Ruben Lopez-Carillo is an intern in the OSU Extension office in Umatilla County.
My favorite part about the internship so far has been working at the local Nuts Bolts and Thingamajigs Camp for youth – NBTC for short. This camp was dedicated to preparing and motivating Umatilla County kids to understand the different paths they can take in getting their education. One of the main activities I took lead in this camp was team building games with the students.
When I came into this internship I was looking forward to the community-based aspect of OSU Extension and this camp helped fulfill this value.
The COVID-19 pandemic had made it tough for OSU Extension to meet all aspects of the its mission to serve Oregonians. We have been able to work around some obstacles and accomplish the mission effectively. One example is a project we have been working throughout this pandemic called 4-H STEM Saturday – an in-home activity for youth to keep learning.
The biggest learning opportunity I’ve had throughout this internship has been growth in my ability to adapt to challenging situations. Similar to everyone else in the world, the biggest challenge has been working through the conditions with COVID-19. It has really been testing our adaptability and patience to accomplish our tasks. I’ve gone through many changes in the past that required me to become adaptable and this here feels like the greatest challenge of all. After this experience I feel that I will be well prepared for any future challenges.
Carrie Harris recently completed an internship in the OSU Extension office in Coos County.
A final hello from Coos County!
Working for the OSU Extension office this summer in Coos County presented many challenges that I was happy to take-on. I began the summer assisting my supervisor, Elissa Wells, and the Coos Youth Auction Committee in putting together a virtual and in-person livestock auction. I was able to learn a lot about the work that goes into the youth livestock auctions throughout the state, and the state guidelines that would have to be followed for COVID-19 regulations. I put together a slideshow of the youth and their projects to display during the auction, as well as called bids during the auction.
Then I was able to learn a lot more about the static exhibits that are included in 4-H, while helping check them in and returning them to the youth after their judging was completed. These are exhibits that include photography and drawing, and arts and crafts. I also learned more about the clerical side of 4-H activities while helping package the ribbons to send out to the youth for their virtual livestock judging and fair entries.
I ended my internship by putting together a few contests that could be done virtually for 4-H clubs. I put together a livestock breeds identification contest, which included large and small animal species. I created separate documents for juniors, intermediates, and seniors, with the difficulty increasing respectively. I also put together an equipment identification contest which included basic tools that are used to care for livestock. I was excited to be able to put something together for 4-H youth to do virtually this upcoming year.
I would like others to know that the OSU Extension goes above and beyond to help 4-H youth and the community around them. This summer I saw the OSU Extension office be as flexible as possible with 4-H youth, as well as others helping 4-H to make things possible during difficult times. The Extension office is a great learning resource for youth in the community, and not only those in 4-H. I appreciated the opportunity to work with OSU Extension, and to learn more about it, as well as learning about new ways to help the community I live in.
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.
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.
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.
Maggie Justice recently completed an internship in the OSU Extension office in Grant County.
When I was growing up, the worst week of the summer was not right before school started, but instead the week after our county fair. The whirlwind of fair prep and fair was over just as quickly as it began, and all we could do was wait for the dust to settle. Everything was uncharacteristically quiet, something that would drive my young mind crazy, but did allow for proper reflection over the work that had been done, and how it would continue in the next year.
I guess the same could be said for this year, after all the preparation and stress, I have this time to reflect on what I have done over the summer, and what I want others to glean from my experience.
Our local “fair” went off without a hitch, even though it was almost unrecognizable from the fairs I grew up with. The kids showed their animals wearing masks, and every couple days each livestock group, instead of staying on site for the whole fair, were there only on showmanship and auction days.
While it was easy to keep busy, I definitely missed the bustle of a filled barn. It was wonderful to see how supportive our community is towards its youth, respecting the rules that were set up, while still being able to watch livestreamed livestock shows. Members of the community also made sure every kid got a good price on their animal, making this auction the best one our community has ever seen.
