re planning to do a few different things in social media case studies.

 

In the short time of working with Extension, I have felt that doing one’s research is extremely import to the Extension office. The research they’re doing is impacting the community in many ways that we as the residents are not aware of – even though most of us participate in the activities that Extension offers, such as the Clatsop County Fair, and many other events. It is very eye-opening as an Astorian and an Oregonian.