Potato Field Day was held at the Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center in June.
Potato Field Day was held at the Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center in June.

Hi! This is Abbey Berhorst from the Hermiston Agriculture Research and Extension Center (HAREC) in Umatilla County. I have been doing a lot of lab work for research preparation this summer and it has been a huge learning experience for me. I’ve gotten to work with a variety of different crops including potatoes, wheat, and alfalfa and have learned the impact they have in this area of Oregon and other regions.

Ray Qin, Extension crop agronomist, speaks at Potato Field Day.
Ray Qin, Extension crop agronomist, speaks at Potato Field Day.

This summer HAREC was able to hold an in-person Potato Field Day in June. It was interesting to be there because I got to listen to multiple speakers talk about their research projects and I was able to learn a lot of new information. It was also cool to see all the producers be invested in the workshops and ask questions. Through this event I was able to see the mission of extension being met by seeing Extension staff and researchers work first-hand with producers in the area. It seemed like everyone was relieved to finally have an opportunity to meet in person for the field day rather than staying at home for a virtual event. There were a few different speakers so, all the participants were split into groups then they had the opportunity to rotate through each workshop.

A big learning moment that I gained from the field day and throughout my internship was the importance of staying connected with work clients, whether that’s in person or virtually. Those who came to the field day seemed so excited and happy to be there in person for the day. It was like a lot of people were old friends who hadn’t seen each other in a while. HAREC still did a great job of staying connected virtually when needed, but I was able to see the impact that human interaction had between both the Extension agents and the producers.

Alli Studnick here, writing from the OSU Extension office in Benton County. Since my last blog I have been doing more than just testing water at local farmers markets. Weeks back, the Yamhill 4-H Agent contacted me and asked if I was interested in doing herdsmanship judging for their county fair at the beginning of August. I agreed and spent three days at the fair judging herdsmanship and then also judging the swine master showmanship rounds, too. It was a lot of fun going to a fair I have never been to before. I learned a lot about how much 4-H agents do, all the coordination, and how they deal with all the things that might not go as planned during a county fair. I also realized I might not be cut out to be a 4-H coordinator like I thought … they definitely don’t have the easiest job!  

During that same week I also did nitrate testing at the Stayton Farmers Market. I did 45 tests, drove close to 200 miles, and worked almost 13 hours. I have never been so tired in my life, but now that I look back on it, I am glad I experienced a day like that because the life of an Extension agent isn’t just an 8-to-5 day. 

Three weeks ago we went to Polk County to help with their Cultivating tent at the Polk County Fair. This was the week of the extreme heat so it was hot, but it was really fun to see the kids making bracelets and painting rocks, and the adults grabbing flyers and brochures about all the important things like taking care of streams and rivers, where to test your soil and water, and much more! Again, it was awesome to attend another county fair and learn more about how the different counties in Oregon do things when it comes to the fair.  

Judging at the Yamhill County Fair.
Judging at the Yamhill County Fair.

One thing I seem to forget often is that not all the people who come to Extension with questions are landowners, farmers, ranchers, and small farm owners. But they also teach the people who don’t have acreage or livestock. The people who want to learn about how they can provide habitat for native pollinators or learning about what to do if there was to be a wildfire, or if someone wants to learn how to can fruits and vegetables. OSU Extension provides classes for almost everything you can think of, and they are available to more than just rural residents. Which is the one thing I want people to know about OSU Extension. These people are here to help and to bring a smile to your face. To answer your calls and emails, or any questions you might have. Whether you live on thousands of acres or just a small lot in town, use your local Extension offices to your advantage, they are always there to lend a helping hand.  

This job revolves around service, and you can tell that the employees just want to help people and many of them jump head-first to do so. I have learned that to be an Extension agent you have to have stamina but good pacing because it’s not a race, it’s a marathon! It is so easy to go all in, and really tire yourself out quickly. I can now see why Extension faculty have a hard time with work-life balance. I also understand why people stay in this career for so long, because they enjoy their communities, the people in them, and making a difference. Which is why Extension is so special to me. 

I am fortunate to have the opportunity to continue with the groundwater quality education program long after my summer internship. Chrissy Lucas-Woodruff, my supervisor, has allowed me to continue my time with her by letting me shadow her during my year-long agriculture education master’s degree program which begins in late September. So, if you need questions answered about your well or septic or want your well water tested, I’ll be here at the Benton County Extension office in Corvallis for the next six months!  

Hey everyone! It’s Kelci Free checking in from Benton County once again. My internship with the Extension groundwater protection and education program is nearing its end and it is safe to say the past few months of this internship have been packed full of new learning experiences for me.  

Visiting a greenhouse.
Visiting a greenhouse.

I was able to teach youth programming, help out at a county fair, run booths at farmers markets testing well water for nitrate, plan various events, and I even got to spend a day helping with a 4-H camp. There have been countless lessons learned with each of these experiences and have learned so much from each person I got the opportunity to work with. I have learned how to be a professional, how much teamwork and communication are needed as well as the ability to problem-solve and improvise on the fly.  

This summer has been very eye-opening and informative for me to see what types of things I could be doing in Extension as a possible future career. This has been a huge summer of personal growth for me that I will be using moving forward into my senior year at OSU and future career.  

