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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Hello everyone!  

My name is Alli Studnick, I am 22 years old, and from the small town of Scio, Oregon, where I live on my family’s 400-acre cattle ranch. Our ranch started in 1944, and I am a fourth-generation cattle rancher. We run about 200 head of cattle and we also raise pigs. I have “3½” horses – when you count my Shetland pony. We also have a goat, four dogs and lots of cats. 

While I am not helping my family on the farm, my hobbies include riding and competing in speed events with my horses Dalton Dixie and Romeo. In July of 2019, I was working at a farm stand and a woman walked in with a dog and asked me if I wanted her. She had found her on the side of a road and couldn’t keep her. So, I took her home, and the rest is history! Ivy is a 2-year-old Australian shepherd and she’s my best friend, we do almost everything together. She loves adventure. She rides horses, four-wheelers, riding lawn mowers, tractors, mopeds, and does everything in between. She’s such a fun dog and I am so lucky to have her.  

This June I graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in agricultural science and minors in crop and animal science. This fall I am headed to the agricultural education master’s program here at OSU to become an extension agent!

When I was younger, I was in 4-H and FFA in Linn County. I showed horses and sold pigs to pay for my horse obsession. I knew that the OSU Extension Service helped put on the fair, but I really didn’t know much more than that. When I was a junior at OSU, I enrolled in a class titled “Intro to Extension and Engagement.” During this course we learned about different programs of OSU Extension and met some of the agents in each program. After the class ended, I was hooked and knew that I wanted to pursue Extension as my career. 

Most of my life has been spent in the agriculture industry, and I’ve just been so inspired by farmers, ranchers, Extension agents for their love and passion of making the world a better place. This is why I decided to pursue a career in Extension, specifically in the agriculture field. Interacting with my community and listening to their stories, challenges, or successes in their farms and ranches makes me motivated to lend a helping hand in whatever needs they might have. Overall, I want to make a difference in every person’s life I may cross, which is why Extension is the perfect path for me!  

This summer I will be an intern with Chrissy Lucas, who is the Extension groundwater quality outreach program coordinator in the Willamette Valley. I am really excited for this opportunity to learn more about this part of Extension, and to meet the different people in the communities of Polk, Linn, Benton and Marion counties!

Adrian Gallo, a graduate student at OSU, recently completed an internship in the Extension Communications office.

Oregon State University Extension programs reach into Oregon’s communities and help people of all ages, even if they don’t recognize it. Now approaching the end of my program, I’ve written about nutritional programs for underserved communities near metro areas and a new soilborne wheat virus affecting farmers in the sparsely populated drylands of eastern Oregon. No matter your geographic location, we are all connected, and Extension helps us to remember that fact.

Helping communities is at the center of Extension work, and it’s exemplified in our Master Naturalist programs. These programs help to educate Oregonians about the natural world around them, through field tours and site visits. This program encourages participants to contribute to community science efforts as well as promoting volunteer hours in the community where they did their field program – even if it isn’t their own place of residence.

One of the Master Naturalist programs often enrolls Portland-area residents for a course in the Klamath-Siskiyou mountains. After the weekend field tour, they continued returning to the area for recreation and volunteering. In the process of learning more about their state, they were also contributing to the southwestern Oregon economy. This increase in tourism and ecological awareness from others around the state may help keep smaller communities more stable in the long run.

In addition to connecting disparate communities that otherwise may not interact, Extension also supports the individual needs of tight-knit communities. For example, I wrote about one 4-H program specifically aims to teach Latinx children the importance of healthy eating as they are more likely to have issues with food security. Another 4-H initiative I wrote about helped save a middle school cross-country program from going defunct allowing more home-schoolers to also join. I also wrote about an even more ambitious endeavor by Extension faculty to work alongside Indigenous communities to make higher education more accessible to their citizens.

As a student, it’s easy to get wrapped up in Corvallis culture. As a research scientist, it’s all too common to try and keep the blinders on to other distractions in the world. After all, we only have so much time in the day. But even with my short time in Extension Communications, I’m learning about all the positive impacts Extension has throughout the state – impacts that wouldn’t be possible without leveraging the institutional and academic power of OSU. So, as an Oregon resident, I’m grateful to know Extension is constantly trying to make positive impact, and we should continue advocating on its behalf.

Jensen Comment is an intern in the OSU Extension office in Crook County.

In the wise words of Chris Ledoux, there’s “magic in the air” at the county fair. Growing up, my summers were filled with caramel corn, Saturday night rodeos, and livestock at the fairgrounds. When I first accepted this intern position in early March, I was excited to experience fair from a different perspective and assist in the facilitation of the event. As we all know, over the following weeks life as we knew it began to change. Realistically, I was very dubious of any county in the state successfully pulling off a county fair. While that was a project I had been particularly looking forward to, I was still prepared to work on any other tasks that might come up.

