Hi, I’m Molly Taylor, and I’m finishing up my last two weeks as an Extension intern in Hood River and Wasco counties, working in the Family and Community Health Program. Over the course of my internship, I’ve had many opportunities that have helped me develop skills for my future career, no matter what path I decide to take.  

A woman in a black Food Hero apron stands at a table filled with trail mix ingredients.
Molly Taylor providing DIY trail mix at a day camp in Hood River.

Some of my favorite experiences have been assisting and carrying out a 4-H cooking camp – where I got to do food demonstrations and teach kitchen skills and safety – providing snacks for local day camps and putting together recipe books for the SNAP-Ed program using Food Hero recipes. Throughout all of these experiences I’ve been able to build communication and teaching skills, planning strategies, and problem-solving methods that will benefit me in my future endeavors. 

Over the summer, I’ve enjoyed working with different programs like Family and Community Health, 4-H and Open Campus/Juntos. I’ve been able to see all that Extension does in the community and how it truly makes a difference by getting people involved and excited about learning how to better themselves and the area they live in. Throughout all of these programs, I’ve had the opportunity to do a lot with kids and it’s been especially fun to see their excitement to learn and to then take their new knowledge home to their families. This showed that not only do Extension teaching programs support adults who are trying to make a difference, but also has that impact on younger generations which makes a lasting difference.  

With my internship coming to a close, for the last two weeks I will be finishing up the recipe books that will be handed out at local schools in the fall by the SNAP-Ed program in Wasco County and potentially doing something at the Wasco County Fair. I look forward to taking all the things I’ve learned from Extension and applying them to the rest of my schooling and future jobs and leave having an extra appreciation for the work and impact that Extension has on communities like mine.  

A man records a boy telling a story
Video storytelling campers doing interviews at Sorosis Park in The Dalles.

Wasco County was created by the Oregon Territorial Legislature in 1854 and and at one time was the largest county in the United States –bigger than present-day Oregon. Today, it can still seem very old at times. Our fair structure has not changed in the time that I have been alive–until this year. One of the biggest tasks that I have gotten under this internship program is to redesign Wasco County Fair’s livestock judging contest and turn it into a Skill-A-Thon. The Extension office acquired a full set of educational posters and equipment from the Ohio State University Extension Service for each species at the Wasco County Fair. It has been my job to come up with a junior level knowledge test on all that material. We are starting at a junior level because there has not been a contest like this in Wasco County for at least 15 years and we do not want to overwhelm our 4-H and FFA kids.

This was a much larger undertaking than I originally anticipated it being. I have spent six days working on the contest already and I will need a few more still to see it through to completion. One of the greatest obstacles for this project is that there are species of animals that I know almost nothing about. I raise beef and swine at home, so those project areas come fairly easily, but I have had to learn more about sheep, goats, rabbits, cavy and poultry in the last week than I have in the last nine years of 4-H. Unfortunately, I don’t think I will be able to participate in the Skill-A-Thon as I would have an unfair advantage being the one that made it, but I hope that it makes kids realize that there is always more to learn about their animals.

One reason that the Skill-A-Thon curriculum has taken so long to make was that our Video Storytelling Camp was held last week. We gave our nine kids cameras and a computer with video editing software and we guided them through how to properly record, edit and render videos. Each of the videos were entirely unique and had the creative genius of each kid behind them. They may not have been movie quality, but for some of the fourth-graders it was their first time using a computer with a mouse. They went from learning something totally new to having a fully produced video within three days. It was immensely rewarding to see the satisfaction on the kids’ faces as we played each of their videos at the end of the camp.

Wasco County Fair is closing in, with only two weeks to go. We are getting prepared to move the Extension office out to the fairgrounds for when fair begins. Even though I am still a 4-H member it will be a lot different this year as I will be more involved in operating fair as an intern. I am looking forward to moving animals in on Aug. 17and making the most of my last year in 4-H!

