My name is Kelci Free, and I am from Scio, Oregon. I recently graduated from OSU with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural sciences and a minor in agriculture education, with plans to attend graduate school at OSU this fall as a part of the agricultural education master’s program. I hope to become an Extension agent after completing this internship and completing the graduate program.
For the second summer in a row my internship is with the Extension groundwater protection and education program in the mid-Willamette Valley. So far, I have been busy at work planning out events schedule for the summer. I will be hosting various nitrate screenings at farmers markets, county Extension offices, and even a neighborhood screening. I will continue to grow my skills in networking, advertising for programming, and creating programming in order to gain more experience in what it takes to be an Extension agent.
Before starting my internship last summer, I had really only thought about Extension helping farmers and putting on county fairs. Over the last year I have had the opportunity to see how much more Extension has to offer no matter your interests or backgrounds through its various programs.
This is my second-to-last week interning for OSU Extension Service this summer. The summer has gone by so quickly and I am sad to see this experience come to an end. I came into this internship with some experience coordinating social media for SNAP-Ed’s Food Hero Program but ended up learning so much more than just scheduling and posting content.
Throughout my internship, I have been able to meet with different social media coordinators from other Extension programs and was taught many new skills and strategies for reaching Extension’s audience. I enjoyed the process of brainstorming content to share across our social media platforms and learning more about which types of graphics and posts receive more engagement. Looking at our platform’s analytics to track engagement and audience reach, I found it very helpful when determining what and when to post our content. While my work for Extension Communications largely focused on content development, I thoroughly enjoyed learning and seeing how Extension is impacting the community through other Extension counties’ social media and hearing about programs from summer interns. One of the projects I was excited to see finished was launching OSU Extension’s Instagram account. This was a longer process than I originally thought but I was very pleased with how much support and help I received with the start of the account. Although I am finishing my internship in a week, I am eager to see the growth of the account in months to come. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out!
Before my internship, I did not know a lot about what resources and Extension has for the community. But, through researching and brainstorming content for our platforms, I was quickly introduced to an abundance of resources and programs Extension has to offer. My favorite thing I learned is how Extension has something for everyone. Whether you are a home gardener, commercial farmer, youth in 4-H, a fisherman, etc … there is helpful information for anyone. OSU Extension is seriously a go-to resource for Oregonians and is significantly impacting the community through research-based information. Our community would not be the same without the work Extension provides for our counties. If you have not gotten to be involved with Extension, I encourage you to join a program or visit our website to learn how Extension can serve your needs.
While I am hoping to pursue a career in the medical field I hope to stay involved with Extension, whether it be volunteering or maybe working with Extension’s nutrition education programs I am confident that this internship will not be my last experience with Extension’s work. This experience taught me so much and I cannot be more grateful for the opportunity I had with the Extension Communications office.
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.
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.
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.
This summer I have been interning with OSU Extension Communications and my experience thus far has been great! Primarily, I have been working with our social media team to create content promoting Extension’s resources and local impact, and coordinating and publishing the posts on this blog. Doing this has grown my understanding of how Extension is influencing our community. While my internship has been remote, I have been able to read about the work other interns are doing in counties in their blog posts. Being a part of the blog process this summer has been a really insightful part of my internship. It is awesome to hear how the interns are seeing their internship goals being met and fulfilled by their involvement with various Extension programs and work. I am excited to read more about the work and accomplishments of our interns as the summer comes to an end.
Since beginning my internship, I have been able to learn so much about Extension and how Extension is represented through social media. One project I worked on is helping launch the OSU Extension service Instagram account. The process of starting the account involved meeting with other faculty and staff from other Extension programs. I was able to meet with the social media managers for the OSU Master Gardeners, the OSU College of Public Health and Human Sciences, and the social media strategist for the Mississippi State University Extension Service. Speaking with other social media coordinators was very helpful and gave me insight into the goals and planning tools other programs use in order to share their resources with their audiences. I realized how important online media can be to share the story of Extension and how it can positively influence the lives of many Oregonians.
To prepare for the launch of the OSU Extension Instagram I designed graphics, including an infographic about what farmers can do make to prevent fires and a graphic about how wildfire smoke can affect animals. I hope to create more educational graphics in the future and am eager to see their impact on our audience.
Our Instagram launched this past weekend and I am excited to see what the last few weeks of my internship hold!
Hi, Alli Studnick here. I am coming up on the two-month mark of my internship in the OSU Extension office in Benton County with Chrissy Lucas, Extension’s groundwater quality education program coordinator in the Willamette Valley. I can say is it has been a whirlwind since I started. We have sent out over a couple thousand postcards, I learned how to do a “mail merge,” planned and prepared for events, and I’ve taught kids and talked a lot about water.
