Hello everyone! I’m Alyson Yates, and this summer I’ve had the pleasure of working with 4-H and agricultural Extension in Lake County for a second year. My internship concluded last week with the 103rd Lake County Fair and Roundup. 

After preparing for several weeks, my county fair week began with static 4-H exhibits. This year, our Lake County 4-H members entered projects in a large variety of areas, including floriculture, Legos, fused glass, photography, fiber arts, food preservation and more. I assisted as a clerk and got hands-on experience with check-in, interviews, judging, state fair qualifications and final set-up processes. 

Three goats and their handlers stand facing a woman with a clipboard while others watch.
Alyson Yates judging meat goats in 4-H Round Robin showmanship.

I had a few different objectives throughout county fair week, both within my internship and through my volunteer position as a 4-H leader. One of my goals was to photograph all of our 4-H livestock shows for use in future publications and media. This was a continuation of the work I did last year, which I greatly enjoyed as it incorporated my love of photography into Extension. I covered shows for 10 different species this year, from swine to dairy cattle and everything in between. I am very happy with the photos I captured, and I am excited to see them used in future media! 

One of the challenges that we were faced with this year was Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), also known as avian flu, in the state of Oregon. We had several poultry 4-H members in our county, and in order to maintain good biosecurity, non-market animals were not allowed at our county fair. To allow our poultry 4-H members to still show their knowledge and skills, we used stuffed “dummy birds” and a knowledge test for poultry showmanship. I worked closely alongside our small animal judge to coordinate this effort. Also, with the threat of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease (RHDV2) in the region, we worked hard to sanitize all contacted surfaces and keep visitors from touching the animals. As an Extension intern and county fair small animal superintendent, this was one of my top priorities during fair week.   

My final area of focus was preparing our annual 4-H Recognition Ceremony. This year we had six fantastic youth speakers who worked as our emcees, and one of my responsibilities was to help them create their scripts and practice their speaking roles.  

Additionally, I have spent the last month assisting with the re-installment of the Lake County Ambassador program, and it was an honor to welcome four youth leaders to the team at this event. Outside of my internship work, I also had a fantastic time judging meat goats in our Round Robin Showmanship competition.   

A black and white closeup view of the face of a dark colored cow with an ear tag that says Lake Co Fair.
A steer and showman in the Rancher’s Choice Market Beef show. Photo by Alyson Yates.

Looking back at everything I did with Extension this summer it is hard for me to believe that my internship has come to an end. I want to extend my thanks to all of the Lake County staff that I’ve worked with, who have given me so many valuable opportunities to learn and grow in Extension and beyond.  I am so grateful for the time I’ve spent working in Lake County, and I am confident that I will carry what I have learned into my future endeavors in Extension programming.  

 

Hi! My name is Anna Ehlers and I’m an OSU Extension summer intern at the Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center (SOREC) in Jackson County. I am an Oregon State University student majoring in horticulture with a minor in biological data science. I am working with my supervisor Lena Hosking, 4-H program coordinator in Jackson County.  

A woman sits cross legged on the floor in front of a horticulture display
Anna Ehlers with her 4-H horticulture display and materials.

I am finishing up my last week at my internship and things have been less chaotic since we finished working at the fair.  

Lately I have been working on a horticulture curriculum for future 4-H camps or day projects. I have found many fun example curricula online and in our project books. Not only am I searching for projects, but I am also editing and revising them to better fit our desired curriculum. Our curriculum has a set of learning objectives that should be incorporated into each project, so revising the projects to improve teaching methods are needed.  

In addition to searching for projects, I have to test them out. By testing the projects, I can improve them to make instructions clearer for students or instructors reading through the curriculum. I can identify issues or miscommunication found in the instructions and modify them. This can clear up any confusion before the projects have begun. We also identify the learning outcomes, so the students have a takeaway after participating in a project. This helps us create a quality curriculum.  

I have found so many things that students of any age can enjoy. My focus is horticulture so I found many gardening, growing and observational horticulture projects that can be educational and fun. There are projects that work better for different ages, so I have some projects that can be easily adjusted. The projects I have modified include pressed flowers, paper making, and seed germination.  

