Two women standing and smiling at the camera.
Daisy O’Hearn (left) and M’Kenzie Kirchner assisting in the small animal weigh-in at the Lincoln County fair.
Photo credit: Amarion Akinsanya


My name is Daisy O’Hearn, and this summer, I had the opportunity to serve as an intern for the Oregon State University Extension Service. I worked specifically with the youth development program called 4-H. This experience gave me a deep understanding of the nonprofit sector, exposing me to various aspects of event planning and execution. This internship  allowed me to witness firsthand the profound impact of the 4-H program on youth in Newport, Oregon.

A woman places her hands around a rabbit on a table.
Daisy O’Hearn provides guidance to young individuals on the proper techniques for caring for their animals.
Photo credit: Traci O’Hearn

Throughout my internship, I had the opportunity to engage in many tasks and contribute to various areas. I had the privilege of crafting and organizing engaging and tailored workshops to nurture the diverse talents and interests of young participants. The process of designing these workshops taught me the importance of adaptability, clear communication and empathy in fostering an inclusive learning environment. Within the array of clinics I developed, several were dedicated to illuminating the core of 4-H and exploring the diverse opportunities within the organization.

A woman shears a sheep.
Daisy O’Hearn hosting a clinic teaching Lincoln County 4-H youth about fair readiness and shearing techniques.
Photo credit: Amarion Akinsanya

One of the most exhilarating parts of my internship was contributing to coordinating the fair. From working with youth to ensuring the smooth execution of the fairground logistics, I better understood the planning that goes into making an event a success. The experience honed my organizational skills, taught me the significance of teamwork and revealed the immense joy of seeing the community come together to celebrate the achievements of its youth.

I also had the opportunity to attend meetings. This exposure to the inner workings of a nonprofit was incredible, giving me a realistic glimpse into the challenges and rewards of this sector. This opportunity will guide me as I continue my education and lead me to a career.

My journey with the 4-H program and the Extension Services office is far from over. Beyond the scope of my internship, I look forward to continuing my involvement and contributing to the program’s growth. As I move forward, I carry the lessons this internship taught me and the experiences I gained.

Seven kids in artist smocks work at a long table covered in paper.
Kids get messy with activities at 4-H STEAM summer camp.
Photo credit: Sofie Carlson

Hi again, it’s Sofie Carlson, welcome back to my blog! I am in the final week of my incredible experience as the natural resources intern at Lincoln County Extension. Let me give you an update on the projects I’ve been working on this summer:

  • I continued composing the monthly newsletters that my supervisor, Evie Smith, sends out: Small Farms TLC Newsletter, which provides relevant information for small farms and ranches in Tillamook, Lincoln and Clatsop counties; and LC Master Gardener’s Newsletter, which contains information and expertise to help our Master Gardeners (and any other readers) meet local challenges. In total, I helped put out six newsletters!
  • I finished redesigning an updated brochure for Lincoln County Local Foods that will deliver information on all of the producers in Lincoln County conducting farm direct sales at the four local farmers markets in our county: what they sell, how to contact them and when the markets are I am really proud of the final version and can’t wait to see the printed copies make their way into the community. I joined in on one more Cooking Matters Tour at the Newport Farmers Market, with our FCH/SNAP-Ed Program Coordinator, Beatriz Botello, and Nutrition Education Program Assistant Jennifer Pettit. I hope that the brochure I created can draw more attention to Lincoln County’s farmers markets and the valuable tour that Beatriz and Jennifer give.
  • I collected more blueberries and blackberries at Gibson Farms! I ended up completing seven collections at six different sites within the blueberry farm, contributing data for a larger ongoing research project that monitors a pest called spotted wing
  • I did my last round of maintenance on a project called Juntos en el Jardin, which is a community garden located at the Newport This has been rewarding work and I am glad to have been involved in making the garden a more accessible space. I also joined Sea Grant marine fisheries educator Angee Doerr for four Fridays, with her Shop at the Dock program. I greeted and organized the tour groups for the guides to then teach families about Newport’s commercial fisheries through a tour of the port.
  • Lastly, I attended the Kids’ Garden Fair at the Lincoln City Demonstration Garden and assisted 4-H Youth Development Program Leader Shelley Spangler with one of her summer camps. These two experiences helped solidify my love for working with
  • youth and being outside learning about the natural world.
Picture of a dock in Oregon, with a sign over a walkway that says Port of Newport, Dock 5.
Shop at the Dock gives tours of the fishing boats, gear, and fisheries associated with Port Dock 5.
Photo credit: Sofie Carlson

