Showmanship at the Lake County Fair. Photo by Alyson Yates.
Showmanship at the Lake County Fair. Photo by Alyson Yates.

Hello everyone, this is Alyson Yates with a final check-in from Lake County. My internship concluded last week after the end of the 2021 Lake County Fair. My experience this summer was very enjoyable and fulfilling, and I feel that it will be a strong foundation for a future career in agricultural Extension and 4-H program development. 

Last week, I was able to travel to the OSU Extension office in Klamath County for a day to shadow horticultural specialist Nicole Sanchez. The office in my home county does not have this position, so I was glad to take advantage of this opportunity in our neighboring county. Throughout the day, I attended meetings with Nicole and took a short trip to a local farm in search of squash bees. She was a fantastic teacher, and I am grateful for her and the Klamath County office’s hospitality. 

Sheep showmanship at the Lake County Fair. Photo by Alyson Yates.
Sheep showmanship at the Lake County Fair. Photo by Alyson Yates.

The capstone of my internship experience was working at our county fair. I was a member of the 4-H program here in Lake County for nine years, so I have long been looking forward to participating in this event from a new perspective. One of my primary goals this year was to capture new photographs for use at our county office, so I spent extensive time documenting youth at different livestock shows and events around the fair. I was also one of the organizers for our annual recognition ceremony and assisted in coordinating our youth presenters at the event. Much of my time was balanced between my role as an Extension intern and my role as a 4-H volunteer, as I was also the leader of a rabbit 4-H club, small livestock superintendent, and a judge in our all-species master showmanship event, but I feel that my position with Extension greatly enhanced my entire experience. It was truly the best week of my summer, and the experience emphasized my love of teaching youth about agriculture, raising livestock, leadership, and the arts. 

Overall, I feel that my summer at the OSU Extension office in Lake County was an invaluable experience and will greatly shape my future in Extension programming. As I enter my sophomore year of college, I hope to continue working with the OSU Extension Internship program in the summers to come! 

Goat master showmanship judging at the Umatilla County Fair.
Goat master showmanship judging at the Umatilla County Fair.

Hello again everyone! Joseph O’Brien checking in for the last time from Umatilla County. 

WOW! I can’t believe it’s been 10 weeks already. I feel like our internship orientation was just yesterday and we were creating individual objectives for the summer in our specific program areas. My time in the 4-H and Open Campus programs have been filled with endless fun, opportunities, experiences, and growth – personal and professional. From working at Science Fridays at the SAGE Center in Boardman to judging the goat portion of master showmanship at the Umatilla County Fair at the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center in Hermiston, I would say my experiences were very diverse this summer.  

Each intern this summer was tasked with creating or partaking in a project in their program area and sharing their progress with their fellow interns during the weekly internship check-ins. My project this summer was to work with the grant provided by Corteva to the Extension Service here in Umatilla County. This grant focused on monarch butterflies and how they are dwindling in numbers throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. Therefore, it was my project to go around to summer schools and camps to teach students about what these pollinators provide for us. One game I played was the “Ice Cream Sundae Challenge.” In short, each team created an amazing ice cream sundae combination with the toppings and flavors they were given. Once they were done, we talked about all the ingredients, it was determined that without pollinators, we would not be able to eat any of the food items. Not only did the kids learn about the butterflies, but I learned more about the overall grant process, how to engage a larger group of youth, and how to create lesson plans out of the curriculum provided.  

Throughout the two summers I have been interning with the Extension Service, I always get the same question, “Why are you interning for the Extension Service when you are a nursing major?” Now there is a question that might stump you. It made me really think about why I came back for a second time and why I will continue to volunteer with the extension service programs in the future. “Community,” is the first word that comes to mind. As a nursing student who is heavily involved on campus, I have learned what it means to create community and the importance of getting others involved in those opportunities – even if it may not perk your interest at first. Although I don’t personally see myself working for the Extension Service in the future, that doesn’t mean I can’t engage, grow, and collaborate with those in my community and use those experiences and growth opportunities in my nursing career.  

Port of Morrow Tour with Nuts, Bolts, and Thingamajigs: Manufacturing Camp
Port of Morrow Tour with Nuts, Bolts, and Thingamajigs: Manufacturing Camp

With that said, I am so grateful and will cherish every place, person, program, and partnership that made my internship possible for a second time. In a few weeks, I will be starting my junior year of nursing school. I would be kidding myself if I said I was ready for what lies ahead but, I know that I have multiple communities behind me with an abundance of support to give if I find myself lost. And who knows, I may come back to the Extension Service here in Umatilla County again for my final internship opportunity. I guess you’ll have to stay tuned … 

Stay safe and well!  