Since many projects include crafts, I created multiple examples for a number of projects. My favorite project I worked on was pressing flowers. In the gardens surrounding the office there are many, many flowers that can be pressed. In front of the plants there are signs labeled with the scientific name and common name. After pressing the flowers for many days, I would write down the scientific name and common name then use Mod Podge to glue the flower onto a piece of cardstock. This would allow the flower to be preserved along with its name, and allows the students to learn that flowers and other plants can have more than one name so that identification can be easier.  

For my seed germination project, I grew different types of beans to see how they grew. The different beans allow for students to track different growth patterns between the different species. To develop scientific inquiry, there are many possible things to experiment with. Learning about a control group and an experimental group can show how you can compare and contrast regarding the different experiments. By using observational skills, students can learn how to identify and describe changes noticed in the real world.  

A woman looks across black and yellow flowers at a site to the right of the camera

I’m glad I had the opportunity to work behind the scenes to understand how much work goes into every project and event that takes place. It takes many people many hours to make our events go well. This is especially true for planning the county fair and a summer 4-H camp.  

I’ve learned to appreciate the work that is involved in preparing curriculum and revising projects that will be used in the future. There is always more work to do, and more things to revise, but it all works out in the end. I was able to work on many projects independently, which allowed me to work on my creativity not only with my curricula projects but also with marketing.  

I had a wonderful time working with 4-H over the summer. I have learned so much during my 10-week internship and I would like to thank Lena for being a great mentor by teaching me so much about 4-H and about OSU extension in general. I would also like to thank my co-worker Steven McIntyre for assisting me with my various projects.

My name is Alyson Yates, and I am returning as an OSU Extension intern for my second year in Lake County.  This summer, I have been a part of both 4-H programming and agricultural research, with the intent of increasing my knowledge of Extension and its role in communities around Oregon.  As I enter week 8 of my internship, I would like to reflect on the goals I have accomplished so far, and what I have yet to complete as I wrap up my time in Lake County.  

One of the most fulfilling parts of my internship this year has been re-establishing the Lake County 4-H Ambassador program alongside OSU Education Program Assistant Melissa Maxwell.  Growing up as a 4-H member in this county, I was active in many leadership areas, but this particular opportunity was not available to me.  Taking the steps to develop this program throughout the summer has not only been rewarding, but it has given me valuable experience with youth program initiation and design.  I am eager to see this project to completion when I wrap up my internship at our county fair!

A woman demonstrates how to show a chicken to a group of young people.
4-H members and families learning about chicken showmanship. Photo by Alyson Yates.

Throughout the summer, I have also been able to assist with a series of educational clinics facilitated by Lake County Extension, where 4-H families and leaders can learn about various livestock species.  I chose to take on the final event in this series, a clinic on rabbits and poultry, as my internship project.  The preparation process involved many steps, from securing a clinician and venue to designing a registration method for participants.  I also assisted with facilitating the clinic, which was held last week.  4-H members and leaders from around the county attended to learn and get hands-on experience, so I can happily call the project a success!  

On the agricultural side of my internship, I have been helping with a forage research project organized by agent Tammy Barnes.  So far, my work has been to process alfalfa samples from multiple study areas and complete dry matter measurements to calculate forage yield.  These measurements are then analyzed to compare the yield of alfalfa that has been inoculated with BioEnsure with control groups that have been irrigated with LESA (low elevation sprinkler application) systems.  This experience has taught me a lot about agricultural research methods and how Extension interacts with producers, and I am excited to learn more.  While I have not yet been able to collect samples from our study area myself, I hope to do so in the coming weeks before my internship concludes.   

Three people stand next to a stream.
Attendees at the Stream Assessment and Management workshop completing an ecological state assessment at Thomas Creek. Photo by Alyson Yates.

Earlier in the summer, I was also able to attend a workshop on stream assessment and management taught by OSU Extension employees and partners in Eastern Oregon.  This opportunity allowed me to draw valuable connections between Extension, local producers, and public land management organizations, and helped me learn more about the importance of watershed management.

The rest of my summer will be focused on preparation for the 103rd Lake County Fair & Roundup, held over Labor Day weekend.  While helping facilitate activities and events at the fair, I also plan to continue building our media base for the future.  I am looking forward to this event as the culmination of my second year with the Extension internship program, and I hope to continue finding new opportunities to learn and grow!

Children seated on the carpet listen while a woman tells a story from a picture book.
Jill Rudolf reads to kids at Camp Cloverbud.