As my time in Oregon comes to a close, at least for the time being, and I reflect on my summer, I want to give a huge thanks to my supervisor, Evie Smith, for her support and guidance. I have absolutely loved working with her and I could not have asked for a better role model to mentor me in this position. I would also like to thank all of the people I worked with at the Lincoln County Extension office; it was an amazing work environment, and I will miss working there! Lastly, I want to thank my aunt, Emily Blume, for telling me about this opportunity and letting me live with her and her family for the past two months in this beautiful state.

I will soon be heading back home to Vermont, where I will be starting a new job as a Naturalist Educator at North Branch Nature Center in Montpelier. I am excited to begin the next chapter of my life, teaching environmental education to youth in my home state.

A woman sit at an outdoor table covered with a black Extension Service tablecloth and gives the thumbs up sign.
Ava Cordle at the OSU Extension booth.
Photo credit: Olivia Jacobs

Hello everyone! I am already in my last week of my summer internship with OSU Extension’s groundwater protection program. I have really enjoyed getting to learn more about well water and getting to go out in the community to test water for nitrate. I have had the opportunity to grow by planning and attending events throughout the summer. It has been exciting to attend events, since I had been working on planning some of them back in May and June!

A rack of test tubes filled with water.
Testing well water for nitrate.
Photo credit: Ava Cordle

Some of the different events I went to this summer were Harrisburg Sounds of Summer, Silverton Farmers Market, the Corvallis farmers market and more! At these events we set up a booth where we offer free nitrate testing for people in the community to bring in their well water. To run a test, we take a bit of their well water and we use reagents that change the color of the water depending on how much nitrate is present. At a clinic I did at the Lacomb Grange I did 59 tests in just three hours! We also offer publications and information on well water and septic systems, and a lot of people stop by just to ask questions. Attending these events was my favorite part of the internship. I found it rewarding after spending a lot of time planning them.

Overall, some of my favorite parts about this internship was meeting and working with the other groundwater interns, talking with community members and getting to attend events all over Benton, Linn, Lane, Marion and Lincoln counties. I have learned so much about well water over the past few months. Coming into this internship I had never had well water and did not know much about the care of well water. I also gained skills in community outreach, creating flyers and postcards, and got to learn about the 4-H program by volunteering to help at Extension booths at fairs.

– Ava Cordle

Hi, my name is Sofie Carlson, and welcome to my first blog post! I grew up in Vermont and went to school at St. Lawrence University in upstate New York. I graduated this past May with a degree in environmental studies and economics and now I am spending the summer as the natural resources intern for the Lincoln County Extension office. This is just the second time I have ever been out West and I am really enjoying my time here.

A woman stands in a grassy area, holding a bag and a box.
At Gibson Farms in Siletz, collecting blueberries and blackberries to be sent to the lab in Corvallis for testing.
Photo credit: Sofie Carlson

It is now Week 5 of my internship, so I am about halfway through –  time is flying. As the natural resources intern, I have mainly been working with my supervisor, Evie Smith, the Small Farms and Master Gardener coordinator in Lincoln County. However, I am working in several other branches of Extension, including Sea Grant, SNAP-Ed, Agriculture and 4-H.

Here are some of the projects I am in the midst of:

– I am assisting in the composition of the monthly newsletters that Evie sends out: Small Farms TLC Newsletter, which provides relevant information for small farms and ranches in Tillamook, Lincoln and Clatsop counties, and LC Master Gardener’s Newsletter, which contains information and expertise to help our Master Gardeners (and any other readers) meet local challenges. I have never put together a newsletter before, so it has definitely been a learning process, but luckily, I have a great mentor to show me the ropes.

– I am in the process of redesigning and distributing an updated brochure for Lincoln County Local Foods that will deliver information on all of the producers in Lincoln County that are doing farm direct sales. Farm direct sales are when the farmers sell directly to you, without a middleman, by methods such as farm stands, CSAs, and dock sales. The brochure lists which farms sell at the four local farmers markets in our county, what they sell, how to contact them and when the markets are held. Last weekend I joined our FCH/SNAP-Ed Program Coordinator, Beatriz Botello, in her Cooking Matters Tour at the Newport Farmers Market, which inform people how they can use their SNAP benefits at the farmers market. It was an educational opportunity for families to learn how to budget, compare prices and shop locally.

