Hello everyone! I’m Alyson Yates, and this summer I’ve had the pleasure of working with 4-H and agricultural Extension in Lake County for a second year. My internship concluded last week with the 103rd Lake County Fair and Roundup. 

After preparing for several weeks, my county fair week began with static 4-H exhibits. This year, our Lake County 4-H members entered projects in a large variety of areas, including floriculture, Legos, fused glass, photography, fiber arts, food preservation and more. I assisted as a clerk and got hands-on experience with check-in, interviews, judging, state fair qualifications and final set-up processes. 

Three goats and their handlers stand facing a woman with a clipboard while others watch.
Alyson Yates judging meat goats in 4-H Round Robin showmanship.

I had a few different objectives throughout county fair week, both within my internship and through my volunteer position as a 4-H leader. One of my goals was to photograph all of our 4-H livestock shows for use in future publications and media. This was a continuation of the work I did last year, which I greatly enjoyed as it incorporated my love of photography into Extension. I covered shows for 10 different species this year, from swine to dairy cattle and everything in between. I am very happy with the photos I captured, and I am excited to see them used in future media! 

One of the challenges that we were faced with this year was Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), also known as avian flu, in the state of Oregon. We had several poultry 4-H members in our county, and in order to maintain good biosecurity, non-market animals were not allowed at our county fair. To allow our poultry 4-H members to still show their knowledge and skills, we used stuffed “dummy birds” and a knowledge test for poultry showmanship. I worked closely alongside our small animal judge to coordinate this effort. Also, with the threat of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease (RHDV2) in the region, we worked hard to sanitize all contacted surfaces and keep visitors from touching the animals. As an Extension intern and county fair small animal superintendent, this was one of my top priorities during fair week.   

My final area of focus was preparing our annual 4-H Recognition Ceremony. This year we had six fantastic youth speakers who worked as our emcees, and one of my responsibilities was to help them create their scripts and practice their speaking roles.  

Additionally, I have spent the last month assisting with the re-installment of the Lake County Ambassador program, and it was an honor to welcome four youth leaders to the team at this event. Outside of my internship work, I also had a fantastic time judging meat goats in our Round Robin Showmanship competition.   

A black and white closeup view of the face of a dark colored cow with an ear tag that says Lake Co Fair.
A steer and showman in the Rancher’s Choice Market Beef show. Photo by Alyson Yates.

Looking back at everything I did with Extension this summer it is hard for me to believe that my internship has come to an end. I want to extend my thanks to all of the Lake County staff that I’ve worked with, who have given me so many valuable opportunities to learn and grow in Extension and beyond.  I am so grateful for the time I’ve spent working in Lake County, and I am confident that I will carry what I have learned into my future endeavors in Extension programming.  

 

My name is Alyson Yates, and I am returning as an OSU Extension intern for my second year in Lake County.  This summer, I have been a part of both 4-H programming and agricultural research, with the intent of increasing my knowledge of Extension and its role in communities around Oregon.  As I enter week 8 of my internship, I would like to reflect on the goals I have accomplished so far, and what I have yet to complete as I wrap up my time in Lake County.  

One of the most fulfilling parts of my internship this year has been re-establishing the Lake County 4-H Ambassador program alongside OSU Education Program Assistant Melissa Maxwell.  Growing up as a 4-H member in this county, I was active in many leadership areas, but this particular opportunity was not available to me.  Taking the steps to develop this program throughout the summer has not only been rewarding, but it has given me valuable experience with youth program initiation and design.  I am eager to see this project to completion when I wrap up my internship at our county fair!

A woman demonstrates how to show a chicken to a group of young people.
4-H members and families learning about chicken showmanship. Photo by Alyson Yates.

Throughout the summer, I have also been able to assist with a series of educational clinics facilitated by Lake County Extension, where 4-H families and leaders can learn about various livestock species.  I chose to take on the final event in this series, a clinic on rabbits and poultry, as my internship project.  The preparation process involved many steps, from securing a clinician and venue to designing a registration method for participants.  I also assisted with facilitating the clinic, which was held last week.  4-H members and leaders from around the county attended to learn and get hands-on experience, so I can happily call the project a success!  

On the agricultural side of my internship, I have been helping with a forage research project organized by agent Tammy Barnes.  So far, my work has been to process alfalfa samples from multiple study areas and complete dry matter measurements to calculate forage yield.  These measurements are then analyzed to compare the yield of alfalfa that has been inoculated with BioEnsure with control groups that have been irrigated with LESA (low elevation sprinkler application) systems.  This experience has taught me a lot about agricultural research methods and how Extension interacts with producers, and I am excited to learn more.  While I have not yet been able to collect samples from our study area myself, I hope to do so in the coming weeks before my internship concludes.   

Three people stand next to a stream.
Attendees at the Stream Assessment and Management workshop completing an ecological state assessment at Thomas Creek. Photo by Alyson Yates.

Earlier in the summer, I was also able to attend a workshop on stream assessment and management taught by OSU Extension employees and partners in Eastern Oregon.  This opportunity allowed me to draw valuable connections between Extension, local producers, and public land management organizations, and helped me learn more about the importance of watershed management.

The rest of my summer will be focused on preparation for the 103rd Lake County Fair & Roundup, held over Labor Day weekend.  While helping facilitate activities and events at the fair, I also plan to continue building our media base for the future.  I am looking forward to this event as the culmination of my second year with the Extension internship program, and I hope to continue finding new opportunities to learn and grow!