Hey, everyone, my name is Jill Rudolf, and this is my final blog post of the summer. Over these 10 weeks, I have done many new things and had a lot of fun. I was able to get a feel for many different facets of Extension in Umatilla and Morrow counties and the essential services that it provides. Every day has been different, from answering phones, networking with producers, or even testing a pressure canner.  

I have been involved in many different areas over my internship. I had the opportunity to volunteer at Camp Cloverbud and do an Ag in the Classroom activity with them. Seeing kids engaged in the activities was very fun to see. I have also been able to be involved in the fair prep process. I have participated in county fairs, so seeing the “behind-the-scenes” made me appreciate the hard work that goes into the fair and the contests. In Morrow County, I was able to clerk the presentation contests during the pre-fair event. I am so impressed by the young 4-H’ers that I met. 

My main focus for my internship was water issues in eastern Oregon and how they affect Umatilla and Morrow counties. My chosen project was creating and developing a Water Needs Assessment for Umatilla and Morrow counties. This project aimed to gather information about local agricultural water use while giving producers a space to ask questions and request information. Developing this survey included much research and evaluation, and I am excited to receive responses from the producers.  

As I close my internship, I look forward to the Umatilla and Morrow county fairs. This internship was a very valuable experience, and I learned a lot about Extension as a whole and another facet of agriculture. I want to thank everyone for working with me and providing me with these memorable experiences. 

 

Hi, everyone my name is Celilo Brun and I am wrapping up the last week of my internship with OSU Extension in Wallowa County. This summer was unlike the rest. Usually, I spend the majority of my summer at the lake, but instead I got to spend it giving back to the future generations in agriculture through 4-H members. When I was in 4-H I got to experience everything that 4-H offered, from showing cattle to taking a photography class. I did it all. Even though I had these amazing experiences my mission wasn’t over. I wanted to make sure other youths got to have these amazing experiences in 4-H, like I did. As I sit here and reflect on the past few months, I realized that I accomplished my mission of giving back. 

Four young people
Celilo Brun (far right) and attendees of her cattle fitting clinic.

Throughout my internship I was fortunate enough to meet many amazing individuals that aided in my growth. They showed me their most authentic, giving and caring selves. They all have roles in 4-H. Leaders, volunteers, Extension agents and staff, parents and the community all have an open hand and heart when it comes to 4-H. They are willing to do anything for these members because they know that they will give back to the community in many ways. Observing these individuals’ passion for 4-H and the youth was a beautiful sight to see, even if these individuals didn’t know it. Once I saw the passion flow, I knew it was time to start giving back.  

While most of my internship was spent behind the scenes creating flyers, posters and fun interactive content for youths. I was able to go out and interact with the youth in various ways, including: 

  • Free Summer Lunch Program 
  • Eastern Oregon Livestock Show 
  • Tri-County 4-H Camp
  • Leaders’ meetings 
  • Putting on a cattle fitting clinic 
  • Wallowa County Fair 
4-H’ers participated in the kids parade at Chief Joseph Days.

There are many more ways that I have interacted with youth not listed above. These experiences allowed me to reflect on all of the great memories, lessons and new skills that I had developed from similar experiences. When attending these events, I wanted to make sure I emphasized those skills and experiences that they gain from these opportunities. This is very valuable for them to recognize because usually it takes many years before they see the importance. Some of these skills include public speaking, communication, adaptability, and relationship building.  

From being a 4-H’er to being a helping hand for 4-H’ers this has been a very meaningful experience and one that I will never forget. This wouldn’t have been possible without the support and guidance of many individuals. Thank you to all those individuals who made it possible. Everyone has shined their light into my life with their experience, passion, and love. Those lights have shined bright in my life and will continue to positively impact my life for many years to come.

I would also like to shout out all of the Extension staff in Wallowa County and all Extension programs across the state. Without Extension staff nothing we do would be possible. They are the secret superheroes that make 4-H and Extension programs so successful, and they aren’t always appreciated. My appreciation for all these individuals, parents, community members, and leaders have significantly grown thanks to this experience. I want to continue advocating for these individuals and the youth in agriculture. I can’t wait to watch the program flourish from the sidelines. Thank you!

 

 

Hi, I’m Molly Taylor, and I’m finishing up my last two weeks as an Extension intern in Hood River and Wasco counties, working in the Family and Community Health Program. Over the course of my internship, I’ve had many opportunities that have helped me develop skills for my future career, no matter what path I decide to take.  