A lot of hard work went into making a nice event for the 4-H and FFA kids in our community. There was careful planning that went into every detail, from the awards given, to the set-up of the barn, and most importantly, the careful maneuvering of each show.
There were a lot of things during the summer that I learned about, which were completely unexpected. For one, I learned how much the details matter, especially when planning an event that has many guidelines and regulations. Detailing minute details of shows was a foreign concept, but something that was definitely a useful skill that I will continue to use in my life moving forward. I also learned the value of working on a team, seeing that there are many entities and parts that make an event into something great. Also, I learned that I really do care about hand sanitizer texture, because some of that stuff is gross.
On a more serious note, my summer as an OSU Extension intern was something that was extremely wonderful for me and gave me nothing but good experiences and skills. I think that many people today do not fully comprehend how much Extension offices contribute and help the community, because they truly do a lot that goes unnoticed. As I think about our livestock and static shows, I think that truly shapes what Extension strives for. That people from all walks of life can come together for the betterment of their community. I feel so blessed that I got to be a part of something this awesome, and I hope that I can continue to help others through Extension.
Hello, my name is Angeleen (Leen) Somoza. I’m 21 years old and I have two younger identical twin siblings: Happy and Shai. We live with my mom in Astoria, Oregon, and I’m doing my summer internship at the Oregon State University Extension Service office in Clatsop County. I’m currently finishing my associate degree, with a major in biology, at Clatsop Community College. I’m very excited and enthused to have this opportunity to work with OSU Extension.
My favorite subjects include anthropology, biology, mathematics, psychology, sociology and religious philosophy. I aspire to be research biologist, but I also just crave experiences and to try everything. I just want to learn from my surroundings. I enjoy knowledge and structure.
My impression of Extension in Clatsop County before I started was that it was in a small office in a big building with programs such as Master Gardeners, 4-H, and fisheries. It was where I applied – and won – a Master Gardener’s scholarship in my senior year of high school in 2017.
In my Extension internship, I’ve been working with Lindsay Davis, administrative office manager and local liaison for Clatsop County Extension. I’ve been doing case studies on small businesses in Astoria from a psychological and sociological aspect. I then create social media posts, blogs and other things they need to communicate to other businesses.
I’ve become a social media “consultant” for OSU Extension in Clatson County. I meet with Joyce Senior Angulo, who works in Extension’s Family and Community Heath and SNAP-Ed programs, the Latinx/Latino Club at Clatsop Community College, and may other things. Joyce has me being a fly on the wall, so to speak, during the Latinx meetings on Mondays and she’s available whenever I have questions and concerns.
At the same time, I’m working with Lindsay with two small businesses in Astoria – Finn Ware and Forsythea. We recently had our assessment needs meetings with both businesses and we’re planning to do a few different things in social media case studies.
In the short time of working with Extension, I have felt that doing one’s research is extremely import to the Extension office. The research they’re doing is impacting the community in many ways that we as the residents are not aware of – even though most of us participate in the activities that Extension offers, such as the Clatsop County Fair, and many other events. It is very eye-opening as an Astorian and an Oregonian.
Joseph O’Brien is an intern in the OSU Extension office in Umatilla County.
In mid- to late July, I had the chance to work with community members from Umatilla and Morrow counties at Nuts, Bolts, and Thingamajigs Workshop Camp (NBT), a two-week day camp with 10 new students each week. During this camp, my role was to put on a team-building activity each weekday for at least 15 to 30 minutes for the middle schoolers attending – sixth through eighth grade – and help throughout the day. The purpose of NBT camp was to educate the youth about the workforce positions available within the Port of Morrow located in Boardman as well as positions available in Hermiston, and also teach them about apprenticeships, how to be entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs, and get them to start thinking about their future, all while following state safety regulations. Examples of workforce jobs we talked about included electricians, food manufacturers, diesel mechanics, etc.