A woman in overalls rakes through a compost pile.
Juntos en el Jardín: Moving compost at the community garden.
Photo credit: Michael Christy

– I am collecting blueberries and blackberries at Gibson Farms as part of a larger ongoing research project that monitors a pest called spotted wing drosophila. This is a weekly task that I look forward to because I get to be outside, chat with Farmer Alan, and eat a ton of freshly picked blueberries.

– I am also assisting in the maintenance of a project called Juntos en el Jardin, which is a community garden located at the Newport Fairgrounds and this week I will be joining Angee Doerr, Sea Grant marine fisheries educator, to run her annual Shop at the Dock program, teaching families about Newport’s commercial fisheries through a tour of the port. This program is a unique opportunity to meet the fishermen and boats that we buy our seafood from. It will be running for five weeks on Fridays.

So far, this position has been valuable, rewarding and fun. It has been a great way for me to explore several future career paths while gaining new knowledge and experience. I have enjoyed working for Extension and feel very lucky to be living with family in Oregon. I am looking forward to continuing working on the projects I’ve started, making new connections, and taking advantage of my time here until I head back East. I am very thankful for this opportunity. Catch you on the next blog post!

Three women stand outside a barn, smiling at the camera with their arms around each other.
Left to right, Shyann Vance, M’Kenzie Kirchner and Daisy O’Hearn at the Lincoln County Fair.
Photo credit Brittany Williams.

Hello, my name is Daisy O’Hearn and I am currently serving as an OSU Extension intern for Lincoln County. As a political science major with a double minor in legal studies and nonprofit administration, I have always been eager to explore the nonprofit sector more deeply. I am excited about this internship as it offers an amazing chance to explore this field, specifically focusing on my involvement in the 4-H program.

The county fair, which took place from June 30 to July 2, has been the highlight of my internship so far. This event has been instrumental in honing my skills and gaining invaluable experience. Before the fair, I organized a clinic where I was able to teach young individuals how to shear their sheep and offer them essential tips for a successful fair experience. During the fair, I played an active role in helping set up and manage the 4-H segment, ensuring smooth operations and memorable experiences for participants. I took on various responsibilities, including assisting our Extension agent, supporting judges and serving as a reliable point of contact for any questions or concerns.

This internship offers me several rewarding opportunities. First, it provides valuable insights into the behind-the-scenes aspects of the field and the OSU Extension Office. I also have the privilege of giving back to younger individuals, just as other adults did for me when I was in the program. Furthermore, I’ve had the chance to collaborate with fellow program alumni and individuals I grew up with who are all returning to Lincoln County to contribute and provide assistance.

Looking ahead, I am thrilled to embark on an exciting journey of creating clinics and workshops that will greatly benefit the youth in our county. These informative sessions will aim to equip the young individuals in Lincoln County with valuable skills and knowledge, empowering them to thrive in their respective fields. I have plans to make these workshops accessible online, ensuring they serve as a lasting resource for future generations of students. Lincoln County is actively supporting the future success of the 4-H youth by equipping them with the necessary tools for achievement.

The possibilities that are ahead in this internship are exciting and I am happy to learn more about OSU Extension Service!


Anita McNally recently completed an internship in the OSU Extension office in Lincoln County.

Hello again! As my time here at Lincoln County Extension is coming to a close, I’ve realized how much I have learned from this experience and am grateful to have this internship opportunity. During my time being here I have learned numerous skills and have observed what a career at OSU Extension looks like.

Working on my assignments, I’ve built professional confidence in conducting interviews, experience in writing and creating brochures, as well as a deeper understanding of Extension’s purpose and goals. I really enjoyed working with my supervisors and team. They were very helpful, positive and supportive. My supervisors allowed me to sit in on Zoom calls which allowed me to participate in thinking outside of the box and provide input, as well as observe how everyone communicates and works together on a common goal.

I’ve helped communicate and develop information for our Eat Oregon Seafood website that we’re trying to enhance and I have updated our social media pages which support local seafood businesses and at home seafood recipes to try. I’ve learned the importance of supporting local and sustainable farmers as well as how much of an importance they are for our community, culture, and environment.

