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.  

 

This summer I’ve had the pleasure of working for the OSU Extension Small Farms Program with Teagan Moran in Linn, Lane, and Benton counties. Most of my time was spent helping organize our Military Veteran Farm Tour Series and attending farm tours of the Willamette Women’s Farm Network (WWFN).

Two women in gray t-shirts and jeans stand next to each other, arm in arm, under a tree.
Crystal Kelso (right) with Teagan Moran, small farms coordinator in Benton, Lane and Linn counties.

I got to experience what it looks like to start out with a sheep farm using movable electrical fencing powered by solar panels, a dry farm that grows flowers and veggies alongside raising goats and poultry (and sampling some of the best goat cheese ever!) and wandering around a medicinal herb farm that has a roadside veggie stand and sells herbs to local businesses.  

I’ve met some amazing people and forged some long-term connections that I hope will carry over into both my personal and professional life. The farmers on these tours are thoughtful and caring about the land and their crops and animals. One thing they all had in common was the desire to connect with each other and give back to the community in a way that is sustainable and fulfilling. I think the overall theme was that these farmers are not doing this to get rich, but to feel good about what they are doing.                                                                                    

I have two more veteran farm tours to go to and will finish updating the agritourism farms list before I complete my internship. After that, I will stay on as a part-time student employee in the Small Farms Program while I finish my last year at OSU and receive my bachelor’s degree in horticulture/ horticulture therapy.  Wherever this path leads me, I am thankful for the time, experience and connections I’ve made with this internship. Having such a great mentor in Teagan to intern with has been super helpful, and she has been great about getting me connected to as many people as possible to help further my experience and career. Thanks again for the opportunity! 

Hi, my name is Nora Graham, and this is my last blog post for the summer. As my time interning at the Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center with OSU comes close to its conclusion, I thought I would share what a routine week looks like for me during my entomology internship.

I’m currently splitting my time between two researchers’ projects, and so on Mondays and Fridays I look for corn earworm larvae and eggs on hemp plants in Jackson County, as well as working towards my presentation and research paper I’ll be submitting for a separate OSU internship.

A person is standing in a field of tall hemp plants.
Nora Graham inspects hemp for corn earworm eggs.

On Tuesdays through Thursdays, I help with a wide variety of entomology tasks for pear and grape crops. Some of these weekly tasks include looking for treehoppers on grapevines that could potentially carry grapevine red blotch virus. We check coddling moth traps put up in pear orchards and count the number of male and female moths. We also collect and transfer earwigs from a peach orchard and put them in a pear orchard to see if they can act as a predator for pear psylla and two-spotted spider mites since they’re not able to do damage to pear crops.

It has been an incredible experience getting to work on so many diverse entomology projects. I had the opportunity to see how different orchards and vineyards operate, as well as getting to interact with a lot of knowledgeable people.

 

Hi everyone. Em Jones here again. I can barely believe it’s been two months since my last blog post. The summer is coming to an end with earlier sunsets as we approach the equinox, about a month away now. I’ve been so busy with my internship I’ve hardly noticed the passing days. I’ve been networking, meeting new people and making lots of friends through various workshops and activities. My main projects have revolved around Small Farm School and the Oregon Mushroom Producers Network.  

A black plastic tub filled with a wide variety of mushrooms
A bountiful mushroom harvest.

The OSU Extension Small Farms program has been busy as a bee planning and preparing for Small Farm School. Several classes are filling up quickly but it’s not too late to register. It will be held on Monday, Sept. 12 at Clackamas Community College in Oregon City. Classes include topics like poultry processing, funding your small farm “dream,” and farming with climate resiliency.  

We are abuzz right now with volunteer opportunities to support workshops and ensure the day flows smooth as honey. If you’re interested, please reach out to Kelly Streit. Just four hours of volunteering gets you into the Small Farm School for free! 

In addition to supporting Small Farm School, I’ve also had the pleasure of facilitating the first meeting of Oregon’s Mushroom Producer Network. This group of folks includes gourmet and medicinal mushroom cultivators from across Oregon. If you or someone you know is cultivating mushrooms, please reach out to me for more details. We have an upcoming mushroom farm tour and have just begun the conversation about the purchasing power opportunities we can embark upon.  

While I am sad that my internship and the summer are quickly coming to an end, I am so grateful to have participated in the OSU Extension internship program. My mentor, Heidi Noordijk, has given me a wealth of knowledge and opportunity. She is truly a resource librarian and shining example of what the Extension Service is all about. From my time at the Clackamas County Fair to participating in her IPM class, I can honestly say she truly cares about and authentically supports the farming community for the benefit of us all.  