 

Hi everyone! Henry Golb again, for my third and final blog post of the summer. As a brief refresher, I’m Christy Tanner’s intern working with the south Willamette Valley field crops. I am based out of Linn County, and my job is to assist Christy in both the field and the office.   

It’s hard to believe that my time with Linn County Extension is coming to an end. It’s been a remarkable experience and I’m very thankful I was able to work with this amazing group of people. I just want to thank the faculty and staff of Linn County Extension for all their support this summer. 

Blooming mint in Jefferson, Oregon. Photo by Henry Golb.
Blooming mint in Jefferson, Oregon. Photo by Henry Golb.

Over the course of my 10 weeks at the OSU Extension office in Linn County I’ve been doing ground sampling and drone flights in grass seed fields looking at vole damage, collected the data for the Willamette Valley Mint Pest Alert newsletter, and I was in charge of compiling and editing the Willamette Valley, Central, and Eastern Mint Pest Alert newsletters each week. I got to be a part of hop nutrient field research study with Christy’s north valley counterpart, Betsy Verhoeven, and so much more. A big highlight of my summer was having the opportunity to be given the tour of Reerslev Farms’ mint distillery just outside of Junction City. Seeing (and tasting) the final product of fields I worked in was pretty special. Riding around with John Reerslev and touring some his mint fields was the icing on the cake.  

All these experiences gave me a real-world taste of Willamette Valley agriculture and opened my eyes up to a world I’d only experienced through classrooms and textbooks. This internship taught me and showed me practical skills that can only be learned in the field.  

I walked into this internship not knowing much about Extension. I came in with the notion that Extension only worked with and helped farmers. While a sizeable portion of the Extension Service is focused on agriculture, I could not have been farther from the truth. I learned about and saw programs from 4-H all the way to food preservation classes. I’m walking out knowing that Extension works with and improves the quality of life for all Oregonians. I hope that more Oregonians see OSU Extension as a resource for them in their daily lives. Extension is here to serve and help the people.  

This internship could not be what it’s been without the people I’ve worked with. I want to take this opportunity to thank Christy, Betsy, and Michele Webster, who manages the Linn County office, for believing in me and guiding me along the way. I would also like to thank KJ Joseph, who coordinates the OSU Intern Program, and my family for all their support.  

A young boy holding a small LEGO robot he made at 4-h camp.
A youth with his robot creation at 4-H LEGO camp.

Hello everyone! This is Alyson Yates, checking in with an update from Lake County. I am just entering the eighth week of my internship, and my experience with the Extension program so far has been very fulfilling. While I have learned about many different areas within OSU Extension in Lake County, my primary focus has been working with local youth in a few different programs.     

I began my internship by assisting with Lake County 4-H LEGO Camp, a four-day event intended to teach elementary-age youth about robotics, basic programming, and inspire creativity and interest in STEM. Each day, I guided our youth attendees through the construction of several robots and taught them how to add basic programming through an app.  This was a great way to start my internship experience, as I got to work with youth in a fun, educational environment and connect with a group of older youth leaders in 4-H.  I was also able to begin accomplishing one of my goals for this internship, which is to update our county office’s photo database with new, high-quality photographs of our 4-H events.   

During the last week of July, I assisted with the planning and execution of the first annual Lake County Youth Summit.  Lake County Extension collaborated with Lake District Health, the Lake County Youth Mentor Program, and several other groups to create a summer day camp made up of workshops, activities, and games to help youth improve their leadership skills. Although plans for the event had to be adjusted due to the extreme fire danger in southern Oregon, we were able to organize a successful and fun event for the youth that attended. Activities were focused on helping youth recognize their values, understand their self-worth, persevere through their struggles, and learn how to be a positive influence within their community.   

A class of 2nd grade youth at Fremont Elementary summer school holding their self-portraits made from construction paper.
A class of 2nd-grade youth at Fremont Elementary summer school with their “Picasso” self-portraits, made from construction paper.

I am currently in the midst of my internship project, which is structured around leading arts and crafts classes for the Fremont Elementary Summer School program. I have a few more classes to teach before my project comes to an end, but this has been a great opportunity for me to gain experience working with K-2 grade youth in a classroom environment. Art-based programming is very important to me, and I hope that projects like this will help engage our local youth in the arts and inspire them to participate in similar activities in the future! 