One thing I took away from this camp was not only are these jobs going to be around for a very long time, but also, it is up to Generation Z to make sure that these jobs are filled. None of this would have been possible without Kalie Davis, workforce training manager at Port of Morrow and her two interns; Leah Harris at the Port of Morrow, Anna Browne, my internship supervisor and the 4-H/Juntos Latino outreach coordinator and acting Umatilla County Extension Service agent; Ruben Lopez, an Extension intern in Umatilla County; educators from Blue Mountain Community College and Pendleton School District, and workforce presenters from Umatilla Electric Cooperative and Boardman Foods.
Another interesting job I had was being part of the OSU TRACE-COVID-19 project in Hermiston. I thought this would be an important experience to provide my services and share with you. A commonality between the TRACE-COVID-19 Project and Extension Service is providing the community with resources that may not be present. In this case, OSU provided free COVID-19 tests for residents whose addresses were randomly selected. My role as research assistant was to help a team leader by driving to houses, collect materials and tests needed, and organize and distribute forms.
From my many work tasks and experiences, I can say that OSU Extension in Umatilla County exceeded my expectations. From providing hands-on experience in the wood shop to youth to providing educational/medical resources to nearby communities, I am truly blown away. I’ve learned that the Extension Service is not only here to help with the Umatilla County Fair, but it provides so much more than I ever thought.
In the beginning of this internship, I feared that my main tasks would revolve around helping with the 4-H program and I would have very little room to explore my interests of community health and education within the surrounding communities. I couldn’t have been more wrong, and I am glad that these experiences have proved otherwise. With that said, I am disheartened that my internship experience may not be all that I wished it could have been due to COVID-19. When I say that, I am referring to the return of Umatilla County to baseline status, meaning we were restricted to traveling outside our homes only for necessary travel. This prevented Ruben and I from being able to record videos for our STEM Saturday series that we have been working on this entire internship. This is only another roadblock and based on all the opportunities I have encountered; I am determined to make the most of my remaining weeks working remotely.
Stay safe everyone and remember to practice social distancing and wear your mask!
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.
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.
Jensen Comment is an intern in the OSU Extension office in Crook County.
In the wise words of Chris Ledoux, there’s “magic in the air” at the county fair. Growing up, my summers were filled with caramel corn, Saturday night rodeos, and livestock at the fairgrounds. When I first accepted this intern position in early March, I was excited to experience fair from a different perspective and assist in the facilitation of the event. As we all know, over the following weeks life as we knew it began to change. Realistically, I was very dubious of any county in the state successfully pulling off a county fair. While that was a project I had been particularly looking forward to, I was still prepared to work on any other tasks that might come up.
Looking back over the past several months, I can confidently attest to the aptitude and resilience of the Extension staff and faculty in central Oregon. Here in Crook County, the 4-H Program Coordinators and other office staff worked tirelessly to organize a safe and comprehensive county fair. There were countless moments of uncertainty, and the constant nagging knowledge that at any time another COVID-19 mandate could render fair an impossible feat.
One of the first steps towards fair was putting together “COVID kits” for each 4-H club. These contained hand sanitizer, COVID tracking sheets, tape to mark off six-foot increments, and face masks, along with an informational sheet explaining CDC guidelines for the coronavirus. After completing a COVID awareness training, club leaders could pick up these kits and then hold socially-distant club meetings to help everyone prepare for fair.
4-H record-book checks were held via Zoom. Thanks to the help of volunteers from the community, we were able to interview each youth showing at fair and learn a little about their projects. Since the onset of the pandemic, I have continually been blown away by the technology available to us. The communication opportunities offered through Zoom and other software have been hugely helpful, and I can’t imagine getting through this summer without them.
Slowly but surely, everything began to come together. The 2020 Crook County Fair ran August 2-7. The expanded schedule allowed for lowered density and improved social distancing efforts. Over these six days, the youth were able to show their small animals, swine, sheep, goats, and beef. Each show was livestreamed, allowing friends and family to tune in to support the kids. The auction was virtual, displaying a picture of each market animal and allowing buyers to bid in real time. The following week, we had our static competitions and horse fair. Thanks to the efforts of the Extension staff, the fairgrounds board, the sales committee, and many others in the community, our fair was a success.
