This will be my last blog post as an OSU Extension intern. This summer has flown by and I’m happy to have spent my time at the Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center (HAREC).
I feel that my experiences from my internship have helped me to better understand the research process by seeing the amount of time and preparation that goes into getting results. This summer I assisted with a lot of sample collections and testing preparation for various research trials. It was really cool to learn about the trials being performed at HAREC and how it will benefit the producers in the Columbia Basin area. I worked mostly in collecting potato petiole, wheat, and alfalfa samples every week then getting them ready to be sent off for further testing.
One thing that I would like others to know about OSU Extension is that it serves a wide variety of people in the agricultural industry. I grew up in 4-H so I really only thought that extension was limited to 4-H and youth education. Extension plays a huge role in communities in a wide range of ways. I think people should get information about their local Extension service to see what programs they offer in the community and how they can get involved as community members. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with Extension this summer, especially at HAREC.
During this summer I learned the value of relationships and staying in touch with those you work with. The value of human connection is one that cannot be matched through virtual communication and meetings alone. I know this will aid me in the future as I pursue a career in agricultural education. The experiences and relationships I’ve gained from this internship are ones that I’ll forever be thankful for.
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.
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.
Hello again everyone! Joseph O’Brien checking in for the last time from Umatilla County.
WOW! I can’t believe it’s been 10 weeks already. I feel like our internship orientation was just yesterday and we were creating individual objectives for the summer in our specific program areas. My time in the 4-H and Open Campus programs have been filled with endless fun, opportunities, experiences, and growth – personal and professional. From working at Science Fridays at the SAGE Center in Boardman to judging the goat portion of master showmanship at the Umatilla County Fair at the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center in Hermiston, I would say my experiences were very diverse this summer.
Each intern this summer was tasked with creating or partaking in a project in their program area and sharing their progress with their fellow interns during the weekly internship check-ins. My project this summer was to work with the grant provided by Corteva to the Extension Service here in Umatilla County. This grant focused on monarch butterflies and how they are dwindling in numbers throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. Therefore, it was my project to go around to summer schools and camps to teach students about what these pollinators provide for us. One game I played was the “Ice Cream Sundae Challenge.” In short, each team created an amazing ice cream sundae combination with the toppings and flavors they were given. Once they were done, we talked about all the ingredients, it was determined that without pollinators, we would not be able to eat any of the food items. Not only did the kids learn about the butterflies, but I learned more about the overall grant process, how to engage a larger group of youth, and how to create lesson plans out of the curriculum provided.
Throughout the two summers I have been interning with the Extension Service, I always get the same question, “Why are you interning for the Extension Service when you are a nursing major?” Now there is a question that might stump you. It made me really think about why I came back for a second time and why I will continue to volunteer with the extension service programs in the future. “Community,” is the first word that comes to mind. As a nursing student who is heavily involved on campus, I have learned what it means to create community and the importance of getting others involved in those opportunities – even if it may not perk your interest at first. Although I don’t personally see myself working for the Extension Service in the future, that doesn’t mean I can’t engage, grow, and collaborate with those in my community and use those experiences and growth opportunities in my nursing career.
With that said, I am so grateful and will cherish every place, person, program, and partnership that made my internship possible for a second time. In a few weeks, I will be starting my junior year of nursing school. I would be kidding myself if I said I was ready for what lies ahead but, I know that I have multiple communities behind me with an abundance of support to give if I find myself lost. And who knows, I may come back to the Extension Service here in Umatilla County again for my final internship opportunity. I guess you’ll have to stay tuned …
Hi, Joseph O’Brien checking in. As I enter my seventh week in this internship, I can only describe my experience as fulfilling. These past few weeks, I have kept busy by working at summer camps and school programs – ranging from one day to four days (not overnight) – with Extension’s Open Campus Program. Additionally, I have been working with Umatilla County’s 4-H Program to prepare for the upcoming county fair in Hermiston.
The first summer school program I had the opportunity to work with was in Umatilla at McNary Heights Elementary School, for youth who were interested and invited by their teachers to the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) program held during the summer. My supervisor, Anna Browne, and I were invited to present a curriculum regarding monarch butterflies. Earlier in the year, Umatilla County was selected for a grant provided by Corteva to educate youth (K-12) in the surrounding communities about the world’s biggest natural phenomenon: the migration of monarchs. At McNary, I talked about the butterfly’s life cycle, its migration from various parts of the United States and Canada to California and Mexico for the winter, the predators that put the butterflies in danger, and the habitats required for reproduction and preservation of these majestic insects.