As I begin to launch into preparation for the Lake County Fair, I feel very excited to be involved in this program from a different perspective. Throughout my years as a 4-H member, the county fair was always the best week of the summer, and I am so thrilled to be a part of this 4-H tradition as a part of the Extension team!  It means so much to me that I am directly impacting the experiences of youth in my county, and I am looking forward to the last few weeks of my internship. 

The OSU Extension - Lane County table at the fair.
The OSU Extension – Lane County table at the fair.

Hello everyone! Ally Hand here, writing from Lane County. Lane County had its county fair two weeks ago and I had a blast helping out with things behind the scenes. We set up everything on Monday and Tuesday to be ready for the fair opening on Wednesday. It was exciting seeing everything come together. First, we set up the 4-H static exhibit. If you are unfamiliar with 4-H, static exhibits are the projects such as photography, drawing, sewing, baking, jewelry making, flower arrangements, and educational displays. I took some time making the baked goods display look presentable and it was pretty hard to not take a nibble out of all of the delicious-looking entries.

A curious goat at the fair.
A curious goat at the fair.

The next task I helped with was during 4-H animal check-in. When the animals arrive at the fairgrounds, they have to pass a vet check in order to get off of their trailer. After passing a vet check, they are weighed and then taken to their pens. It was fun watching the kids get their animals settled in, as I had never seen that side of fair before. I enjoyed seeing the variety of animals that were at the fair this year.

During one of the showmanship shows, I handed out ribbons to the kids which were fun to do as well. 4-H uses the Danish merit system for awarding youth at the fair. At first, it was a bit hard to understand, but I have a much better understanding of it now.

One learning moment that I had while helping with the fair was to listen to all sides of an issue before making a decision. My supervisor, Elizabeth Gangwer, a 4-H program coordinator in Lane County, had to make the final decision, and I was very impressed with how level-headed she was.

I am seeing the mission of OSU Extension being met in several ways. One is by teaching the public about proper animal care and what healthy animals look like. The youth are responsible for all of the animal care at the fair and they do a great job keeping their animals happy and their pens clean. Another way I have seen the mission of Extension being met is by connecting OSU to the general public. We had a large booth set up at the fair as well as a 4-H table and got several new individuals on our email list. It was important to reach out to the public and let them know OSU Extension is there to help with all kinds of topics.

For the last three weeks of my internship, I will be helping out with one youth camp and then teaching two Junior Master Gardener camps. I’ve had a great internship experience so far and am really looking forward to the two camps I will be teaching.

Hi, Joseph O’Brien checking in. As I enter my seventh week in this internship, I can only describe my experience as fulfilling. These past few weeks, I have kept busy by working at summer camps and school programs – ranging from one day to four days (not overnight) – with Extension’s Open Campus Program. Additionally, I have been working with Umatilla County’s 4-H Program to prepare for the upcoming county fair in Hermiston.  

The first summer school program I had the opportunity to work with was in Umatilla at McNary Heights Elementary School, for youth who were interested and invited by their teachers to the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) program held during the summer. My supervisor, Anna Browne, and I were invited to present a curriculum regarding monarch butterflies. Earlier in the year, Umatilla County was selected for a grant provided by Corteva to educate youth (K-12) in the surrounding communities about the world’s biggest natural phenomenon: the migration of monarchs. At McNary, I talked about the butterfly’s life cycle, its migration from various parts of the United States and Canada to California and Mexico for the winter, the predators that put the butterflies in danger, and the habitats required for reproduction and preservation of these majestic insects.  

Caterpillar Survival Game with milkweed

We also talked about the importance of pollinators and how big of a contribution they make to the food we eat and items we use daily. After learning and discussing this information throughout the days with the youth, we played different games. For example, one involved a milkweed plant, a caterpillar magnet, and other magnets representing predators and food. The object of the game was to pick up the food magnets off the milkweed five times with the caterpillar magnet without picking up the predator magnets that would kill the caterpillar. After completing various trials and evaluating how many larvae got the five food magnets, it was determined that about 1% of eggs live to become a butterfly. Shocking, right? 

