In college, educators stress the importance of that telltale college experience where you not only learn, but work in the industry to apply that newfound knowledge. Internships become something of finding that connection with those seasoned professionals and hopefully finding your place among them in the coming years.
Allie Faivre, Jessica Gale and I have been on a mission to soak up the summer and learn as much as humanly possible about this tiny town of Sheldon, Iowa and the counties that surround it. Between the three of us, we raised the population of Sheldon by three, got lost a time or two, are proud owners of Sheldon library cards, and have met one of the most knowledgeable and genuine patrons of this sweet little town.
Before this internship with Iowa State Extension and Outreach, I was looking for professional contacts, who will one day be able to vouch for my work. I didn’t realize was the type of people I should really be looking for – people at the center of the community who can truly tell you what it means to live and work in a place that you are unfamiliar with.
Allie, Jessica, and I effortlessly found that despite different backgrounds, we can carry on a good conversation and adventure or two. On Thursday and Friday, we attended training with our regional director, Cheryl Heronemus, and other staff who helped us become familiar with the role we will play this summer and get organized for the upcoming months. We then headed to Orange City for the Tulip festival, while there we encountered some modern Dutch culture, some trendy little stores and enjoyed an apparent crowd favorite, the almond patty.
On Sunday, we ventured out on the town and got ourselves a little reading material by wandering over to the Sheldon Prairie Historical Museum. There we met a wonderful man, Duane Wahlstrum (pictured to right), who graduated from Iowa State University in 1956 with a degree in Animal Science and a minor in Agriculture Education. He worked as an agriculture teacher for 31 years and since Allie and I are attending Iowa State to do that very career, we enjoyed learning about his ideas on teaching that subject. For the afternoon, Duane was our insightful tour guide, comedian and ultimately our Dairy Dandy advisor. We’d like to thank him for his dedication to the town of Sheldon and for being a friendly face in a place that is so new to us. being a friendly face in a place that is so new to us.
When it all is said and done, this summer appears to be looking like a fun filled and exciting time for the three of us. We can’t wait to get to know everyone and keep you all updated in the process!
Until next time,