Hi, I am Perla Gutierrez, and I am on my last two weeks of my summer internship in Tillamook County. I have been a part of a lot of different projects with Open Campus/Juntos throughout this summer, including June Dairy Parade, Family Nights and Juntos Afuera. The whole summer I was working closely with high school Spanish-speaking students and their families, providing a safe environment with activities across Tillamook County.  

Perla Gutierrez (standing) leads an activity with students.

 The Juntos Afuera summer program for high school students included teaching them how to garden, go hiking on several trails, exploring sea life, learning about ancient plants, and kayaking, which was all the students’ favorite, including mine. Each week was focused on something different so I had a different activity that I had to lead, including painting, nature journaling and games to get to know everyone. On the days in which there was no camp, I was preparing for the following week with all the activities and creating the lesson plan for how the day would go. Sometimes that included buying some things at the store to be ready or planning our lesson plans several times until they were perfect. While leading each day in camp I got to know each student and create a bond with all of them.  

We also created events for the whole family to enjoy a day of learning and having fun with other families in the county. One was at Hydrangea Ranch in Tillamook County, where everyone was welcome. We had live music, food, games and some activities involving what we have done in Juntos Afuera this summer. In about a week, we have our second Family Day on the beach. There will be live music and entertainment, with the main event being an Ocean Blessing Ceremony. The planning behind each Family Night/Day is hard because we try to provide helpful resources for the families but also have to accommodate everyone involved in these events. We are about a week away from our event and we are still figuring out some logistics for this day to be perfect. Family Nights are created to show families that there are resources and people that want to help each student reach their goals, and that they can still celebrate and be proud of their culture. 

A group of 13 people hold potted plants
Showing off healthy plants and decorated pots at Juntos Afuera.

With my internship coming to an end, I have my final projects I am helping with, one of those is a STEM Camp. This camp is for incoming eighth-graders, in which will be working in an area I am not familiar with so it will be a learning experience. This internship has been an amazing and challenging opportunity, working with students close to my age, learning how to create a fun environment for them but also remember what we want them to get out of the whole program. I know I have had to think about certain topics in a different mindset which I know will influence my decisions in the future and I am grateful for everything this experience has taught me.

 

Hey everyone!

My life recently has been a whirlwind of activities. Two weeks ago, I attended the 4-H Wild West camp in Salem. The following week we moved straight into Tillamook County’s 4-H horse fair and fashion revue. And this week I’m down at the Coos County Fair. Once I get back it is crunch time for the Tillamook County Fair. And once that is complete my internship will be ending.

Wild West camp final campfire.

Attending the Wild West camp as a staff member was a completely new experience for me. I say this because I was never able to go to camp as a 4-H’er even though it was something I had always wanted to be involved in. It was fun to see the interactions between counselors and campers from an outside perspective.

Some other new experiences for me were the horse fair and fashion revue. I loved getting to see and experience new sides and aspects of 4-H. It is great to see members who are so passionate about their projects.

This week I will be in Myrtle Point for the Coos County Fair for yet another new experience. I have never been able to attend another county fair other than my own. I am excited to see the differences and similarities between them and learn the ways different counties put on a fair.

Life won’t slow down after that though. Next week, there will be only two weeks until the Tillamook County fair will be fully underway. This is the most stressful part of the year but also by far my absolute favorite. I cannot wait to be surrounded by kids putting in hard work and seeing how they have learned and grown over the past year. Seeing the fruition of all of their efforts from the past few months is incredible and I am excited to see how fair works from a staff perspective rather than as a member and exhibitor.

Following fair is the end of my internship and the time for me to return to Montana and continue my education. So, with that I bid farewell to all of you and all of these amazing experiences that this internship has brought me.

Perla Gutierrez

Hello! I am Perla Gutierrez and I am so excited to have this opportunity for the summer. I just finished my first year at University of Idaho, but I am originally from Tillamook County where I am interning this summer. I am a first-generation Latina college student, so getting this internship with Nat Macías, Open Campus and Juntos coordinator, is a huge opportunity for me to help me achieve my goals. I am working with the Juntos Afuera program this summer. I started participating in the Juntos program when I was in the sixth grade, and now I am back as a student leader.