COVID-19 brought its challenges with this internship, and I would have loved to have more work days in the office or in Lincoln County. Due to these challenges it also limited the work that I could do, therefore if I was able to be in the office I may have had more assignments and in-the-field experience, as well as better connections with other coworkers and community members that I would have met in the office and field. I am glad I had the chance to go visit some local venders and the office at least once during my internship.

As my internship progressed, I was able to make connections between Extension and my environmental science major at OSU. Within this last week I was able to help call local farmers for an Agriculture Climate Adaption survey to understand what changes they have seen on their farm and how the county can help. I’ve also been taking a beginners’ short course for Introduction to Urban Agriculture, which has helped me broaden my understanding between the environment, community, and culture, and also connect this class to what I’ve been doing for Extension by helping support local foods and farmers. I really enjoyed my experience as an Extension intern and have learned a lot about Lincoln county and its community.



Anita McNally is an intern in the OSU Extension office in Lincoln County.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to physically work in the Lincoln County office this summer due to the pandemic. However, I was able to shadow my supervisor, Pami, for a day. This gave me the opportunity to see the office as well as work in my own office space for a few hours.

The Newport docks.


We went to the Newport docks where I was able to see fresh seafood be purchased off the boat. This experience gave me a sense of what I would be doing if I worked in Newport this summer. At the docks, I would have been leading Oregon Sea Grant Extension Shop at the Dock tours, which show the public how to buy seafood from a vendor and which questions to ask the about their catch. I’ve never bought fish or seafood directly off the boat, so this was a new experience for me that I found unique.

Then we went to visit Gibson Farms in nearby Siletz, which sells grass-fed beef and blueberries. This was an eye-opening experience because I saw how close Pami was to the owner. They discussed how they were doing on the farm, what their process was, and some of the things that were happening around them. Seeing how open the farmer was to Pami, showed me that Pami’s work – helping support local farmers with things they need and staying in contact with them – made a close and professional relationship between them and built a trusting and respectful bond between them. We then participated in Gibson Farms’ U-Pick blueberries for a couple of hours until our bins were full.

Anita McNally at the Gibson Farm in Siletz.

I really enjoyed having this experience of getting to know Pami better as well as seeing what she does in the field. It allowed me to see what I could potentially be doing and the connections I would be making if I got a chance to continue with Extension.

I really enjoyed my experience visiting local farmers and seafood vendors and wish I could do it more. Working from home, I’ve been advertising the Eat Oregon Seafood website on our social media accounts and I’ve conducted interviews with Master Gardener volunteers for our blog posts on Facebook. I also had the opportunity to write a report on the benefits of local foods, which brought to light the reasons why we should support local food, the economy, and our environment.

Hello! My name is Anita McNally. Currently, I’m enjoying my final years at Oregon State University majoring in environmental science and minoring in German. I was born and raised in the East Bay in Concord, California.

Anita McNally

Other than constantly playing competitive soccer, I found my passion for the environment in my family’s camping and fly-fishing trips as well as my active lifestyle as I grew up.

Although I’ve always been in awe of nature, especially on kayaking trips or while hiking, learning how to fly fish taught me the importance of diversity in an ecosystem.

Anita McNally shows a recently caught trout.

There are many different types of organisms that trout eat, and every ecosystem is unique in its own way through the different types of hatches that occur or its habitat. Due to my passion in nature and fly fishing, I became more aware as well as intrigued of how humans can cause a negative effect these ecosystems and solutions to prevent that.

In my internship at OSU Extension, I’m working in Lincoln County’s Extension office with the Master Gardener and small farms programs, and Sea Grant Extension’s commercial fishing, crabbing, and clamming specialists. Through these programs I am connecting consumers with local and sustainable producers through publicity and social media. I will be working professionally with others to promote local and sustainable foods, which not only helps our local economy, but our environment as well. Although COVID brought some unforeseen changes to my internship, such as leading Shop the Dock and working on site, I will still get the most out of my internship at home, virtually.

Before I joined Extension, I didn’t know much about the program. When I was younger, I was in 4-H for two years in the rabbit project and veterinary science program. Other than 4-H I was unaware of how big OSU Extension was and how much more it is involved in the community beyond 4-H. I’m excited to learn more about OSU Extension and how it connects to its community in general as well as in an environmental way.

Anita McNally holds a crab.