Hey everyone!

My name is Thomas Jacquot (he/him), and I’m an intern in the OSU Extension office in Coos County OSU. I live in North Bend, so I’m back for the summer from college. I just finished my first year at Cornell University, where I’m studying plant sciences. When I graduate, I want to pursue a public-facing career where I can help communities become more resilient and sustainable. An internship with the OSU Extension Service seemed like an incredible opportunity to become more knowledgeable about issues facing my community and the various stakeholders involved in shaping our environment.

Thomas Jacquot uses a machine to collect insects and debris in a dry cranberry bog.

A lot of the work I have been doing has been with Cassie Bouska, our office’s agriculture agent who works closely with cranberry farmers in southern Coos County. I am responsible for managing the pheromone traps for two of our region’s major cranberry pests: blackheaded fireworm and cranberry girdlers. My job is essentially to drive to participating farms and count the number of bugs that have become trapped in the glue trap. Using this data, we will be able to make population curves for the pests, so we can be more informed about effective timing for pesticide applications. This will limit the devastating effects of the pests on crops, as well as limit the amount of pesticides farmers need to use.

I am also dissecting cranberry shoot tips for a pesticide trial. We are trying to determine the effectiveness of three insecticides against tipworm, which is a fly that, at its larval stages, eat the tip of the cranberry plant. This limits the plant’s growth greatly and can lower fruit loads considerably. I am looking for eggs, larvae, cocoons, and dead or live pupae to measure the effectiveness of the pesticides. Having a variety of pesticides to use against pests is incredibly important for combatting pesticide resistance, which can become problematic if farmers overuse just one pesticide type.

On other days I sometimes work with livestock management, where I help weigh sheep for some farmers, and where I help take samples from a regenerative pasture, meaning the feed helps the soil improve over time. Using a mixture of clover and leafy greens, the farmer is improving the soil, increasing farm biomass, and making heavier sheep for market. Incorporating sustainable systems in livestock is a win-win-win!

While my major lends itself to agriculture, I sometimes work with Norma Kline, our office’s forestry management specialist, on landowner visits. With Norma, I have gained experience in disease identification, and have learned some best practices about managing forested land. I was also introduced to Extension’s citizen scientist program. Among other things, the program enlists landowners to do some testing on their land to spot and treat sudden oak death before it spreads. Sudden oak death is incredibly dangerous, to the point it could quarantine all lumber from being sold out of an area. Coos County is heavily dependent on the lumber industry, so this program is incredibly important!

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.

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.

Carrie Harris (left) helps a 4-H youth exhibitor with weigh-in at the 2020 Coos Youth Livestock Auction.
Carrie Harris (left) helps a 4-H youth exhibitor with weigh-in at the 2020 Coos Youth Livestock Auction.

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.

Carrie Harris takes bids during the 2020 Coos Youth Livestock Auction.
Carrie Harris takes bids during the 2020 Coos Youth Livestock Auction.

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.

Hello From Coos County! I’m Carrie Harris, and I’m a part of the inaugural cohort of the Oregon State University Extension Service interns.

Carrie Harris

I’m currently a student at Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls, Oregon, studying pre-nursing and hoping to get accepted into the nursing program this upcoming February. I grew up in Myrtle Point, Oregon, which is also where I will be working this summer alongside my supervisor Elissa Wells.

I have always lived in Myrtle Point and grew up heavily involved in various aspects of the community. In fourth grade I joined the Coos County 4-H program, eventually becoming a youth representative and 4-H ambassador as well as an active member and camp counselor during the summer. I competed in sports throughout high school as well, primarily enjoying cross-country and track. I was also involved in the Myrtle Point FFA chapter, eventually becoming the chapter reporter and chapter president.

Carrie Harris getting ready to show her cow at the fair.

Myrtle Point is a very small town, with a population of around 2,550. Being such a small town, and my involvement in so many different activities, I quickly became known as the one to go to if anyone was looking for help. I attended school board meetings and gave reports on athletics and the FFA chapter, as well as visited elementary classes to help educate them about nutrition and agriculture. I have always been invested in helping better my community and am looking forward to the opportunity to do so this summer through the internship.

Throughout the summer I will primarily be helping with the 4-H program in Coos County, but I also hope to incorporate community activities into the internship as well. My first impression of the OSU Extension Service was that it was heavily involved in community wellness and leadership opportunities. I always appreciated the skills that 4-H taught me, and hope to find new ways to better the community. I am excited for the new experiences this summer will bring!

Carrie Harris showing a cow.