The first week of my internship I was able to work at the Corvallis Farmers Market with the Extension small farms outreach coordinator in Benton County. We passed out N95 masks and talked to farmers about the importance of wildfire safety and respirators – since farming never stops – some workers might have to be out in the smoky conditions taking care of their crops and their evacuation plans if wildfires were to occur. I was moved and saddened by some of the stories we heard about how the smoke caused by the 2020 wildfires affected the Willamette Valley. But hearing how more prepared these farmers were was reassuring.
The mission of OSU Extension is that it hopes to engage the people of Oregon with research-based knowledge and education that strengthen communities and economies, sustain natural resources, and promote healthy families and individuals. I think that this internship goes hand-in-hand with the four themes of Extension: people, places, programs, and partnerships. In the last two months, I have been able to see how the groundwater quality education branch of Extension works with people of all ages. From playing with water balloons and teaching children about the water cycle to adults learning how to care for their septic and what type of toxins might be in their well water that can cause some major health issues. We have planned on attending 10 farmers’ markets up and down the I-5 corridor this summer to do nitrate screenings to help educate the Willamette Valley of potential nitrate in their drinking water. And finally, partnerships. Chrissy has so many different partnerships it sometimes is hard to keep up with!
At the beginning stages of the internship, I was very timid, shy, and not confident when it came to talking to people about wells or septic systems. I wouldn’t say I am a complete expert now or totally confident with what I am saying. But I feel like I have gotten better, and learned what to say, what information or hand-outs to give, or when to say, “Let me give you my supervisor’s number.” Chrissy and I have chatted a lot, and I have asked her about the challenging times she had in this career. I know I can’t be the best right off the bat like I would want to be. But I can surely learn from my mistakes and grow from there. I have learned that an Extension agent’s job isn’t always a walk in the park. It is a lot of emails, meetings, and phone calls. Not to mention all the program planning they have to do. I have learned that this job requires some hard work, is a very fast-paced job, and most days are never boring. But this job is very satisfying and every interaction you have with someone about something important like their health, makes me feel like I am making a difference.
I only have two more weeks left in my internship before I head back to school to begin my master’s program, but my placement area for the program is going to be groundwater quality education. I will be able to keep learning with Chrissy and working with the community well after my time in my Extension summer internship!
Hi everyone! My name is Annie Keene and I am going to be graduating this fall at Oregon State University. I am from Thousand Oaks, California, and I’m currently doing a remote internship with OSU Extension Communications in Corvallis. I am majoring in nutrition and dietetics and will be applying for a dietetic internship this year to hopefully become a registered dietitian. In the future, I hope to use my education to help people in my community improve their health and wellness through nutrition education and medical nutrition therapy.
Some of my interests include cooking, hiking, and exploring different coastal towns and coffee shops. Since living in Oregon, I have been able to see some beautiful places and trails. Most recently, I enjoyed visiting the Cape Perpetua lookout and the Yaquina Head Lighthouse. This summer, I hope to do some more hiking at Smith Rock and trails near Mt. Rainier.
During my internship, I will be working in Extension Communications on social media coordination and publishing intern blogs on this site. I will be working closely with the social media team to draft, schedule, and upload content onto OSU Extension’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. I will also be working on launching an Instagram account for Extension with the help of our social media team and staff. I’m looking forward to meeting with other social media managers of other Extension programs and OSU staff to gain insight into their experience and expertise with running multiple social media platforms.
Prior to this internship, I did not have a lot of experience with OSU Extension and am still very new to learning about what Extension has to offer. I had some experience with Extension through my role as a student outreach assistant for Oregon SNAP-Ed’s Food Hero program. Working with Food Hero has connected me with other Extension staff from Family and Community Health programs and gave me some insight into some of their work in the community.
This summer, I am excited to continue learning about Extension and sharing its resources through my work with the communications team!
My name is Kelci Free, and I am from Scio, Oregon. This fall I will be a senior at OSU studying agricultural sciences with a plan to start the agriculture education master’s program the following year, and to eventually be an Extension agent. When I am not busy in school I enjoy hiking, enjoying the beauty of Oregon and spending time with my friends and family.
I am an intern this summer in the OSU Extension office in Linn County, working under the supervision of Chrissy Lucas, Extension’s groundwater quality education and outreach program coordinator for Linn, Benton, Marion, Polk and Jackson counties. I will be doing a lot of work in groundwater management by setting up nitrate testing and trying to help those at risk learn about the contaminants in their water.
Before starting my internship, I had a brief understanding of what Extension is besides being at county fairs and answering questions about gardening. Then I took an “Introduction to Extension” class at OSU, in which I learned that there were many branches to Extension. There is still so much I am eager to learn!
Since I started my internship, I have been able to learn so much more about Extension and had new experiences doing all kinds of program prep, outreach, and what goes into being an Extension agent.
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!