We also talked about the importance of pollinators and how big of a contribution they make to the food we eat and items we use daily. After learning and discussing this information throughout the days with the youth, we played different games. For example, one involved a milkweed plant, a caterpillar magnet, and other magnets representing predators and food. The object of the game was to pick up the food magnets off the milkweed five times with the caterpillar magnet without picking up the predator magnets that would kill the caterpillar. After completing various trials and evaluating how many larvae got the five food magnets, it was determined that about 1% of eggs live to become a butterfly. Shocking, right?
Another summer day camp was called, “Nuts, Bolts, and Thingamajigs: Manufacturing Camp” (NBT Camp). During this camp, youth received presentations from Boardman Foods, Amazon Web Services, Blue Mountain Community College and Oregon State University faculty members, Umatilla Electric Cooperative, and the Port of Morrow. Additionally, the kids had the opportunity to design and create their own wooden speaker, work together during team-building activities each day, and give a presentation about their future careers/goals. Not only did the kids learn about all the amazing trades and work training positions located here in the Port of Morrow but I learned more about the history of the port.
I also learned how each manufacturing company/business (Lamb Weston, Oregon Potato Company, etc.) in the town of Boardman cooperates to create thousands of jobs, opportunities, and resources for those seeking them. One highlight from this weeklong camp was our trip to the SAGE Center located in Boardman. This location was selected for the new Amazon Web Services “Think Big Space” and will promote classes and opportunities surrounding STEAM for K-6 students. I was honored to sign the construction wall along with the kids with our “big ideas.”
In the next few weeks, I will be mainly working with the 4-H program to prepare for the Umatilla and Morrow County Fair. Most individuals have a hard time working in a fast-paced environment with multiple tasks. Sometimes, people can’t handle these high-stress situations – not me though. As I am going to enter my junior year of nursing school this fall, I know these feelings all too well. I look forward to the challenges and tasks that are bestowed upon me as we enter the fair madness! All in all, I feel very privileged to have these opportunities here in Umatilla and Morrow counties. With only three to four weeks remaining, I am determined to meet more people, collaborate with more programs/organizations, and learn/obtain new knowledge. I would love to give a special thanks to those who have made my internship more memorable so far: my supervisor Anna Browne, Kim Rill, who works for the SAGE Center and helped with NBT Camp; America Pacheco an intern for the Port of Morrow and helped with NBT Camp, Kalie Davis, director of workforce development for the Port of Morrow and camp director for NBT, Shauna Newman, who works with the 4-H program here in Umatilla County, and so many others.
Joseph O’Brien recently completed an internship in the OSU Extension office in Umatilla County.
I would like to start by saying I’m very grateful and appreciative to have had the opportunity to work as a student intern through the OSU Umatilla County Extension Service. Throughout these past 10 weeks, I’ve worked on countless projects, interacted with community members, and grown personally.
As I have mentioned in previous blogs, this internship has proved me wrong again and again. For instance, obtaining knowledge about the programs, resources, and workshops offered to everyone in the nearby communities of Umatilla and Morrow counties.
Toward the beginning of this internship, I was encouraged to create two personal objectives. Here is what I came up with: Grow within a professional work environment/improve my work ethic skills, and provide educational content about community health to young adults and youth in nearby communities.
One way I’ve incorporated these objectives into this experience is through the STEM Saturday experiments for kids that my fellow intern Ruben and I have been working on throughout this entire internship. An example would include a water tension experiment. I explained that when you dip dish soap into pepper-covered water, the water tension is disturbed. Therefore, the pepper is pushed to the edges of the plate. One way I related this to my community health objective is washing your hands. This allowed the kids to imagine that the pepper is dirt, bacteria, or any other bacterium/infective agent and explaining how important it is to wash your hands under warm water with soap for at least 20 seconds. I felt this was especially important to include considering the global COVID-19 pandemic.
During this process, Ruben and I created “Take and Make” sheets and a lesson plan for these six different water-based experiments. This part of the project really incorporated both objectives I created by allowing us to provide knowledge, collaborate with each other and relay information to our supervisor, and educate others while still having fun!
On the occasion that I was asked what my internship entailed, I made sure to tell them about how I was able to connect with community members, help at workshops, take projects head on, grow professionally, and develop skills that are not offered many places. Additionally, I would like to encourage those who seek challenges, a variety of tasks, and who want to learn more about the community they reside in to research this internship opportunity.
None of this would have been possible without my amazing supervisor, Anna Browne or fellow intern and friend Ruben Lopez. When I look back at this internship experience and my involvement with the OSU Extension Service here in Umatilla county, I would not change anything.
Stay safe everyone and remember to practice social distancing and wear your mask!
Ruben Lopez-Carillo is an intern in the OSU Extension office in Umatilla County.