Another summer day camp was called, “Nuts, Bolts, and Thingamajigs: Manufacturing Camp” (NBT Camp). During this camp, youth received presentations from Boardman Foods, Amazon Web Services, Blue Mountain Community College and Oregon State University faculty members, Umatilla Electric Cooperative, and the Port of Morrow. Additionally, the kids had the opportunity to design and create their own wooden speaker, work together during team-building activities each day, and give a presentation about their future careers/goals. Not only did the kids learn about all the amazing trades and work training positions located here in the Port of Morrow but I learned more about the history of the port. 

NBT Camp Wood Shop Project

I also learned how each manufacturing company/business (Lamb Weston, Oregon Potato Company, etc.) in the town of Boardman cooperates to create thousands of jobs, opportunities, and resources for those seeking them. One highlight from this weeklong camp was our trip to the SAGE Center located in Boardman. This location was selected for the new Amazon Web Services “Think Big Space” and will promote classes and opportunities surrounding STEAM for K-6 students. I was honored to sign the construction wall along with the kids with our “big ideas.”  

In the next few weeks, I will be mainly working with the 4-H program to prepare for the Umatilla and Morrow County Fair. Most individuals have a hard time working in a fast-paced environment with multiple tasks. Sometimes, people can’t handle these high-stress situations – not me though. As I am going to enter my junior year of nursing school this fall, I know these feelings all too well. I look forward to the challenges and tasks that are bestowed upon me as we enter the fair madness! All in all, I feel very privileged to have these opportunities here in Umatilla and Morrow counties. With only three to four weeks remaining, I am determined to meet more people, collaborate with more programs/organizations, and learn/obtain new knowledge. I would love to give a special thanks to those who have made my internship more memorable so far: my supervisor Anna Browne, Kim Rill, who works for the SAGE Center and helped with NBT Camp; America Pacheco an intern for the Port of Morrow and helped with NBT Camp, Kalie Davis, director of workforce development for the Port of Morrow and camp director for NBT, Shauna Newman, who works with the 4-H program here in Umatilla County, and so many others.  

Stay safe and well!  

Hi everyone! Henry Golb again, back for my second blog post of the summer. As a quick refresher, I’m the intern for Christy Tanner, the south Willamette Valley field crops specialist for OSU Extension. I am based in the Linn County Extension office, and my job is to assist her in both the field and the office.  

Henry Golb uses a a soil probe to pull some soil samples at a local small farm.
Henry Golb uses a a soil probe to pull some soil samples at a local small farm. Photo by Christy Tanner.

The last couple of weeks have been a bit of a change of pace for me compared to the first few weeks. Lately, I’ve been spending more time at the Linn County Extension office and at the Hyslop Crop Science Field Research Lab in Corvallis (one of OSU’s many research farms). At Hyslop, I’ve been in the lab weighing and tending to grass seed samples that are a part of a vole damage study going on across the Willamette Valley. At the Linn County Extension office, I’ve been working on an article that is to be sent out in GROWING, a publication that goes every other month via the Albany Democrat Herald newspaper, and other projects. 

Despite being in the office more, I still get to go out and interact with the good people of Oregon. Recently I spent a day at the Linn County Fair, where I really got to see Extension shine. Michele Webster, who manages the Linn County office, wanted me to go to the fair and learn more about the 4-H program because before I walked onto the fairgrounds, I knew very little about the 4-H program. I was fortunate enough to have Linn County’s 4-H program coordinator, Abby Johnson, give me the rundown and show me around the fair. By the end of our walk, my mind was blown. I had no idea how big or impactful 4-H is. Learning about what 4-H does and how it positively affects the kids was great, but then actually seeing the kids smile with their hog, lamb, sewing project, etc. was magical. I was so impressed I came back to the fair on my day off just to watch the livestock auctions.  

 All in all, I’m enjoying and finding meaning in my work this summer. Life is good.  

Hello! My name is Abbey Berhorst, and I grew up in Yamhill, Oregon. I just graduated with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural science from the Oregon State University partnership program with Eastern Oregon University in La Grande. This fall I will be continuing my education by pursuing a master’s degree in agricultural education at OSU. I’m looking forward to student teaching this fall in St. Paul, Oregon. 

This summer I am working for OSU Extension office in Umatilla County, at the Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center. I’ll be working with Ray Qin, who’s program focuses on field crop agronomy and soil, nutrient, and water management of high value irrigated crops grown in north-central and northeastern Oregon. I will be assisting him with various research trials throughout the summer by measuring field crops, recording crop growth, and preparing crop samples for testing. As an Extension intern, I will also assist with communications by helping write newsletters and sharing on the research station’s Instagram page that will be coming soon. 