A woman in a black Food Hero apron stands at a table filled with trail mix ingredients.
Molly Taylor providing DIY trail mix at a day camp in Hood River.

Some of my favorite experiences have been assisting and carrying out a 4-H cooking camp – where I got to do food demonstrations and teach kitchen skills and safety – providing snacks for local day camps and putting together recipe books for the SNAP-Ed program using Food Hero recipes. Throughout all of these experiences I’ve been able to build communication and teaching skills, planning strategies, and problem-solving methods that will benefit me in my future endeavors. 

Over the summer, I’ve enjoyed working with different programs like Family and Community Health, 4-H and Open Campus/Juntos. I’ve been able to see all that Extension does in the community and how it truly makes a difference by getting people involved and excited about learning how to better themselves and the area they live in. Throughout all of these programs, I’ve had the opportunity to do a lot with kids and it’s been especially fun to see their excitement to learn and to then take their new knowledge home to their families. This showed that not only do Extension teaching programs support adults who are trying to make a difference, but also has that impact on younger generations which makes a lasting difference.  

With my internship coming to a close, for the last two weeks I will be finishing up the recipe books that will be handed out at local schools in the fall by the SNAP-Ed program in Wasco County and potentially doing something at the Wasco County Fair. I look forward to taking all the things I’ve learned from Extension and applying them to the rest of my schooling and future jobs and leave having an extra appreciation for the work and impact that Extension has on communities like mine.  

What a summer. With my internship at Lane County 4-H beginning to wrap, reflecting upon my experience these past eight weeks has been insightful. If last year you had told me I would be spending my summer serving as a small animal judge at the Lane County Fair and setting off two dozen Alka-Seltzer volcanos I would have thought you were crazy.  

Maya Casper (from left) with Lane County 4-H faculty Melinda Garcia and Elizabeth Gangwer.

This summer I made Tofu smoothies with second-graders, learned to run a fair management software, and became an expert on the Danish scoring system, which we use to judge livestock and static projects at the fair. While it might not sound like it, all of these unique experiences have contributed to a further understanding of what it takes to serve the needs and wants of the Eugene and surrounding Lane County communities. 

This experience has provided clarification for my professional goals post-graduation, and has provided insight into the work environment in which I hope to pursue. Pushing myself outside of  my comfort zone and working in this position, which I might not have previously considered, served as highly insightful for my professional development. If I would have stayed within my comfort zone I would have not had the experience to meet families and kids where they are, understanding their needs and intentions in a way that’s impossible solely from a classroom. It has taught me a lot about flexibility, and adaptability and reiterated my respect for the sacrifices parents make for their children. 

I want to thank everyone at OSU Extension for creating this opportunity and Lane County for hosting me this summer. 

Hi, my name is Anahi (she/her/hers) and I am working for OSU Extension in Washington County this summer. In a couple of weeks, I’ll be heading back to college to start my sophomore year. I feel nostalgic for my time working with the team in the Washington County Extension Office, as time has flown by. Every event I attended provided me with new learning opportunities, from the work of our community leaders to the curiosity of the youth I mentored.  

I could not have asked for a better team, one full of compassionate and dedicated individuals who work to have an impact on the people in the county. As I reflect on my final weeks, I can only acknowledge how fortunate I was to have the privilege of joining the team.   As an Extension intern, I had the opportunity to be part of various community events. I was at free lunch sites throughout summer with a community organization, Operation H.O.P.E., to hand out science-activity bags. My days were filled with joy when I would softly hear “thank you” from every kid while they hurried to open up those bags.  

Brown gift bags with papers inside that say Bees of Oregon
Science activity bags ready for Operation H.O.P.E.

On the days I spent with the 4-H Youth Environmental Educators (YEE)  I mostly sat back and observed their work to learn as much as I could from them, their maturity, and their commitment to their projects. I would like to give a special thank you to the YEEs! All 10 kids brought fun to everything we did and being there to assist their adventures was a privilege. To have been part of their impact at Blue Lake Regional Park in Fairview and their community garden is beyond rewarding. Their dedication is something I will always admire. I spent days at the park with them and supported their planning days, learning and being mesmerized by their passion for everything they did.  

