Keon Cohl Kiser

Hello there! I am Keon Cohl Kiser, a freshly cooked college freshman going into my second year at Oregon State University. I am studying to be an environmental engineer with honors, with a hope to provide new solutions and/or sustainable alternatives for waste treatment through the study of organic decay. For me to be ready to take those steps I wanted to take an internship position to familiarize myself with the working environment and communal relationships.

I found this opportunity at the OSU Extension office in The Dalles with the Extension 4-H program, whose mission is to provide meaningful opportunities for all youths and adults to work together to create sustainable community change. I experienced a change as a high school student participating in the VEX Robotics Program, organized by Lu Seapy, 4-H STEM educator in Wasco County.

Through 4-H I was introduced into STEM and I was able to find a calling in my life to help improve the health of our planet and our communities, leading me into the engineering field. This is something that I hope I can give back to youths by introducing them to a multitude of topics like robotics and biology (as a few examples) to provide a groundwork for whatever path they are called to be on.

Not only will I build communal relationships and communication skills, I will also be put into an environment where I am charged with tasks to be done by deadlines. This opportunity provides new habits of scheduling, planning and executive decision-making, when needed.

Being at 4-H I can be a part of the lives of many people within my community, striving to enthrall youths in a variety of ways to encourage them to push themselves to grow in their future careers and as people. Similarly, I will grow with this experience communally and technically to establish the groundwork for my future.

Hey everyone!

My name is Alli Dixson. I am a sophomore at Montana State University studying animal science with a concentration in livestock management and industries. Through my experiences in Oregon 4-H and FFA I found my love of agriculture and more specifically livestock. For that reason, I have chosen to come back home for the summer to work as an intern for 4-H in the OSU Extension office in Tillamook County. Through the summer I hope to get a firsthand experience of what it’s like to work in Extension along with gaining key skills that are essential to any workplace.

Alli Dixson (middle) helping a Cloverbud launch a bottle rocket.

While I’ve only been working with Extension for a short while, I’ve definitely been busy. My first week I planned and assisted in instructing and leading a livestock clinic for 4-H members. We covered some basic information and specialty management techniques of swine, cattle, sheep and goats. The 4-H’ers learned through both a classroom setting and many hands-on activities involving feed rationing, contagious disease, animal behavior and safe injections.

Alli Dixson (right) assisting at a poultry clinic.

The following week I moved directly into 4-H Cloverbud day camps. We had an action-packed three days of art, crafts, and science. Some of the fun learning activities included making wildflower paper, planting herbs, cloud watching, and launching bottle rockets. The kids had a great time, and I enjoyed getting to work on my teaching skills along with my ability to manage a room of kids. It was a great experience and I hope to have many more like it throughout the summer.

Just this past week I’ve attended a poultry clinic in which members learned how to show chickens, ducks, and turkeys. Throughout the week I have also been working on planning and preparing for our 4-H junior day camps for 9- to 12-year-olds. During this camp we will cover topics such as engineering, horticulture, and other stem topics. While I’ve clearly been very busy, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have enjoyed being surrounded by kids, stem, agriculture, and most importantly learning.

 

 

Hello!

Kylie Siddoway

My name is Kylie Siddoway and I am an Intern in the OSU Extension office in Baker County. I grew up in eastern Oregon on my family’s cattle ranch and I was heavily involved in Extension 4-H and FFA. I just finished my first year at Texas A&M University in College Station and came home to work at my local Extension office for the summer.

I am majoring in agricultural leadership and development and am excited to explore Extension as a potential career path. I am working with both the Baker County Fair Board and Angela Robb, the administrative office manager and local liaison in the county office. My main responsibilities are organizing the county fair, contacting vendors, helping with open show entries and overseeing our front office.

So far this summer I have had an amazing time here at the Extension office and I’ve already learned more than I could have hoped for. Angela is someone I have known for a long time and it has been nice to work with a familiar face for my first college internship.  She’s been off for a few weeks and that gave me an opportunity to help manage the front office and take on additional responsibilities such as filing paperwork and working with staff to answer community members’ questions.

I have really appreciated all of the staff here for their support and kindness. It is a wonderful place to work and a great learning environment. I already know I’ve developed skills that will transfer to any career I end up in. Working at the Baker County Extension office is a great opportunity and I’m thankful to be on staff here.

Overall, I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to the remainder of my internship before heading back to Texas A&M.

 

Hello, my name is Cydney Stables. I am the intern for the OSU Extension Communications office, located in the Kerr Administration Building on the main Oregon State University campus in Corvallis.