Before starting my internship, I had no idea how diverse OSU Extension is and how far it reaches across the state. I was actively involved in 4-H growing up, so I knew of Extension, but I thought it only focused on 4-H. Through my internship I am now able to see that it extends far beyond 4-H and focuses on areas including agronomy, community health, and natural resource sustainability. I am so excited to continue learning about OSU Extension and I look forward to my further involvement as I begin teaching in the future. 

Hello everyone! My name is Ally Hand, and I am an intern in the OSU Extension office in Lane County for the summer. I will be working under the supervision of Elizabeth Gangwer, 4-H Program Coordinator for Lane County.  

I am originally from Bend, Oregon, but have spent the last few years in the Willamette Valley and intend to stay. I am a senior at OSU, studying horticulture with a focus in sustainable production. 

Some of my interests include gardening, cooking, baking, reading, listening to podcasts, and cross-stitching. One interest that I plan to get back into over the summer is brewing kombucha and maybe trying my hand at canning. 

As a Pacific Northwest native, you may guess that one of my interests is hiking. I visited Silver Falls State Park for the first time in June. I went during the weekend and didn’t anticipate seeing the trails packed with people. I would definitely recommend going, just expect there to be a lot of visitors if you’re going on a weekend. 

I was first exposed to OSU Extension when I was in elementary school when my grandma became a Master Gardener. Yet, I didn’t think about Extension a lot until I reached college. 

During my third year at OSU, I found out there was a class I could take called “Introduction to Extension & Engagement.” That 10-week class taught me the ins and outs of all things OSU Extension and ignited a spark inside me that hasn’t burnt out. 

During my internship I will mainly be helping out with Lane County 4-H and their Youth Fair that will be from July 20-July 25. So far, I have done quite a bit of preparation by making schedules, organizing boxes, and designing signs. I’m hoping that I also get to collaborate this summer with the horticulture and community agriculture side of Extension, as well. 

In between fair preparation I have also been planning two Junior Master Gardener camps that are  scheduled for August 9-12 and August 16-19. Teaching youth about plants, gardening, and especially soil, is a passion of mine, so I am looking forward to those two weeks. 

I started at OSU in 2016 and have my fingers crossed that I will finish up in spring 2022. My intention is to work for OSU Extension in the form of community outreach and working with farmers across the state. For now, I don’t plan to attend graduate school but I would love the opportunity to attend someday. 

I am truly looking forward to a summer filled with all things OSU Extension and all of the community connections that I make. 

Hello!  My name is Alyson Yates, and I grew up in the high desert and sagebrush of Lakeview, Oregon.  I began my involvement in the OSU Extension 4-H program as a fourth-grader and continued to show livestock and participate in the arts throughout my time in high school.  I also traveled to National 4-H Congress in Atlanta as a part of the 2018 Oregon delegation, and during my final year, I served as an Oregon 4-H state ambassador.  While I still raise livestock, I also love to travel (domestically and internationally), spend time outdoors, paint and take photos.  During the academic year, I work as a student marketing photographer at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande. I recently completed my first year at EOU, where I am studying agricultural science and pursuing minors in animal science and comparative international agriculture.  

During my junior year, I hope to study abroad at either Lincoln University in New Zealand or the University of Edinburgh in Scotland to focus on global sustainable agriculture and outreach. After earning my bachelor’s degree, I plan to earn a master’s degree in agricultural education before finding a career within university Extension 4-H program development. 

This summer, I will be an intern at the Lake County Extension office, working alongside Breann Vandenberg, the county’s 4-H youth development & family community health outreach program coordinator.  Throughout the upcoming weeks, I hope to interact with the youth of Lake County through both livestock and non-livestock projects, inform members and their parents about the many impactful leadership opportunities available through 4-H, and gain experience with 4-H program development behind the scenes.  I would also love to incorporate one of my other passions, photography, into this position, and help to cultivate the growth of fine arts programs in Lake County’s 4-H.

I believe that youth are essential to the future of agriculture in our country,  and that providing education, support, and opportunity for rural youth to thrive is possibly the most important thing that our generation can do to cultivate a future of agricultural sustainability. 

I want to be able to provide these things to the youth in my community and encourage them to grow and better themselves through many different outlets, just as I was fortunate enough to do.  Since I hope to ultimately find a career within Extension, this is an extremely valuable experience for me, and I am so excited to get started.