What a summer. With my internship at Lane County 4-H beginning to wrap, reflecting upon my experience these past eight weeks has been insightful. If last year you had told me I would be spending my summer serving as a small animal judge at the Lane County Fair and setting off two dozen Alka-Seltzer volcanos I would have thought you were crazy.  

Maya Casper (from left) with Lane County 4-H faculty Melinda Garcia and Elizabeth Gangwer.

This summer I made Tofu smoothies with second-graders, learned to run a fair management software, and became an expert on the Danish scoring system, which we use to judge livestock and static projects at the fair. While it might not sound like it, all of these unique experiences have contributed to a further understanding of what it takes to serve the needs and wants of the Eugene and surrounding Lane County communities. 

This experience has provided clarification for my professional goals post-graduation, and has provided insight into the work environment in which I hope to pursue. Pushing myself outside of  my comfort zone and working in this position, which I might not have previously considered, served as highly insightful for my professional development. If I would have stayed within my comfort zone I would have not had the experience to meet families and kids where they are, understanding their needs and intentions in a way that’s impossible solely from a classroom. It has taught me a lot about flexibility, and adaptability and reiterated my respect for the sacrifices parents make for their children. 

I want to thank everyone at OSU Extension for creating this opportunity and Lane County for hosting me this summer. 

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.

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 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.

Maggie Justice is an intern in the OSU Extension office in Grant County.

One of the first jobs that I was given when I started working in the Grant County Extension office was looking through old records for a community member who is writing a book. At the time, the task seemed a little daunting, especially because these reports spanned 30 years. But at the same time, I was excited because I knew there were treasures hiding in the old boxes and books. For many people, this would have been the most boring task in the world, but to me, it was one of the coolest things I have gotten to do.

Unknown child with his market lamb at the Grant County Fair circa 1950s.
Unknown child with his market lamb at the Grant County Fair circa 1950s. Photo from the Grant County Extension archives.

I grew up living with my great-grandmother, who was about 90 years older than me. From her, I was privileged enough to understand that history is not just dates and events, it is the lives and stories of the people from the past. Her experiences from her past taught me to love history, family, and homemade fudge. Nothing excites me more than looking through the scraps of different people’s life, and to see how different it is from mine.

Grant County Extension ag and 4-H agent Bill Farrell examining soil at a Grant County ranch.
Grant County Extension ag and 4-H agent Bill Farrell examining soil at a Grant County ranch. Photo from the Grant County Extension office archives.

As I looked further into the old Extension reports and photographs, I was surprised to see that at its essence, nothing had really changed. There were still kids competing in livestock and static events, Extension agents working hard to help their community, heck, even the same willow tree was in front of the fairgrounds. Everything was familiar, but at the same time very different. I grew excited when I started recognizing names from people that I had known my entire life. One of the more exciting photos that I stumbled upon was one of my mother and uncle. Though it was a little funny to think of  all these people as 4-H’ers, it made so much more sense about why they wanted to help me as much as they did when I was growing up.

My mom and uncle Donald, showing lambs in the early 1980s.
My mom and uncle Donald, showing lambs in the early 1980s. Photo from Grant County Extension office archives.

Looking through the old photographs allowed me to have a clearer image of what Extension does for its communities, because they showed that from the beginning, Extension is helping. I have seen all the hard work that the Grant County office has put into this summer’s modified youth static and livestock exhibits, and I know that they are trying to really make a difference in our community. It’s not an easy task, but every year, they make it look easy, and make it a beloved event for everyone in the community.

Hello, I’m Joseph O’Brien and I’m originally from Ripon, California. I moved to Boardman, Oregon, in 2016. I’m attending Eastern Oregon University, majoring in health and human performance with a concentration in exercise science. This fall, I will also be attending the Oregon Health and Science University School of Nursing. After I graduate with these undergraduate degrees, I plan to become a travel nurse and go to different Native American tribal clinics within Oregon. After that, I would like to relocate to a small community within Oregon and work in a hospital or local community clinic.

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family (one brother, three sisters, two nieces, and one nephew), getting together with close friends, eating good food, playing volleyball, hiking, and engaging in other outside activities. Additionally, I’ve enjoyed raising livestock through the 4-H youth organization and FFA. In the future, I would like to become a 4-H project leader and volunteer with the youth in the community I reside in.

 

During my time in the Umatilla County Extension office, I’ll be working closely with my fellow intern, Ruben Lopez, and our supervisor, Anna Browne. Throughout this internship, Ruben and I will be creating videos for “STEM Saturday.” These will consist of water-based video experiments presented by us for youth in the community to complete at home. Also, we will be working hand and hand with the Umatilla County Fair to provide a safe and fun experience for those attending.

Some responsibilities while helping at the fair would include screening individuals for COVID-19, making sure everyone complies with mask rules, helping youth find where and when they will be showing their livestock animal, helping youth find where they will be presenting a project, helping adult volunteers set-up areas for livestock, project presentations, etc. Lastly, we will be learning about OSU Extension Service and all the resources/knowledge that it provides within Umatilla County. This new knowledge will surround how the OSU Extension implements its programs within the county, how it addresses the specific community needs, and the history/foundation of this service.

When I first heard about this internship opportunity with the OSU Extension Service, I imagined that I would be mainly helping at the Umatilla and Morrow County Fair with the youth organization 4-H. Further, I thought I would be mainly working in the office on the computer working with community members, agriculturists, and farmers in the area. After orientation and the first week of working, I realized that the OSU Extension Service here in Umatilla County provides many resources and opportunities for everyone. For instance, the different programs like 4-H, home garden and landscape research information, forestry/natural resource materials and on-line workshops, and much more that I have yet to explore.