My favorite part about the internship so far has been working at the local Nuts Bolts and Thingamajigs Camp for youth – NBTC for short. This camp was dedicated to preparing and motivating Umatilla County kids to understand the different paths they can take in getting their education. One of the main activities I took lead in this camp was team building games with the students.
When I came into this internship I was looking forward to the community-based aspect of OSU Extension and this camp helped fulfill this value.
The COVID-19 pandemic had made it tough for OSU Extension to meet all aspects of the its mission to serve Oregonians. We have been able to work around some obstacles and accomplish the mission effectively. One example is a project we have been working throughout this pandemic called 4-H STEM Saturday – an in-home activity for youth to keep learning.
The biggest learning opportunity I’ve had throughout this internship has been growth in my ability to adapt to challenging situations. Similar to everyone else in the world, the biggest challenge has been working through the conditions with COVID-19. It has really been testing our adaptability and patience to accomplish our tasks. I’ve gone through many changes in the past that required me to become adaptable and this here feels like the greatest challenge of all. After this experience I feel that I will be well prepared for any future challenges.
Joseph O’Brien is an intern in the OSU Extension office in Umatilla County.
In mid- to late July, I had the chance to work with community members from Umatilla and Morrow counties at Nuts, Bolts, and Thingamajigs Workshop Camp (NBT), a two-week day camp with 10 new students each week. During this camp, my role was to put on a team-building activity each weekday for at least 15 to 30 minutes for the middle schoolers attending – sixth through eighth grade – and help throughout the day. The purpose of NBT camp was to educate the youth about the workforce positions available within the Port of Morrow located in Boardman as well as positions available in Hermiston, and also teach them about apprenticeships, how to be entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs, and get them to start thinking about their future, all while following state safety regulations. Examples of workforce jobs we talked about included electricians, food manufacturers, diesel mechanics, etc.
One thing I took away from this camp was not only are these jobs going to be around for a very long time, but also, it is up to Generation Z to make sure that these jobs are filled. None of this would have been possible without Kalie Davis, workforce training manager at Port of Morrow and her two interns; Leah Harris at the Port of Morrow, Anna Browne, my internship supervisor and the 4-H/Juntos Latino outreach coordinator and acting Umatilla County Extension Service agent; Ruben Lopez, an Extension intern in Umatilla County; educators from Blue Mountain Community College and Pendleton School District, and workforce presenters from Umatilla Electric Cooperative and Boardman Foods.
Another interesting job I had was being part of the OSU TRACE-COVID-19 project in Hermiston. I thought this would be an important experience to provide my services and share with you. A commonality between the TRACE-COVID-19 Project and Extension Service is providing the community with resources that may not be present. In this case, OSU provided free COVID-19 tests for residents whose addresses were randomly selected. My role as research assistant was to help a team leader by driving to houses, collect materials and tests needed, and organize and distribute forms.
From my many work tasks and experiences, I can say that OSU Extension in Umatilla County exceeded my expectations. From providing hands-on experience in the wood shop to youth to providing educational/medical resources to nearby communities, I am truly blown away. I’ve learned that the Extension Service is not only here to help with the Umatilla County Fair, but it provides so much more than I ever thought.
In the beginning of this internship, I feared that my main tasks would revolve around helping with the 4-H program and I would have very little room to explore my interests of community health and education within the surrounding communities. I couldn’t have been more wrong, and I am glad that these experiences have proved otherwise. With that said, I am disheartened that my internship experience may not be all that I wished it could have been due to COVID-19. When I say that, I am referring to the return of Umatilla County to baseline status, meaning we were restricted to traveling outside our homes only for necessary travel. This prevented Ruben and I from being able to record videos for our STEM Saturday series that we have been working on this entire internship. This is only another roadblock and based on all the opportunities I have encountered; I am determined to make the most of my remaining weeks working remotely.
Stay safe everyone and remember to practice social distancing and wear your mask!
Ruben Lopez-Carillo is an intern in the OSU Extension office in Umatilla County.
My hometown of Boardman, Oregon, taught me some valuable life lessons and helped shape me to be the person I am today – a fourth-year student at Oregon State University majoring in animal science and bioresource research. Working out in the farm with my dad starting at age 12 helped me build a strong passion for livestock and agriculture.
My experience with working out in the farm led me to gain an interest in animals and eventually this turned into a career path that I wanted to pursue as a veterinarian. I spent most of my childhood in Boardman but I later moved to Hermiston, Oregon, to finish high school. Moving to another high school gave me an opportunity to attend Oregon State University with all the support I had from teachers and advisors.