Brightly colored cards with information about goats
Goat curriculum used to create parts of the Skill-A-Thon for the Wasco County Fair.

Allow me to reintroduce myself, I am Keon Cohl Kiser, a sophomore at Oregon State University working as an intern at the OSU Extension Office in Wasco County. I began my summer internship around June 22nd, expecting to grow professional and people skills in order to obtain work experience and build my resume.

I am supervised by Lu Seapy in the Extension 4-H program, which, among other things, builds healthy communal and familial relationships through fun and educational camps for elementary and middle school kids. I was able to develop my professional and people skills by building new summer camps out of nothing, which includes the curriculum and the overall structure of each camp. The camps that I worked with involved a STEM focus. They included the technological side of building and programming robots and microcomputers and the scientific and educational side of raising awareness of what is considered recyclable and teaching about the local biology of the Columbia River Gorge.

Keon Kiser (middle left) at hiking camp at Catherine Creek Recreation Area.

As I operated these camps, I was able to see what it was like being a leader in terms of organization and maintaining control over an intense or chaotic situation. You can easily lose control when 22 kids all are working on a hands-on project – all at different paces. Unfortunately in some case the kids didn’t make as much progress as we had hoped on their creations and education.

Also, I will have the fortunate opportunity to work with Jacob Powell, Extension crops and livestock faculty in Wasco and Sherman counties. With Jacob I will be assisting in conducting research on forage kochia to study its resistance to fire in very dry environments. This is a great opportunity since not many undergraduate students can say they assisted in a research project, and I highly enjoy being on the field and learning new concepts.

Gladly, my internship was not like what you may see on TV, where the intern is tasked with only making coffee and walking around with papers. I was immediately challenged in doing things I have had little to no experience participating in like teaching and structuring/creating a curriculum on a consistent basis. Out of this internship I was able to get what I initially wanted out of it: Developing professional and people skills, being challenged, getting to know new people and having tons of fun.

I am blessed to have a job in which it doesn’t feel like a job, except when waking up early in the morning to make it on time, I was able to apply the 4-H mission by building relationship and inspiration within the Wasco County youth, and in the process inspiring myself to continue to excel with my own passions within and outside the STEM field.

Theo Sandoz

Hello everyone, my name is Theo Sandoz. I just graduated The Dalles High School, and I am headed to OSU as a freshman in the fall. Through OSU Extension 4-H and FFA for the past nine years I have raised and shown beef and swine projects, done countless presentations and created enough projects to fill a treasure chest full of amazing stuff.  I was told about the OSU Extension internship program through Lu Seapy, 4-H youth development STEM educator in Wasco County. Lu was my robotics coach at the time. I started about three weeks ago and decided that this summer was for me to learn a little bit about everything.

Lu, who will be supervising me this summer, and I have known each other for a long time. She has been teaching science, technology, math and engineering (STEM) camps since I was in middle school. Now it is my job to help her plan and teach these camps as well as other staff here at Wasco Extension. One of my biggest undertakings is migrant education twice a week. We are teaching four STEM classes a day to the children of migrant workers in The Dalles starting at 6 a.m. This happens on the days that our summer camps do not conflict. This week we also have the Amazing Race, Garden Art, VEX IQ Robotics and many other camps.

I have taken on this Internship on top of my job at our local movie theater and working on our farm. This summer I decided that I was going to use all my available time to work as it is the last time before I must start paying for college. The internship program really does mean a lot to me because I have grown up in 4-H and now I am able to give back to 4-H through Extension as well as participating in my last year. Everyone here at the office is amazing to work with and I am glad that I agreed to come onboard!

Hi there, I’m Molly Taylor. I grew up in The Dalles, and I’m currently a student at Oregon State University, where I just finished my third year. I’m majoring in nutrition with a dietetics option and a minor in public health. Once I finish my bachelor’s degree I hope to complete a dietetic internship/master’s program and become a registered dietitian. Right now, I picture myself doing clinical work in a hospital and potentially becoming a diabetes educator, so I’m excited to work with OSU Extension and learn about the strategies used to educate the public.