Looking back over the past several months, I can confidently attest to the aptitude and resilience of the Extension staff and faculty in central Oregon. Here in Crook County, the 4-H Program Coordinators and other office staff worked tirelessly to organize a safe and comprehensive county fair. There were countless moments of uncertainty, and the constant nagging knowledge that at any time another COVID-19 mandate could render fair an impossible feat.

One of the first steps towards fair was putting together “COVID kits” for each 4-H club. These contained hand sanitizer, COVID tracking sheets, tape to mark off six-foot increments, and face masks, along with an informational sheet explaining CDC guidelines for the coronavirus. After completing a COVID awareness training, club leaders could pick up these kits and then hold socially-distant club meetings to help everyone prepare for fair.

"COVID" kits for 4-H clubs included hand sanitizer, COVID tracking sheets, tape to mark off six-foot increments, and face masks, along with an informational sheet explaining CDC guidelines for the coronavirus.

4-H record-book checks were held via Zoom. Thanks to the help of volunteers from the community, we were able to interview each youth showing at fair and learn a little about their projects. Since the onset of the pandemic, I have continually been blown away by the technology available to us. The communication opportunities offered through Zoom and other software have been hugely helpful, and I can’t imagine getting through this summer without them.

Slowly but surely, everything began to come together. The 2020 Crook County Fair ran August 2-7. The expanded schedule allowed for lowered density and improved social distancing efforts. Over these six days, the youth were able to show their small animals, swine, sheep, goats, and beef. Each show was livestreamed, allowing friends and family to tune in to support the kids. The auction was virtual, displaying a picture of each market animal and allowing buyers to bid in real time. The following week, we had our static competitions and horse fair. Thanks to the efforts of the Extension staff, the fairgrounds board, the sales committee, and many others in the community, our fair was a success.

Crook County Fair 4-H swine judging
Swine judging at the Crook County Fair. Photo by Samara Rufener.

Working behind the scenes to help make fair happen was an opportunity I won’t soon forget. While the 2020 fair definitely stands apart from years past, we did our best to provide the 4-H and FFA youth with the best possible experience in light of the pandemic. The determination and perseverance I observed in Extension staff was truly inspiring. As I continue on through the upcoming months, I hope to maintain this motivated mindset and provide encouragement for others, as I have been supported during my time in this internship.

Jensen Comment
Photo by Lisa Dubisar

My name is Jensen Comment, and just a few days ago I started my internship with Oregon State University Extension Service. Born and raised in sunny central Oregon, I’ve always been a fan of the “Great Outdoors.” In my free time, I greatly enjoy hiking, going on road trips, country dancing, and fishing – my newest social-distancing hobby. Following my involvement in 4-H and FFA throughout middle and high school, I decided to continue my studies at Oregon State, with the ultimate goal of going into agriculture education.

A few weeks ago, I wrapped up my first year at OSU in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in agricultural sciences. For sure, I wasn’t planning on spending the last third of my freshman year watching class lectures in my childhood bedroom, but I’m thankful for today’s technology that allowed me to continue learning from home. People always say that academics in college are pretty different than in high school, and they sure aren’t kidding. Although my academic performance at Oregon State got off to a bit of a rough start, I’m pleased to announce that I have been able to make honor roll the past two terms. After earning my first degree, I plan to continue on to graduate school for a master’s degree in agriculture education.

Jensen Comment in front of Weatherford Hall on the OSU campus
Jensen Comment poses in front of Weatherford Hall on the OSU campus. Photo by Terri Comment

While this summer is looking a little different than expected a few months back, I’m still very excited to be working as an intern at the OSU Extension office in Crook County. I’ll be honest –prior to starting here, I had a very limited understanding of the impact and outreach of Extension. My interest in Extension was initially piqued last summer when my manager at my high school job shared her experience with the organization. Both she and her mother had both spent years working for the Extension Service, and my supervisor couldn’t speak highly enough of the impact it had had on her life. While helping her learn more about her abilities and strengths, it also gave her countless opportunities to positively impact the community and truly make a difference.

Over the coming weeks, I will have the unique opportunity to learn from professionals with specialties in many different areas, ranging from public health to agronomy to livestock management. I will also be focusing on public communications and marketing, as well as Crook County 4-H. Even though my time here only began a few days ago, I have already had so many doors open for me. I can’t wait to see what opportunities present themselves over the summer!