Magenta dahlias in the Tillamook Master Gardeners demonstration garden. Photo by Chloe Hull.
Magenta dahlias in the Tillamook Master Gardeners demonstration garden. Photo by Chloe Hull.

Hey everyone! 

This is my last blog post for my internship. I am appreciative of this internship for the experiences that I have had. It has been super exciting to see the projects I have been working on wrap up. For example, some of the projects included presenting to the Tillamook County Extension staff, finishing a water resources guide, and tabling at the county fair. 

Although most of my internship was done remotely, I drove to Tillamook a couple times to work and meet some folks in person. It was refreshing to spend time there and actually get to work in person. I helped with a couple of summer camps and went on a few industry tours, learning more about the community. I at a table at the Tillamook County Fair, talking about soil horizons and showing off the soil samples that I collected from around Tillamook. Not too many people showed up, but those that did were interested in talking to me to learn more about what I was doing. At the fair, I also got to hang out in the Extension Master Gardener demonstration garden, which looks gorgeous despite them not being able to spend a ton of time working there due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

The North Coast food producer listserv that I helped create and manage has been up and running for over a month. This listserv shares resources with small food producers of the North Coast and will generally be a network that folks will hopefully utilize more in the future. Overall, this project helped me to grow my confidence in email communications with a broad audience. The few responses that I received from the listserv have been overwhelmingly positive as folks respond to ask me questions or make comments. We have also had partner organizations contact us to send out resources, which is exciting because it means that we are beginning to be recognized in some parts of the community. I am looking forward to watching the listserv grow and change now that it has gotten started and since my internship will be ending. 

Bott’s Marsh is a restoration project managed by the Lower Nehalem Community Trust. Photo by Chloe Hull
Bott’s Marsh is a restoration project managed by the Lower Nehalem Community Trust. Photo by Chloe Hull

My big project for this summer was writing a water resources guide for landowners. I spent a lot of time researching and reaching out to organizations on the North Coast to try and get the most up-to-date, accurate information available. You can read it here. In addition to learning how to professionally reach out for information and feedback, I also strengthened my time-management skills throughout the summer. I am excited to share this resource out that I have been working on all summer. 

Overall, I am grateful to have had this opportunity to be a Tillamook Extension intern. Getting to know the staff in the office and the community has been a great learning experience. I look forward to taking the skills that I learned and applying them to my career and education moving forward. 

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.  

Judging at the Yamhill County Fair.
Judging at the Yamhill County 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!  

Hi everyone! Henry Golb again, for my third and final blog post of the summer. As a brief refresher, I’m Christy Tanner’s intern working with the south Willamette Valley field crops. I am based out of Linn County, and my job is to assist Christy in both the field and the office.   

It’s hard to believe that my time with Linn County Extension is coming to an end. It’s been a remarkable experience and I’m very thankful I was able to work with this amazing group of people. I just want to thank the faculty and staff of Linn County Extension for all their support this summer. 

Blooming mint in Jefferson, Oregon. Photo by Henry Golb.
Blooming mint in Jefferson, Oregon. Photo by Henry Golb.

Over the course of my 10 weeks at the OSU Extension office in Linn County I’ve been doing ground sampling and drone flights in grass seed fields looking at vole damage, collected the data for the Willamette Valley Mint Pest Alert newsletter, and I was in charge of compiling and editing the Willamette Valley, Central, and Eastern Mint Pest Alert newsletters each week. I got to be a part of hop nutrient field research study with Christy’s north valley counterpart, Betsy Verhoeven, and so much more. A big highlight of my summer was having the opportunity to be given the tour of Reerslev Farms’ mint distillery just outside of Junction City. Seeing (and tasting) the final product of fields I worked in was pretty special. Riding around with John Reerslev and touring some his mint fields was the icing on the cake.  

All these experiences gave me a real-world taste of Willamette Valley agriculture and opened my eyes up to a world I’d only experienced through classrooms and textbooks. This internship taught me and showed me practical skills that can only be learned in the field.  

I walked into this internship not knowing much about Extension. I came in with the notion that Extension only worked with and helped farmers. While a sizeable portion of the Extension Service is focused on agriculture, I could not have been farther from the truth. I learned about and saw programs from 4-H all the way to food preservation classes. I’m walking out knowing that Extension works with and improves the quality of life for all Oregonians. I hope that more Oregonians see OSU Extension as a resource for them in their daily lives. Extension is here to serve and help the people.  

This internship could not be what it’s been without the people I’ve worked with. I want to take this opportunity to thank Christy, Betsy, and Michele Webster, who manages the Linn County office, for believing in me and guiding me along the way. I would also like to thank KJ Joseph, who coordinates the OSU Intern Program, and my family for all their support.  

Hello Everyone! 

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! 

A water activity at an elementary school.
A water activity at an elementary school.

Hi everyone! I’m Kelci Free, providing an update from Linn County. Over the last two months, I have learned so much more about Extension than I ever thought possible. I have quickly learned just how much time and planning goes into every event beforehand whether it be a farmers market, teaching in schools, or planning classes for the public. A few weeks ago, I was able to attend an event for women in agriculture at a small farm near Corvallis with the OSU Extension Small Farms Program. It was very inspiring to see what so many other women in agriculture were doing and get to hear their knowledge and experiences.  