Two girls are posing with a dairy cow.
Cydney Stables (right) shows a dairy cow in 4-H.

I’m from Gaston, Oregon, and I just completed my first year of college at Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa. I am majoring in agribusiness, communications, business administration and economics with a minor in plant and animal sciences.

I plan to pursue a master’s in agricultural communications upon completing my undergraduate work. After that, I hope to obtain a job in agricultural public relations, working as a spokesperson for the agriculture industry or as an educator for Extension.

So far, this internship has given me insight into the vast future career opportunities I may have in Extension and communications. One of the greatest experiences I have had thus far was the opportunity to tour county Extension offices across the state.

Statue from the Pendleton rodeo grounds

In late May, I traveled with the communications’ news and public issues team to Pendleton, where we began our tour of offices from there.

We visited with faculty and staff in the Extension offices in Umatilla, Sherman, Wasco, Hood River and Clackamas counties.

Then at the beginning of June, I went with colleagues in Extension Communications to the Extension office in Tillamook County, where we met the staff and discussed communications resources on the Extension employee intranet and media outreach. On our way back to Corvallis, we stopped at the Extension office in Yamhill County, which is one that is very familiar to me. My mom works there and I’ve helped around the office in previous summers as a volunteer.

These trips opened my eyes to the breadth and depth of what Extension truly does. Growing up a part of Extension through the Oregon 4-H program, I had no idea how many opportunities OSU Extension offers for communities. In addition, I learned first-hand from faculty and staff about their successes, challenges and failures.

Hood River Extension office research orchard

The trip was an immersive experience. Not only did I get to see Extension employees in action, but I also had the opportunity to experience the diversity in agriculture across the state.

I learned about programs of SNAP-Ed, Strong People, Master Gardeners, Open Campus, Juntos and more. All of which are great community outreach opportunities that benefit individuals in countless ways.

I want to thank all of the employees from the county offices we visited for being so welcoming and kind.

I can’t wait to see what the rest of this internship learning opportunity has in store.

Hello everyone, my name is Yolanda Diaz, and I am from the town of Nyssa in Malheur County. I’m a student at George Fox University, on my way to a bachelor’s degree in social work. I aspire to pursue a master’s in social work and then become a licensed clinical social worker. One of my main goals is to have my own counseling practice for families and children.

I’ve been involved in OSU Extension 4-H Teens as Teachers and other programs where I’ve had the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C., and network with many STEM professionals. This summer, I’m working alongside my supervisor, Barbara Brody, associate professor of practice and 4-H educator. So far, I’ve had the opportunity to plan cooking camps for youths, learn about aviation services, promote physical activity around our county, and develop engaging activities at the farmers market.

Yolanda Diaz poses for a picture in front of an Oregon State University Extension Service farmers market booth with coloring supplies and coloring sheets available for youth
Yolanda Diaz at the OSU Extension table at a farmers market.

The process of planning and delivering “Kids in the Kitchen” was a new and exciting experience for me. I’m grateful that our team is able to host summer camps in order for youths to gain essential skills regarding cooking and baking. Seeing them understand concepts and apply them to their work throughout the summer is truly rewarding. Our team has also gotten the chance to visit different schools in our county and teach lessons related to food and nutrition.

Yolanda Diaz handing out sliced fruit to a little girl for making smoothies.
Yolanda Diaz (right) hands out ingredients for making smoothies.

One of my favorite parts of this internship is working in makerspace events. I contribute by helping students learn the process of laser engraving, vinyl cutting, T-shirt and sticker-making, and 3D printing. With the rapid advancement of technology, I believe it’s crucial for youth to learn 21st-century skills. One of the best things about makerspace is that it provides a chance for students to stay determined and creative through the process. The makerspace even won a national teamwork award this year!

Planning educational activities for families at the farmers market is one of the most rewarding parts of this internship. It’s an exciting time to meet families and share resources with them. This year, all of our activities are focused on bringing awareness regarding what bees do for our environment. Engaging with youth about this topic, while building fun crafts, is a beneficial way to inform children about the agricultural setting we live in and how it contributes to our daily lives. The farmers market really helps Extension reconnect with our community and remind them what we are all about.

A valuable lesson I’ve gained from working in Extension this summer is the importance of community partnerships. Involving different organizations is very beneficial. Networking with professionals that may have a different background than yours brings another insight into the subject matter and it also strengthens our community. I’m looking forward to the upcoming events that we have planned. I am thankful to be doing such meaningful work in my community and to grow as a leader, student and intern.

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.