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.