 The owner of the farm showed us so many cool parts of her property and explained everything she does with her animals and garden and was able to answer lots of questions and give advice as well. It was an awesome experience to see how everyone fit into the agricultural industry and were able to come together and learn from each other. 

I am seeing the mission of Extension being met daily, by all of the programmings my supervisor does as nonformal education. We have prepared and performed nonformal education for elementary schools, farmers markets, fairs and we are planning a class for rural living basics for the general public. Everything we do as Extension faculty is to benefit our community and its people which is part of the 4 “Ps” of Extension: People, Places, Programs, and Partnerships. 

One of my biggest learning moments was while we were teaching at an elementary school in the first week and one of the activities I planned wasn’t working, so I had to adapt and change it. Being able to change plans quickly when one thing does not work out has been a common theme throughout my internship so far, and everyone says it is very needed in a career in Extension. I have quickly learned that you need to plan for the worst-case scenario and have lots of backup plans and the ability to adapt in order to be successful in this field. There have been countless learning moments in the few weeks I have had so far, I look forward to all I am yet to learn this summer. 

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.  

Leading a water balloon activity at the Lebanon School District Summer School Program.

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!  

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. 

Hey all! 

My name is Chloe Hull, and I am going into my fourth year as an undergraduate student at Oregon State University. I hail from Portland, Oregon, but I’m currently living in Corvallis doing a remote internship with OSU Extension in Tillamook County. I am majoring in natural resources with a specialization in ecological restoration and a minor in women, gender, and sexuality studies.

I ‘ve been accepted into OSU’s accelerated master’s program in natural resources and I’m excited to continue my education after I earn my bachelor’s degree. Beyond that, I enjoy spending time outside, baking, and cross-stitching to name a few of my hobbies. 

Throughout my internship, I will be working closely with Julia Wentzel, the Master Gardener and small farms coordinator for both Clatsop and Tillamook counties, to develop a local food producer listserv/newsletter to assist in increasing communications with and between north coast food producers. Another project that I’m excited to be working on is an easily accessible and highly polished water resource guide for landowners who want to learn more about how to best manage and/or restore the water resources on their land (creeks, ponds, wells, etc.).  

I’m looking forward to the opportunities when I get to drive to Tillamook and get to do in-person activities such as farm/dairy visits, STEM camp, county fair, and just generally being able to spend time in the Extension office and get a feel for the atmosphere. I think that having the opportunity to go up to Tillamook will give me a better understanding of the county that doesn’t come with being a tourist, and a better feel for the work that the Tillamook Extension agents are doing.  I’m grateful to my supervisor and the rest of the Tillamook Extension agents for making this internship enjoyable so far and working through the difficulties that come with a remote internship. 

Hi everyone! My name is Henry Golb, and I am a senior at OSU in the College of Agricultural Sciences, studying soil sciences and agricultural communications. Growing up in Camas, Washington, I took a nontraditional path to the agricultural world. 

My family doesn’t farm, and I didn’t participate in 4-H or FFA in high school. But agricultural influences were always around me. I heard my grandfather’s stories from when he was a nurseryman outside of Clackamas, Oregon. And my father is a natural resources water consultant. I grew up listening to him on the phone working with his clients. What I heard growing up, my desire to work outside, and a local farmer taking a chance on a high school senior led me to where I am today. 

Where am I today? I’m the intern for Christy Tanner, the south Willamette Valley field crops specialist for OSU Extension. I am based in the Linn County Extension office, and my job is to assist her in both the field and the office. Each day is different for me; one day I might be changing pheromone traps and sweeping mint fields for pests, and the next I might be walking and sampling a vole-damaged perennial ryegrass field. I love the unique challenges that each day brings. 

Before this internship I knew very little about Extension. All I knew was that Extension helps people, and that was something I wanted to be a part of. Even then, I wanted to improve the quality of life for farmers, ranchers, and the people of Oregon. This summer I am so grateful to be doing just that. It is a privilege to go to work each day knowing my sweat is making a difference. 

Prior to working for Extension, I worked for Shady Grove Farm, a small vegetable farm in Camas for the past two summers. At Shady Grove Farm, I had a hand in every step, all the way from seeding to selling our products at the weekly Camas Farmers Market. I am hopeful that I will be able to use my experiences and knowledge gained at Shady Grove Farm, OSU Extension, and my classes over the past three years to go into the private sector and land a job working in agricultural sales.  

Outside of work you can find me spending time with friends and family, or out on the water fishing. As the president of the Oregon State Bass Fishing Team, I spend lots of time both on the water and helping other people get on the water. My top three favorite fish to target would be Smallmouth Bass, Chinook salmon, and Coho salmon. Aside from the fishing itself I love driving and boating around Oregon and seeing the natural beauty our state has to offer. 

I want to take this opportunity to thank Christy and Michele Webster, who manages the Linn County office, for believing in me. I would also like to thank KJ Joseph, who coordinates the OSU Intern Program, and my family for all their support. 

 

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!