Hi all! I’m Brady Monteith, reaching out from sunny Klamath Falls. I’m on a bit of a different schedule down here at the OSU Extension office in Klamath County, and I’m quickly approaching the end of my time here before I pack up and head down to Arizona. It’s been an eventful 12 weeks, and I’m so grateful for all the learning opportunities I’ve had.

My main project this summer has been Double Up Food Bucks at our local farmer’s market. We worked with the market coordinator and our local vendors to create programs that encourage more people to use their SNAP-Ed benefits for local produce. Each week, we had a different “Featured Food” that we tried to line up with what was in season. At our booth we would have various Extension Food Hero resources such as recipes and informational handouts about our Featured Food. We put together a market tour, which was essentially a short scavenger hunt with some sample questions that encouraged shoppers to explore the market and communicate with local growers. We also collected information and put together profiles on our local vendors, still with the hope that we can help shoppers get to know the people who grow their food.

Another project I’ve been working on is the delivery of the Cooking Matters class, both in-person and virtually. The last three weeks I’ve been helping Paolina Mulleneix, Extension’s Farm to School outreach program coordinator in Klamath County, deliver the Cooking Matters for Families class virtually. We’ve had about five families join in Zoom each week and we all cook a meal together. Just this last week, we taught the Cooking Matters For Teens class in-person out in Chiloquin. On the first day of class only two kids showed up, but the last day we had seven. We spent an hour with the kids each day, talking to them about how to eat healthy and be safe in the kitchen. By the end of each day the kids went home with a delicious meal they had prepared themselves.

This internship has been incredibly insightful and has allowed me to see nearly every aspect of our local food system. Over the last couple weeks, I’ve been meeting with people who play a part in our food system, from growers to policy writers.  The experiences I’ve had have been so valuable, and I can’t wait to see how I will be able to apply them in my future studies.

Hello everyone! My name is Brady Monteith, and I’m a sophomore at the University of Arizona, studying nutrition and food systems. Although I go to school Arizona, I grew up in Klamath Falls, Oregon. I’m back home for the summer, so I’m interning with the OSU Extension office in Klamath County. Klamath is a very ag-centric community, so I’ve grown up surrounded by agriculture. My family owns and operates a commercial farm, and my first job was to drive tractor and rake hay, so I’ve always felt quite connected to that side of the food system. 

During my internship I will be working under the supervision of Patty Case. My goal through this internship will be to better understand the Klamath food systems and the many people who play many diverse roles in it. I will be doing this through a few different projects. The main project I will be working on will be Extension’s role at the local farmers market. We will be working with the market director to provide nutrition education and help people to use their SNAP-Ed benefits to purchase local produce. I will also be assisting Extension Master Gardeners in their role at the farmers market. In addition to these projects, I will be assisting with the Cooking Matters program, to further expand on the nutrition education side of things. 

Before starting this internship, I really didn’t know much about OSU Extension. I had heard of Master Gardeners, but only knew that some people used them to test their soil. I came into the internship with pretty much no knowledge of what I would end up doing. However, the wonder people at Extension were quick to help get me oriented and have given me every tool I need to be successful.  

Hello World! My name is Maggie Justice and I’m the student intern for the Extension office in Grant County, which is in John Day. I’m also a junior at Walla Walla University where I am studying biology with hopes becoming a large and small animal veterinarian.

I was born and raised in John Day by two Grant County natives. My mom is an ex-logger who now owns a plant nursery.  And my dad works for a Coca-Cola distribution company and on the weekends works our family’s cattle herd. I also have two younger sisters. Ellie, who just graduated high school, will attend Eastern Oregon University in the fall. My youngest sister, Abbie, will be a freshman at Grant Union Jr. /Sr. High School and is an excellent baker. Growing up on a weird nursery/farm allowed my sisters and myself a life surrounded by animals, plants, and a healthy dose of chaos.

Any free time and hobbies I have acquired over the years typically revolve around animals. Since I was 9 years old, I’ve raised cattle, and recently I fulfilled a life-long dream when I purchased my first registered British white heifer named Odessa. I also have a red border collie named Clifford, who loves to pretend that he is a cow dog, but in reality would rather spend his time eating snow or being dragged around on one strange hike or another. But whenever I’m not around my animals, I am hanging out with friends, hiking, and talking about my animals.

 

The major work that I will be doing at the Grant County Extension office is to assist the staff with 4-H and Snap-Ed events. Normally this would include several 4-H sponsored camps that occur every year in our county, but due to COVID, our major focus is preparation for our upcoming youth static and livestock exhibit events. During the pandemic, planning for these events looks completely different, but I am confident that no matter what the outcome, we will have events that are unforgettable.

I must admit, before I started this internship, I had already had a pretty good idea of what my job would be, because I worked for the Extension office the summer of 2018. I really enjoyed the work because I got to help kids with their 4-H projects and help contribute to the fair I have always loved.

My true “first” experience with extension is from my 4-H and FFA days, where I thought it was one of the most important jobs ever. My life changed completely when I joined 4-H and truly made me into the person that I am today. They are the ones who help shape kids into strong competent individuals. Extension helps them find their passions and teaches them life-long skills. I cannot believe that I am privileged enough to work for a place that serves such an important task for both the community and its youth.