Coming to OSU as a first-generation student was a great accomplishment for me and now I get to set an example for my younger siblings. At OSU I’ve been heavily involved in MANRRS: Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences. Recently, I was elected to serve as the undergraduate student vice president and national officer for MANRRS the 2020-2021 year. In my free time I like to go on walks with my dogs and I also enjoy playing my guitar.
In my internship I will be working on projects that will provide an educational, hands-on experience for youth. I will also be helping prepare other 4-H events in Umatilla County. One of the 4-H projects I will be working on is aiming towards helping students explore educational activites to do at home so that they continue to stay motivated during these tough times. Additionally I will be assisting in the county fair setup for 4-H animal showings and assist when the event occurs.
My impression of OSU Extension before starting this internship was that I would be helping out with community events and possibly doing some presentations at some point. Some of the community events I was expecting to work with were educational programming in the county with youth. Familiarizing myself with the tasks Extension does for the community is another aspect I expected to learn about.
Maggie Justice is an intern in the OSU Extension office in Grant County.
One of the first jobs that I was given when I started working in the Grant County Extension office was looking through old records for a community member who is writing a book. At the time, the task seemed a little daunting, especially because these reports spanned 30 years. But at the same time, I was excited because I knew there were treasures hiding in the old boxes and books. For many people, this would have been the most boring task in the world, but to me, it was one of the coolest things I have gotten to do.
I grew up living with my great-grandmother, who was about 90 years older than me. From her, I was privileged enough to understand that history is not just dates and events, it is the lives and stories of the people from the past. Her experiences from her past taught me to love history, family, and homemade fudge. Nothing excites me more than looking through the scraps of different people’s life, and to see how different it is from mine.
As I looked further into the old Extension reports and photographs, I was surprised to see that at its essence, nothing had really changed. There were still kids competing in livestock and static events, Extension agents working hard to help their community, heck, even the same willow tree was in front of the fairgrounds. Everything was familiar, but at the same time very different. I grew excited when I started recognizing names from people that I had known my entire life. One of the more exciting photos that I stumbled upon was one of my mother and uncle. Though it was a little funny to think of all these people as 4-H’ers, it made so much more sense about why they wanted to help me as much as they did when I was growing up.
Looking through the old photographs allowed me to have a clearer image of what Extension does for its communities, because they showed that from the beginning, Extension is helping. I have seen all the hard work that the Grant County office has put into this summer’s modified youth static and livestock exhibits, and I know that they are trying to really make a difference in our community. It’s not an easy task, but every year, they make it look easy, and make it a beloved event for everyone in the community.
Hello, I’m Joseph O’Brien and I’m originally from Ripon, California. I moved to Boardman, Oregon, in 2016. I’m attending Eastern Oregon University, majoring in health and human performance with a concentration in exercise science. This fall, I will also be attending the Oregon Health and Science University School of Nursing. After I graduate with these undergraduate degrees, I plan to become a travel nurse and go to different Native American tribal clinics within Oregon. After that, I would like to relocate to a small community within Oregon and work in a hospital or local community clinic.
In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family (one brother, three sisters, two nieces, and one nephew), getting together with close friends, eating good food, playing volleyball, hiking, and engaging in other outside activities. Additionally, I’ve enjoyed raising livestock through the 4-H youth organization and FFA. In the future, I would like to become a 4-H project leader and volunteer with the youth in the community I reside in.
During my time in the Umatilla County Extension office, I’ll be working closely with my fellow intern, Ruben Lopez, and our supervisor, Anna Browne. Throughout this internship, Ruben and I will be creating videos for “STEM Saturday.” These will consist of water-based video experiments presented by us for youth in the community to complete at home. Also, we will be working hand and hand with the Umatilla County Fair to provide a safe and fun experience for those attending.
Some responsibilities while helping at the fair would include screening individuals for COVID-19, making sure everyone complies with mask rules, helping youth find where and when they will be showing their livestock animal, helping youth find where they will be presenting a project, helping adult volunteers set-up areas for livestock, project presentations, etc. Lastly, we will be learning about OSU Extension Service and all the resources/knowledge that it provides within Umatilla County. This new knowledge will surround how the OSU Extension implements its programs within the county, how it addresses the specific community needs, and the history/foundation of this service.
When I first heard about this internship opportunity with the OSU Extension Service, I imagined that I would be mainly helping at the Umatilla and Morrow County Fair with the youth organization 4-H. Further, I thought I would be mainly working in the office on the computer working with community members, agriculturists, and farmers in the area. After orientation and the first week of working, I realized that the OSU Extension Service here in Umatilla County provides many resources and opportunities for everyone. For instance, the different programs like 4-H, home garden and landscape research information, forestry/natural resource materials and on-line workshops, and much more that I have yet to explore.