As fall approaches mushroom growing will be at a peak and this small farmer looks forward to continuing their education with Oregon State University as well as continuing to learn from and partner with the Extension Service.  

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!

My name is Caitie Smith I am a current senior at Oregon State University studying agriculture science and will be returning for my master’s in agriculture education this fall. During my internship at the Linn County Extension Office, I have learned so much and the time has just flown by. I am so grateful to everyone at the office that has welcomed me and made me feel at home throughout the summer.

A woman stands against a cloud-streaked sky, wearing a backpack with long flags.
Caitie Smith carrying flags and drone ground control points for a grass seed trial.

I have mostly been working with Christy Tanner, assistant professor of practice and Extension field crops specialist, on several ongoing research projects throughout the summer. I wouldn’t be getting the full Linn County experience without doing some work with grass seed. So of course, one of the projects that took up the majority of our time involved assessing several grass seed fields for vole damage. This project was made easier with the use of multispectral images from a drone that allowed us to view the field from above. The most rewarding part of this project for me was being able to have a hands-on experience with several steps of the research process, from collecting samples to processing drone images and data.

Purple flower stalks peeking above a large field of dense green mint leaves.
A flowering mint field while pest scouting.

Another project that I worked on with Christy was monitoring variegated cutworm and mint root borers in several mint fields throughout the mid-Willamette valley. Every Tuesday I drove to four different fields, collected data, and changed the pheromone traps that were used to attract mature moths. After this, I would make graphs with the data that would go into the weekly “Mint Pest Alert” newsletter.

I also worked with Elizabeth Records, a community horticulture and Master Gardener educator, and the Extension Master Gardener content team. Weekly I edited master gardener trainee’s blog posts before posting them alongside a few social media posts. Not only did I learn a lot about editing and posting blogs but I also learned a great deal from the blog posts themselves. The trainees did copious amounts of research on each of their subjects from weeding tools to maximizing your harvest’s nutrients.

Once again, I can’t thank the Linn County Extension staff enough for allowing me to make the most out of this opportunity. I am sure that this is not my last chapter working with extension and I am looking forward to ways that I can use the knowledge that I gained in my future endeavors.

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, I am Cydney Stables and this is my last week as an intern for the OSU Extension Communications office. As I am wrapping up the last week of my internship, I have taken some time to think about all the amazing opportunities this summer has provided me. Throughout this journey, I have learned a number of life skills that not only relate directly to my majors but also to any career path I choose to take.

During my internship, I had the opportunity to rotate among four teams in the Extension communications office: news and public issues, marketing, web and content strategy and publishing. While each team brought a new perspective to the overall outlook of the Extension communications department, I also had the opportunity to complete new and exciting tasks.

Cydney Stables

Some of my favorite projects this summer included:

  • Traveling across the state to explore county Extension offices.
  • Writing and publishing a news release.
  • Developing a 4-H postcard, brochure and templates.
  • Adding publications to the Extension website.
  • Creating and conducting an activity to help Extension with web organization.
  • Formatting the main Extension website topic pages.
  • Creating a social media plan to promote publications.
  • Editing various web articles.
  • Voting on my favorite T-shirt design to use as promotional material.
4-H instructional sheet template designed by Cydney Stables.

This list may seem long but there have been so many other tasks that have taught me new things, brought me out of my comfort zone, and helped me learn tips and tricks for my future success.

While working towards all of these goals, I also had the opportunity to work with interns in county offices on their blog posts. By reading each post I felt like I experienced an even broader perspective of the work Extension programs do. Being the intern for central Extension communications has provided me with an outlook on Extension from a new perspective.

My internship overall has been a great learning experience. By rotating among the different communications teams, I had the opportunity to learn a wide variety of skills including problem solving, seeking out advice, using outside resources, thinking outside the box, as well as drafting and revising.

I have had the opportunity to develop great connections among each employee in the office and work with different teams, different personalities, work environments and new and exciting tasks.

I have seen the hierarchy it takes to run a strong outreach organization and while leaders are important, every member of every office is just as important. Extension needs a communications network to bring the actions and efforts of county employees to the eyes of legislators while communicators need county employees to do the work and perform the outreach.

Instagram post for nutrition publication designed by Cydney Stables.

From traveling around that state at the beginning of my internship – seeing the day-to-day functions of county Extension employees – to working on central communications teams and even meeting important program leaders my internship has provided me with a well-rounded outlook of the tiered functionality of the Extension program in the state of Oregon. Growing up in Yamhill County I had the opportunity to call the Extension 4-H program home and I hope to someday work, volunteer or participate in the outreach of Extension, now and into the future.