I am almost halfway through the internship, and my main project has been planning and leading activities in Juntos Afuera. Juntos Afuera is an outdoor program for Spanish-speaking high school students to learn about and celebrate Latinx culture, while providing leadership development skills that grow an active group of Latinx explorers and stewards. The program starts by participating in the June Dairy parade. This was the second year we participated. Last year I was a student and this year I got to see a different perspective as a leader. It was strange because there is so much hard work put into one single event that I did not see as a student.

Juntos Afuera participated in the 2022 June Dairy Parade in Tillamook.

At the same time, we were doing the last small details for the summer program. There were a lot of challenges where we had to come up with a quick solution and make it happen in time. That showed me the stressful side of leading a program but then seeing the final results and seeing how the students react makes it all worth it.

Within this program, high school students get a chance to do outdoor activities. So far, we have been planting in school gardens, going on hikes around the county, and next we will be kayaking. It has been so much fun, and I am getting to know new places and new experiences.

I have also been able to know what happens behind closed doors … having all the permits, food, transportation, and so much more. I am majoring in interior architecture so a lot of what I am doing does not specifically relate to my major, but I am learning a lot of life skills. In this internship my main responsibilities are leading activities throughout the week such as nature journaling, taking pictures and videos and composing social media posts, and keeping all registration forms up to date. I have also had the opportunity to do things like writing a set of interview questions we will ask students when we film them or deciding the best art supplies that will help them be successful throughout the summer. I am sure there will be more surprises as the summer continues to unfold.

So far, I have had amazing time and am excited for the rest of summer.

Hey everyone!

My name is Alli Dixson. I am a sophomore at Montana State University studying animal science with a concentration in livestock management and industries. Through my experiences in Oregon 4-H and FFA I found my love of agriculture and more specifically livestock. For that reason, I have chosen to come back home for the summer to work as an intern for 4-H in the OSU Extension office in Tillamook County. Through the summer I hope to get a firsthand experience of what it’s like to work in Extension along with gaining key skills that are essential to any workplace.

Alli Dixson (middle) helping a Cloverbud launch a bottle rocket.

While I’ve only been working with Extension for a short while, I’ve definitely been busy. My first week I planned and assisted in instructing and leading a livestock clinic for 4-H members. We covered some basic information and specialty management techniques of swine, cattle, sheep and goats. The 4-H’ers learned through both a classroom setting and many hands-on activities involving feed rationing, contagious disease, animal behavior and safe injections.

Alli Dixson (right) assisting at a poultry clinic.

The following week I moved directly into 4-H Cloverbud day camps. We had an action-packed three days of art, crafts, and science. Some of the fun learning activities included making wildflower paper, planting herbs, cloud watching, and launching bottle rockets. The kids had a great time, and I enjoyed getting to work on my teaching skills along with my ability to manage a room of kids. It was a great experience and I hope to have many more like it throughout the summer.

Just this past week I’ve attended a poultry clinic in which members learned how to show chickens, ducks, and turkeys. Throughout the week I have also been working on planning and preparing for our 4-H junior day camps for 9- to 12-year-olds. During this camp we will cover topics such as engineering, horticulture, and other stem topics. While I’ve clearly been very busy, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have enjoyed being surrounded by kids, stem, agriculture, and most importantly learning.

 

 

Hello, my name is Cydney Stables. I am the intern for the OSU Extension Communications office, located in the Kerr Administration Building on the main Oregon State University campus in Corvallis.

Two girls are posing with a dairy cow.
Cydney Stables (right) shows a dairy cow in 4-H.

I’m from Gaston, Oregon, and I just completed my first year of college at Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa. I am majoring in agribusiness, communications, business administration and economics with a minor in plant and animal sciences.

I plan to pursue a master’s in agricultural communications upon completing my undergraduate work. After that, I hope to obtain a job in agricultural public relations, working as a spokesperson for the agriculture industry or as an educator for Extension.

So far, this internship has given me insight into the vast future career opportunities I may have in Extension and communications. One of the greatest experiences I have had thus far was the opportunity to tour county Extension offices across the state.