I also worked with Juntos, an Extension Open Campus program that quickly became incredibly significant to me. Juntos allowed me to share my experiences as a first-generation Latina student in a foreign country. I saw myself in every student I met, and I felt my family’s presence through every parent attending the meetings. Not only did I have the gift to share my story in order to inspire, but I did so alongside a hardworking leader and role model, my internship supervisor Ezequiel Lopez-Reyes. I can only hope that this summer is just the beginning of my time with Juntos. 

Extension expanded my passion for serving the community. It has been an experience that taught me the importance of curiosity, how much knowledge you can be gifted with by serving others, and that the resources available to us can always be shared to uplift others. To OSU Extension, thank you. I appreciate you taking the time to read about my personal Extension internship experience.

Hi again. I hope everyone’s summer has been going great. I am here to give you an update on what I have been doing in the OSU Extension office in Umatilla County. These past few weeks have been full of activities and fun. I had my Camp Cloverbud and it went great! We had 20 kids show up and seven volunteers. All the kids enjoyed the five activities I planned out and the snacks. They painted on canvas, made bird houses, planted some herbs, tie-dyed socks, read the book “Right This Very Minute” and played a game. I loved being involved in this camp and planning the activities for the kids to do. It was great with no hiccups and everyone went home with a smile on their face. 

A woman stands behind children involved in an outdoor project
Bobbie Ann Sharp at Camp Cloverbud.

For the upcoming Umatilla County Fair we are setting up the 4-H building to display each member’s project to the public. I have been helping plan out what we will do for our kids’ corner.  This has been difficult trying to get responses from volunteers and have them plan the days to be at the corner to do an activity with kids who pass by. I have come up with a scavenger hunt that can be done by the kids as they are walking around looking at 4-H members’ projects.  

We had the dog show that I helped with. I took photos and helped the judges set up the ring. It was great to see how much joy the judges got from watching the kids show and then the kids smile when they have completed their time in the ring. I am in the last two weeks of my internship but these two weeks are going to be crazy! We are doing the Fashion Revue this week and then next week is the county fair so there will be no shortage of something that needs to be done. Thank you for reading and wish me good luck for the weeks to come. 

A man records a boy telling a story
Video storytelling campers doing interviews at Sorosis Park in The Dalles.

Wasco County was created by the Oregon Territorial Legislature in 1854 and and at one time was the largest county in the United States –bigger than present-day Oregon. Today, it can still seem very old at times. Our fair structure has not changed in the time that I have been alive–until this year. One of the biggest tasks that I have gotten under this internship program is to redesign Wasco County Fair’s livestock judging contest and turn it into a Skill-A-Thon. The Extension office acquired a full set of educational posters and equipment from the Ohio State University Extension Service for each species at the Wasco County Fair. It has been my job to come up with a junior level knowledge test on all that material. We are starting at a junior level because there has not been a contest like this in Wasco County for at least 15 years and we do not want to overwhelm our 4-H and FFA kids.

This was a much larger undertaking than I originally anticipated it being. I have spent six days working on the contest already and I will need a few more still to see it through to completion. One of the greatest obstacles for this project is that there are species of animals that I know almost nothing about. I raise beef and swine at home, so those project areas come fairly easily, but I have had to learn more about sheep, goats, rabbits, cavy and poultry in the last week than I have in the last nine years of 4-H. Unfortunately, I don’t think I will be able to participate in the Skill-A-Thon as I would have an unfair advantage being the one that made it, but I hope that it makes kids realize that there is always more to learn about their animals.

One reason that the Skill-A-Thon curriculum has taken so long to make was that our Video Storytelling Camp was held last week. We gave our nine kids cameras and a computer with video editing software and we guided them through how to properly record, edit and render videos. Each of the videos were entirely unique and had the creative genius of each kid behind them. They may not have been movie quality, but for some of the fourth-graders it was their first time using a computer with a mouse. They went from learning something totally new to having a fully produced video within three days. It was immensely rewarding to see the satisfaction on the kids’ faces as we played each of their videos at the end of the camp.

Wasco County Fair is closing in, with only two weeks to go. We are getting prepared to move the Extension office out to the fairgrounds for when fair begins. Even though I am still a 4-H member it will be a lot different this year as I will be more involved in operating fair as an intern. I am looking forward to moving animals in on Aug. 17and making the most of my last year in 4-H!

Brightly colored cards with information about goats
Goat curriculum used to create parts of the Skill-A-Thon for the Wasco County Fair.