This summer I’m interning with Lauren Kraemer in the Extension Family and Community Health Program at the Extension offices in Wasco and Hood River counties. It’s my first time working as an intern with extension and I’m looking forward to seeing all the different tools and strategies Extension utilizes to reach different populations in the local communities. My impression right now, with only two weeks under my belt, is that Extension goes out into the community and provides more accessible and equitable learning opportunities that some communities may not have had without Extension services.

4-H cooking camp

This summer I will be doing a variety of things such as food demonstrations at local farmers markets, handing out snacks at day camps, demonstrations at food pantries, along with helping out with some 4-H cooking camps and potentially helping to create a cookbook using Food Hero recipes for seasonal migrant workers and their families who make Wasco and Hood River counties their home for the summer.

Last week I got to see Extension in action when I helped out with a 4-H cooking camp. The camp taught kids how to cook a three-course meal using Food Hero recipes which are balanced, easy-to-make and affordable. The camp also allowed the kids to develop food safety skills and measuring techniques which got them excited about what they were eating because they had a part in creating it. There were also some MyPlate activities where we went over the MyPlate illustration with the kids and then had them build their own meals using pictures of different foods. It was fun to see the kids get excited about food and put their MyPlate knowledge to work by brainstorming different meals using some of their favorite foods while trying to incorporate all the food groups in order to have a balanced meal.

I’m excited to continue working and learning from all the opportunities and experiences that come with this internship!

Keon Cohl Kiser

Hello there! I am Keon Cohl Kiser, a freshly cooked college freshman going into my second year at Oregon State University. I am studying to be an environmental engineer with honors, with a hope to provide new solutions and/or sustainable alternatives for waste treatment through the study of organic decay. For me to be ready to take those steps I wanted to take an internship position to familiarize myself with the working environment and communal relationships.

I found this opportunity at the OSU Extension office in The Dalles with the Extension 4-H program, whose mission is to provide meaningful opportunities for all youths and adults to work together to create sustainable community change. I experienced a change as a high school student participating in the VEX Robotics Program, organized by Lu Seapy, 4-H STEM educator in Wasco County.

Through 4-H I was introduced into STEM and I was able to find a calling in my life to help improve the health of our planet and our communities, leading me into the engineering field. This is something that I hope I can give back to youths by introducing them to a multitude of topics like robotics and biology (as a few examples) to provide a groundwork for whatever path they are called to be on.

Not only will I build communal relationships and communication skills, I will also be put into an environment where I am charged with tasks to be done by deadlines. This opportunity provides new habits of scheduling, planning and executive decision-making, when needed.

Being at 4-H I can be a part of the lives of many people within my community, striving to enthrall youths in a variety of ways to encourage them to push themselves to grow in their future careers and as people. Similarly, I will grow with this experience communally and technically to establish the groundwork for my future.

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.

Daniela Valle recently completed an internship in the OSU Extension office in Wasco County.

Since my last blog post, I have been steadily gaining confidence in my skills as an intern during a public health crisis. My first project was to learn about health communications. Communicating effectively with large groups of people is essential, especially when the information you share can save lives. I’ve learned how to make information clear, easy to access, and culturally appropriate. I made a PSA about COVID-19 that was shared in our community and shared with Extension partners statewide. Knowing that social media plays a significant role in health communications, I formatted these PSAs into Facebook and Instagram stories and posts. They’ve been provided to OSU Extension employees for their social media accounts.