Statue from the Pendleton rodeo grounds

In late May, I traveled with the communications’ news and public issues team to Pendleton, where we began our tour of offices from there.

We visited with faculty and staff in the Extension offices in Umatilla, Sherman, Wasco, Hood River and Clackamas counties.

Then at the beginning of June, I went with colleagues in Extension Communications to the Extension office in Tillamook County, where we met the staff and discussed communications resources on the Extension employee intranet and media outreach. On our way back to Corvallis, we stopped at the Extension office in Yamhill County, which is one that is very familiar to me. My mom works there and I’ve helped around the office in previous summers as a volunteer.

These trips opened my eyes to the breadth and depth of what Extension truly does. Growing up a part of Extension through the Oregon 4-H program, I had no idea how many opportunities OSU Extension offers for communities. In addition, I learned first-hand from faculty and staff about their successes, challenges and failures.

Hood River Extension office research orchard

The trip was an immersive experience. Not only did I get to see Extension employees in action, but I also had the opportunity to experience the diversity in agriculture across the state.

I learned about programs of SNAP-Ed, Strong People, Master Gardeners, Open Campus, Juntos and more. All of which are great community outreach opportunities that benefit individuals in countless ways.

I want to thank all of the employees from the county offices we visited for being so welcoming and kind.

I can’t wait to see what the rest of this internship learning opportunity has in store.

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. 

Hi again! As my summer internship at the OSU Extension office in Tillamook County comes to an end, I’ve had time to learn and grow. Getting to experience a job working for Extension has shown me how broad the areas that Extension covers are. Working to serve the community also taught me different skills and helped me meet my summer learning objectives. 

My two biggest objectives were to improve my communication skills and increase my career awareness. With the different assignments I had – writing social media blurbs, sending emails, speaking with families at community events, and leading activities for the Juntos Afuera camp – I have been able to improve my communication skills in multiple ways. By observing different members of the office and meeting health workers in the community I was also able to get career awareness and learn the importance of the roles in extension.  

Kilchis Point Reserve in Tillamook County. Photo by Crystal Hernandez.
Kilchis Point Reserve in Tillamook County. Photo by Crystal Hernandez.

A different skill that I wasn’t expecting to learn was the ability to adapt. Having so many factors that could change made it important to be flexible in order to get tasks done. During my internship, this came into play with our second planned family night for Juntos Afuera. It was created with the help of the Tillamook County Community Health Center to create a space where Spanish-speaking families could come together to enjoy food and music with the option to get a COVID-19 vaccine. With cases rising due to the delta variant, the event had to be changed to a drive-through where families still got to enjoy food, music and have the opportunity to get vaccinated from the comfort of their cars. We decided to adapt instead of canceling because providing families with information and vaccines is important. 

Extension serves its community and this internship taught me the value of connecting with people. The events that were created were possible because of the collective help of multiple people, not just the work of one.  

 

Hueca Omeyocan, a group that performs traditional Aztec dances.
Hueca Omeyocan, a group that performs traditional Aztec dances.

Hi there, Crystal Hernandez here with an update from the Tillamook County Extension office. As I progress further into my summer internship, I’ve had an eventful first seven weeks. With Juntos Afuera, family nights, and my career exploration opportunities I have been able to see just how much Extension impacts our community.  

Extension seeks to inform, educate and connect individuals, and that is exactly what I have been able to do as a part of Juntos. We started the Juntos program this summer with Juntos Afuera, a camp that introduces Latinx high school students to recreational activities and informs them about the Latinx culture. So far, we have been kayaking and bird-watching, and we were part of the annual Tillamook County June Dairy Parade the first week of my internship. Apart from that we also had our first in-person family night at Hydrangea Ranch where Hueca Omeyocan, a group that performs traditional Aztec dances taught the families the historical importance that these dances hold in their culture. During this family night I was also able to speak with different families where they shared their interest in the Juntos program.  

Crystal Hernandez shows Juntos Afuera campers how to make a nutritional trail mix.
Crystal Hernandez shows Juntos Afuera campers how to make a nutritional trail mix.