I am so grateful for the opportunity to experience this summer with Extension and see all the different aspects of what goes into Extension and the impact it can make on adults and children. I hope everyone can experience OSU Extension in one way or another in their daily lives as it is such a great resource for everyone. There are so many programs with a reach so far, that there is something for everyone, not just those involved in agriculture. 

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.  

Hey all! 

Chloe Hull here, updating you from Tillamook County. I am halfway through the internship, and I have learned and done a lot. Most of my time so far has been structured around getting to know community partners and building those relationships for the future. This last week I was able to sit in on a workgroup with Master Gardeners on how to increase inclusivity into the program and the work that they are doing. It was interesting being able to hear folks getting involved on the planning level and discussing the things that they have personally learned over the past several months and their ideas on moving forward into the future.  

Sun-scalded tomato plants from recent Oregon heatwave.
Sun-scalded tomato plants from recent Oregon heatwave.

As you may remember from my last post, I have been working on researching different listserv services and gathering contact information for food producers all across the north coast. With all of this research, last week we were finally able to send out our first couple of emails! I have already gotten several positive responses from folks on the listserv, and I am excited to continue being involved with sending out resources for these producers. One of the emails that we sent out last week had resources and information about fire preparedness and heat stress on plants, livestock, and workers. It is important to get these resources out to folks and work to develop a community of collaboration to become more resilient as more extreme heat events occur.  

Lastly, I am excited as the Tillamook County Fair (Aug. 10-14) gets closer because I will be hosting a 4-H exhibit. I have never gotten to host a county fair booth, so it has been a learning experience for me as I gather information and develop content and activities. I have some experience with youth engagement and development, but this will be new in that it will be a larger audience than I am accustomed to. I look forward to it though and I hope you will come say hi if you are in the area! 

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. 

Hey all! 

My name is Chloe Hull, and I am going into my fourth year as an undergraduate student at Oregon State University. I hail from Portland, Oregon, but I’m currently living in Corvallis doing a remote internship with OSU Extension in Tillamook County. I am majoring in natural resources with a specialization in ecological restoration and a minor in women, gender, and sexuality studies.

I ‘ve been accepted into OSU’s accelerated master’s program in natural resources and I’m excited to continue my education after I earn my bachelor’s degree. Beyond that, I enjoy spending time outside, baking, and cross-stitching to name a few of my hobbies. 

Throughout my internship, I will be working closely with Julia Wentzel, the Master Gardener and small farms coordinator for both Clatsop and Tillamook counties, to develop a local food producer listserv/newsletter to assist in increasing communications with and between north coast food producers. Another project that I’m excited to be working on is an easily accessible and highly polished water resource guide for landowners who want to learn more about how to best manage and/or restore the water resources on their land (creeks, ponds, wells, etc.).  

I’m looking forward to the opportunities when I get to drive to Tillamook and get to do in-person activities such as farm/dairy visits, STEM camp, county fair, and just generally being able to spend time in the Extension office and get a feel for the atmosphere. I think that having the opportunity to go up to Tillamook will give me a better understanding of the county that doesn’t come with being a tourist, and a better feel for the work that the Tillamook Extension agents are doing.  I’m grateful to my supervisor and the rest of the Tillamook Extension agents for making this internship enjoyable so far and working through the difficulties that come with a remote internship. 

Hi everyone! My name is Henry Golb, and I am a senior at OSU in the College of Agricultural Sciences, studying soil sciences and agricultural communications. Growing up in Camas, Washington, I took a nontraditional path to the agricultural world. 

My family doesn’t farm, and I didn’t participate in 4-H or FFA in high school. But agricultural influences were always around me. I heard my grandfather’s stories from when he was a nurseryman outside of Clackamas, Oregon. And my father is a natural resources water consultant. I grew up listening to him on the phone working with his clients. What I heard growing up, my desire to work outside, and a local farmer taking a chance on a high school senior led me to where I am today. 

Where am I today? 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. Each day is different for me; one day I might be changing pheromone traps and sweeping mint fields for pests, and the next I might be walking and sampling a vole-damaged perennial ryegrass field. I love the unique challenges that each day brings. 

Before this internship I knew very little about Extension. All I knew was that Extension helps people, and that was something I wanted to be a part of. Even then, I wanted to improve the quality of life for farmers, ranchers, and the people of Oregon. This summer I am so grateful to be doing just that. It is a privilege to go to work each day knowing my sweat is making a difference. 

Prior to working for Extension, I worked for Shady Grove Farm, a small vegetable farm in Camas for the past two summers. At Shady Grove Farm, I had a hand in every step, all the way from seeding to selling our products at the weekly Camas Farmers Market. I am hopeful that I will be able to use my experiences and knowledge gained at Shady Grove Farm, OSU Extension, and my classes over the past three years to go into the private sector and land a job working in agricultural sales.  

Outside of work you can find me spending time with friends and family, or out on the water fishing. As the president of the Oregon State Bass Fishing Team, I spend lots of time both on the water and helping other people get on the water. My top three favorite fish to target would be Smallmouth Bass, Chinook salmon, and Coho salmon. Aside from the fishing itself I love driving and boating around Oregon and seeing the natural beauty our state has to offer. 

I want to take this opportunity to thank Christy and Michele Webster, who manages the Linn County office, for believing in me. I would also like to thank KJ Joseph, who coordinates the OSU Intern Program, and my family for all their support. 

 

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.