One of the highlights of my days is seeing how the Extension mission is met in the Gorge. Extension is like a bridge that connects communities to abundant resources and knowledge to improve the lives of the youngest children and the oldest adults. I have been amazed to see how my community tackles such a critical health crisis with strong partnerships and cooperation. As I sit in on migrant and seasonal farmworker virtual task force meetings, my peers are a diverse group of health experts, business owners, faith leaders, and volunteers. Although we may all hold different job titles, our desire to serve this community is the same. At the beginning of this journey, I felt underqualified and intimidated by the daunting crisis. Since then, my colleagues have helped me become more comfortable sharing my perspective and engaging in different projects. 


Distributing PPE to local growers for their farm workers. PPE is crucial for keeping our farm workers healthy.
Distributing PPE to local growers for their farm workers. PPE is crucial for keeping our farm workers healthy.

My first in-person outreach as an intern was a success. In partnership with the local health departments, I distributed over 500 masks, bandanas, and hand sanitizer for migrant and seasonal farmworkers. That hour was extraordinarily hectic but equally gratifying. It’s true that if you choose a profession you are passionate about, the hard work becomes easy. I was happy to be able to provide these vulnerable populations with the supplies they need to stay safe during the upcoming harvest. As I near the end of my internship, I hope to continue gaining valuable experiences and reflecting on the many lessons I’ve learned so far.

Hood River Valley High School’s academic excellence portrait Class of 2019. My favorite subject has always been science.
Hood River Valley High School’s academic excellence portrait Class of 2019. My favorite subject has always been science.

My name is Daniela Valle, and I grew up in Hood River, Oregon as the child of migrant farmworkers. The valleys that made up my backyard are peppered with orchards of pear, peach and apple trees. As I grew older, I began to understand the important relationship between my family, the farmland, the community, and the economy. Migrant farmworkers are the backbone of the agricultural industry and in times like these, risk their lives to feed families across America. It seems unjust that such an integral population continues to experience health disparities. These inequalities inspired me to address social injustice by pursuing a career as a nurse. This past May, I completed my first year at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Nursing. I’ve also chosen to pursue a global health minor and a Spanish Language Certificate to further explore my passions. Nursing perfectly combines my love of medicine and my desire to address health inequalities in rural settings.

After receiving my degree, I plan on returning to Oregon and delivering care to underserved populations. As a family medicine nurse practitioner, I will be able to help migrant families achieve better health and lead more prosperous lives. My goal is to not only to treat the physical needs of my patients but also to tackle the broader issues facing these vulnerable families like inadequate nutrition, educational attainment, and limited affordable housing. One day, I hope to write legislation that addresses these intersecting issues and advocates for change.

Visiting Capitol Hill, Washington D.C. during a Close Up High School Program in 2019. I hope to write health care policy one day.
Visiting Capitol Hill, Washington D.C. during a Close Up High School Program in 2019. I hope to write health care policy one day.


Oregon State University Extension Service has been a formative part of my life. During elementary school, I tried new foods at lunch thanks to the Food Hero program. In high school I attended a chemistry camp at OSU that sparked my interest in STEM, and in my senior year, I was vice president of my school’s Juntos club, an organization meant to empower first-generation families to seek higher education. The relationship between Extension and my community is a strong one, and one that I want to continue to grow.

This summer I’ll be an Extension public health intern in the Wasco County Extension Office, supporting its community health initiatives. During these unprecedented times, I’ll be partnering with other community-based organizations to address ongoing health issues prevalent in the Gorge. On any given day you’ll probably find me distributing PPE, assisting with health communications, or fervently taking notes. However, when I’m not in the “virtual” office, I’m most likely chasing the next waterfall, view, or swimming hole as I explore the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I’d like to thank Wasco County Extension for welcoming me to their team! Be sure to look out for updates on my journey with Extension this summer. Stay safe and healthy!

Enjoying the beautiful view at Burdoin Overlook in White Salmon Washington in May 2020. This hike had a spectacular view of Mt. Hood, the Columbia River, and grazing cows.
Enjoying the beautiful view at Burdoin Overlook in White Salmon Washington in May 2020. This hike had a spectacular view of Mount Hood, the Columbia River and grazing cows