Working behind the scenes to help make fair happen was an opportunity I won’t soon forget. While the 2020 fair definitely stands apart from years past, we did our best to provide the 4-H and FFA youth with the best possible experience in light of the pandemic. The determination and perseverance I observed in Extension staff was truly inspiring. As I continue on through the upcoming months, I hope to maintain this motivated mindset and provide encouragement for others, as I have been supported during my time in this internship.
Carrie Harris is an intern in the OSU Extension office in Coos County.
Hello again from Coos County!
So far, the internship in Myrtle Point has been an interesting adventure. One of the biggest projects that I have helped my supervisor Elissa Wells with was the 2020 Coos Youth Livestock Auction. We assisted the auction committee in coming up with ways to still have the auction this year while making sure to follow state safety regulations regarding COVID-19.
Since the number of people attending the auction in person needed to be limited, it was decided that the youth wouldn’t attend with their animals. In order to have visual representation of the youth with their projects, both pictures and a video of the youth were displayed on screens during the auction. I took on the project of putting together one of the presentations to display during the auction.
There were 126 lots to sell, which meant finding the correct picture of the youth on a flash drive and recording the correct name and animal weight onto the presentation. The auction ended up being a success, all the lots sold, and it was amazing to see such a small community come together to support their youth during such a hard time.
I am seeing the mission of OSU’s Extension Service being met by completing outreach in the community, and still finding ways to complete programs while following state safety regulations. Despite the county fair being canceled, the Extension office was still able to accept the usual static exhibits to be evaluated by judges. The exhibits varied from plants to photography and artwork, baking and sewing and stitching, and even animal pelts. It was cool to see the wide variety of interests that 4-H youth have, and their creativity displayed in their projects.
One of the big learning moments I’ve had so far is being able to talk with some of the other OSU employees and hearing what their position is in the Extension office and what made them interested in working for Extension. It has been interesting learning all the different components that go into the Extension office and all the different ways that it helps the community and the youth in 4-H.
Kasey Purcell recently completed an internship in the OSU Extension office in Tillamook County.
When I began this internship, I didn’t know what to expect. After just finishing my freshmen year of college, and dealing with the struggles COVID threw into the mix, I was eager to work on something that would grasp my full attention. These unprecedented times left me with a lot of anxiety for what the future might hold and I didn’t want that to keep me from working my hardest.
When I finally came to the realization that my internship would not be a normal one, I was a little upset but ready for the challenge. I began with an open mind and no expectations, and I think in the end that was the smartest thing to do.
With this mindset, I was prepared to work on whatever was thrown my way, even if it was outside my wheelhouse. I created two resource guides for Tillamook and Lincoln counties. I created and published/will soon publish six blogs about my time in this internship and nutrition-related topics. I sat in on a wide variety of meetings throughout my 10 weeks. I lent a hand by creating resources for Tillamook County Wellness’s newest campaign. I wrote social media postings, created guides to events and most of all, I learned the true value of Extension Service.
Every aspect of Extension’s work focuses on the education and growth of the agricultural industries in our state. In Tillamook County particularly, I was able to watch how Extension worked to bring inclusivity and new ideas to the health and wellness teams in our community. Going into this internship, I knew nothing about Extension Service. But coming out, I am so thankful for this opportunity. OSU Extension truly has a great mission, and they have yet to stray from it, even after 109 years!
As I make my way back to the University of Hawaii at Manoa for my sophomore year, I hope to take with me these values of education, inclusivity, and being open to new ideas. This time working with Extension, and my supervisor, really showed me what it is like to work in community nutrition. There is so much more to it than creating wellness plans to help a community grow and that was evident to me. I worked on such a diverse range of projects and with people with so many different backgrounds.
I want to thank OSU Extension, my supervisor Dusti Linnell, and all of the community partners I’ve worked with this summer for this opportunity. It truly was a one-of-a-kind experience, and not just because I was able to work in my PJs all day.