I would like to thank all of the people I have had the opportunity to work with. It has been amazing to see how each team functions to bring together the value of Extension as a whole. Every individual is important in making an impact on the public, educating youths, connecting communities and empowering individuals. This internship has shown me what the purpose of Extension truly is from all levels. I have developed a great appreciation for county workers who assisted me in all my years through the 4-H program, for legislators and county commissioners who allocate the funding to support impactful programs, and for volunteers, staff, and faculty whose purpose it is to serve our communities.

Hi! My name is Nora Graham and I’m working with OSU Extension at the Southern Oregon Research and extension Center in Jackson County on some very cool entomology projects. I’m a senior horticulture student at OSU, and I hope someday to use my degree to help create and maintain beautiful landscapes for everyone to enjoy. Even though I’m only a month into my internship, I’ve been having a blast learning about insects and their relation to plants.

Nora Graham setting up a colony for aphids.

My time here has been divided between various research projects involving biocontrol for hemp, vineyards and pear orchards. With hemp, we are trying to see if we can use a wasp to control cannabis aphid populations, since this wasp lays its eggs inside living aphids which eventually kills the aphids. So far, we’re starting the experiment from scratch, so I’ve been helping develop a procedure as well as trying to start a colony of cannabis aphids. We need to see if we can keep a steady population of aphids alive so we can actually conduct the experiment. If all goes well, we’ll be starting trials by next month.

With vineyards, I get to help collect data to determine if treehoppers are a vector for a virus that damages grape vines called red blotch disease. To collect these insects, we go to various places we think they’d be living with a net and swing the net back and forth across the plants. The treehoppers are usually stunned and stay at the bottom of the net long enough to collect. After we collect them, we give them a sucrose solution to feed on and then we test the treehopper and the solution for the virus to see if the treehopper was infected and if it was able to spread its disease.

In pear orchards, one of the most destructive pests is so small you might mistake it as a gnat. It is called pear psyllaand it can do everything from ruin the color of pears, to inhibiting the leaves of the tree from growing, to spread a disease that kills the pear trees. They can develop resistances to chemical sprays, which is why growers are turning to more unconventional treatments of this pest. While researchers work to find a significant way to control pear psylla populations, growers have had to get creative with how they ward off the pest.

Norah Graham uses a net to catch treehoppers.

A promising biocontrol for the pear psylla is the hardy European earwig, Forficula aurcularia. Researchers at OSU have been participating in an experiment to see if earwigs could be intentionally placed into pear orchards to control the pear psylla populations. For the past few weeks, a large part of my work here at SOREC has been trapping hundreds of earwigs from peach orchards and moving them to pear orchards to see if they can help create a dent in the pear psylla population.

Briauna Herrick

Hey there! My name is Briauna Herrick, and I grew up in Springfield, Oregon. I just finished my third year at Oregon State University, where I am majoring in agricultural sciences. I decided on this major because agriculture was something I had grown up involved in, and it just seemed familiar and natural. I grew up on my family’s farm in Springfield, where we have a produce stand and grow a wide variety of crops throughout the year. I’m on track to graduate after the winter term of 2023.

As I have pursued my degree, my passion for agricultural industry has grown. I have had many opportunities to get involved through classes, clubs and jobs. Outside of classes I am involved with two clubs on campus. I served as the treasurer for the Collegiate Farm Bureau club and was just elected president for the upcoming school year. I am also a part of a ministry group called Cru and am currently serving on the leadership team this year. Through my involvement with Cru, I had the opportunity to go on a mission trip to El Salvador in March where we installed water filters for many families and got to know individuals in different communities. I have been involved with both organizations for the past three years and they have showed me the importance of sharing my direct experience with agriculture and surrounding myself with community.

This summer I am interning with Chrissy Lucas, Extension groundwater protection specialist and outreach coordinator in Extension’s groundwater protection and education program. Since starting my internship a few weeks ago, I have been to two nitrate screenings, learned a lot about wells and septic tanks, cut and stamped many postcards, and learned how to use the copier. More recently, I have been busy with collecting information about wells and septic systems in other counties and preparing for upcoming nitrate screenings. I have scheduled a few nitrate screenings and am looking forward to holding one at my family’s farm later this summer. The past few weeks have consisted of many emails, scheduling events and staying organized.

Before this internship I thought of Extension as a resource for the agricultural industry, but I didn’t know that so much goes into the job. It’s been fun learning more about Extension as a whole and meeting new people. There is a lot of networking, planning, and communicating. I’ve got a busy summer ahead of me and am looking forward to what is to come!