During Juntos Afuera I’ve had a leading role where I taught the campers about xempasuchil flowers, Aztec deities and got to explore my interest in health by introducing them to a first aid and showing them how to make a nutritional trail mix. Leading these activities was a challenge but as I kept doing them, I slowly got more comfortable speaking to the group of campers and noticed how they are all slowly opening up to each other as well. 

I was once a member of Juntos but now that I am at the other side of it, I get to see how much effort and logistics an event like family night requires. Having to look for food, location, entertainment, preparing decorations and advertising is not as easy as it sounds. Making all of the pieces come together has required organizational skills and communication between everyone in the team. 

Part of my internship also gave me the opportunity to explore different careers in the health field. I was able to interview different people in the health field that have been helpful as I get closer to my start date at OSU.  

As I am quickly getting through my summer internship, I am looking forward to the next family night that is currently being planned and getting to help the campers with their Latinx identity projects that they will present to the Tillamook County Commissioners.  

Hey all! 

Chloe Hull here, updating you from Tillamook County. I am halfway through the internship, and I have learned and done a lot. Most of my time so far has been structured around getting to know community partners and building those relationships for the future. This last week I was able to sit in on a workgroup with Master Gardeners on how to increase inclusivity into the program and the work that they are doing. It was interesting being able to hear folks getting involved on the planning level and discussing the things that they have personally learned over the past several months and their ideas on moving forward into the future.  

Sun-scalded tomato plants from recent Oregon heatwave.
Sun-scalded tomato plants from recent Oregon heatwave.

As you may remember from my last post, I have been working on researching different listserv services and gathering contact information for food producers all across the north coast. With all of this research, last week we were finally able to send out our first couple of emails! I have already gotten several positive responses from folks on the listserv, and I am excited to continue being involved with sending out resources for these producers. One of the emails that we sent out last week had resources and information about fire preparedness and heat stress on plants, livestock, and workers. It is important to get these resources out to folks and work to develop a community of collaboration to become more resilient as more extreme heat events occur.  

Lastly, I am excited as the Tillamook County Fair (Aug. 10-14) gets closer because I will be hosting a 4-H exhibit. I have never gotten to host a county fair booth, so it has been a learning experience for me as I gather information and develop content and activities. I have some experience with youth engagement and development, but this will be new in that it will be a larger audience than I am accustomed to. I look forward to it though and I hope you will come say hi if you are in the area! 

Steeply sloped grassland in Manzanita.
Steeply sloped grassland in Manzanita. Photo by Luke Brockman.

Hello, world!

It’s mid-July, and my time thus far as an intern with the Fire Program at OSU Extension Service has been very fun and informative. Oregon’s Coast Range is a heavily forested and culturally diverse part of the state, and as such, the communities that inhabit this region serve to benefit greatly from the expertise and outreach that Extension fire specialist Aaron Groth and the rest of the fire team provide.  

On July 5, Aaron and I took a trip to beautiful Manzanita to meet with a few members of the local homeowners association, who had a lot of questions about preparing their community for the threat of fire. Their neighborhood rests upon a steeply sloped grassland with a stunning overlook of Nehalem Bay State Park, extending all the way south to Rockaway Beach and beyond. It was interesting to hear the concerns of these community members and the caution they were taking in preparation for their next HOA meeting.  

Considering the increasing intensity of wildfire season and especially last year’s Echo Mountain Complex Fire, which burned parts of Lincoln City, it’s becoming more and more important to prepare for the worst. I’m beginning to see how Extension serves the communities in Oregon. People need science-based, realistic advice to inform their communities of pertinent issues affecting the state. Extension recognizes this need and applies the expertise that OSU creates. 

Last week, I sat in on a meeting as Aaron presented fire information for members of the Spanish-speaking community in the Lincoln City area. As previously mentioned, the Echo Mountain Complex fire shocked Lincoln County last year. Recognizing that this community lacks the language-accessible information about both pre- and post-fire preparedness, Extension was able to make a meaningful impact thanks to Aaron’s Spanish fluency and the work that the Fire Program is here to do. It was also great Spanish listening practice for me!