The End of a Great Chapter
Kassidy, Allie, Jess, and Julie Hlas at the O’Brien County Fair
I love reading books; it’s something that I have enjoyed since I was little. There’s just something about the adventures the characters experience that intrigue me. However, it’s always bittersweet when I finish a great book or series… and that’s how I feel about this summer. The crazy, chaotic, wonderful opportunities I was given have all been one big adventure that I will never forget. The car rides that turned into concerts by the three of us, the trips to get ice cream, the bonds that I formed with the kids in the Beginner Gardeners program, the laughs with the Power of Produce kids, the amazing conversations while weeding and harvesting at donation gardens, and the unforgettable friendships I’ve been lucky enough to form with everyone at each of the Extension offices in Region 1. All these memories and more will stick with me for the rest of my life.
Dairy Dandy ice cream will forever have our hearts (and stomachs)!
I would to send a heartfelt thank you to everyone who made this summer as memorable as it has been. I believe I can speak for all three of us when I say you all have truly made us feel at home. We could not have done what we did this summer without each and every one of you; your help was invaluable, whether it was a shoulder to lean on when projects were chaotic, help finding last minute supplies, aiding us in design work (huge shout out to Kiley and Mackenzie), or even just a casual conversation in an office. We will forever be thankful for all of you, and we feel truly blessed to have had you in our lives.
The best summer internship imaginable is over, and the bittersweet feeling is sinking in, just like finishing a good book. The bags are packed, the supplies returned to the respective offices, the apartment is cleaned, the parking lot is empty. The countless hours of planning and executing programs, events, and projects have come to an end. The only remaining thing on the “Region 1 Rising Star To-Do” list is the presentation to the deans of all the ISU colleges tomorrow. This chapter of the 2018 Region 1 Rising Star Interns may be coming to a close, but I am excited to see how the experiences we had this summer will lead each of us as we choose our next adventure (in true Iowa State University fashion).
The 2018 Region 1 Rising Star Interns
So here’s to an unforgettable summer internship with the most amazing people in a wonderful region!
Dear Mom and Dad,
I’m not 100% certain but I think I’m supposed to be getting ready to leave or something..? The Extension staff keep talking about final presentations and reports, I’m not positive what they mean by “final”. I should really touch base and make sure they know I’m not ready to leave yet.
I’m not sure they know that I don’t want to leave for a few reasons.
Reason #1: I enjoy being here. I like the atmosphere of Sheldon. Although I enjoy Readlyn, our little town does not have an ice cream shop that truly has our hearts. I mean how could I say goodbye to Dairy Dandy after being this loyal of a customer? As for the people of Sheldon, I can’t thank them enough for embracing us out of towners. Whether they reached out to us at the store, church, or out and about, I have always felt welcome by this community.
Reason #2: I like my roommates. Even though we have had some tough times, we always seem to pick ourselves back up and get on with some of the great work we do together. Jessica has taught me to love the oldies music. I will forever think of this summer when I hear “It’s Raining Men”, by the Weather Girls. Jess has also taught me to never take life too seriously, she has this uncanny ability to make light of every situation and always has a song for whatever mood you’re in. Jessica will continue to share her passion to live life to the fullest with every person she meets. Allie has taught me to appreciate her sense of humor. I have to tell this one. I will ask at our next family dinner if this joke is truly funny; Allie swears it is.
“Two windmills are standing in a field. One asks the other, ‘What kind of music do you like?’ The other says, ‘I’m a big metal fan.’” But in all seriousness, Allie has taught me to appreciate deep conversation, talks about our faith, and agriculture issues. She and I share many views on what we can do in our profession to influence the world’s agricultural status. Allie will move mountains with her determination and ability to see the good in every person. I have sincerely loved every bit of working with these two and gaining two incredible friends.
Reason #3: I simply enjoy what I’m doing. How many people can say they go to work and have a different experience every day? I have been in love with every aspect of this internship since the start and that love, and appreciation has only grown. I have been privileged with working under one of the most incredible people, someone who’s work is so vital to the continuation of Extension as a whole. She has opened her home and her life to three girls who laugh more than not and ask far too many questions. She has shown understanding and is always there when we need her. I simply can’t thank Cheryl enough for being the most incredible boss and mentor. We sincerely lucked out.
So after I wrote all this out, I think it’s decided. I really am not ready to leave.
I guess I’ll see you when I see you.
Love your 4th daughter,
Kassidy Kuhlmann, Jessica Gale and Allie Faivre
The End is Near.
As I write my last blog post, I am filled with a great deal of emotions, it feels like a bittersweet moment. This has been one of the best summers of my life. I would like to thank everyone in Extension that has made us feel at home this summer. I am amazed at how fast the summer has gone; it feels like yesterday we were all waiting for our programs to start. Even though everyone said there was nothing fun in Sheldon, Allie, Kassidy, and I found fun. I have loved working and learning with all our programs. I had the chance to develop my professional skills and strengthen my personal skills. The programs we have developed have run smoothly and we’ve been able to adapt to changes. Getting to hear from parents that their kids look forward to the day of our programs is an amazing feeling.
Region 1 Interns at the community garden in Rock Valley, Iowa.
With all our programs running smoothly, we found time to tour several community gardens around the counties and a Hopp’s farm. All the garden tours were interesting because we got to see each community come together in support of them. Each community garden was different in their set-up and in what was planted. I thought the community garden in Rock Valley was interesting because of the diversity in the plants. There were tomatillo plants we had never seen in any of the other garden. Our guide also told us the goal of that garden was to help bring the diverse cultures in Rock Valley together. On Friday, we went to the Sioux County fair to make potato people with the kids. All the kids thought it was cool that we used a real potato and not a piece of paper. Our weeks may be limited, but fair season started and still have much to keep us busy.
Last week our Region 2 interns had the opportunity to learn about the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center at North Iowa Area Community College, as well as a tour of Sukup Manufacturing in Sheffield Iowa. The John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center is an organization that provides resources and assistance to small businesses. Some of the services they provide include but are not limited to, one on one business counseling, feasibility and business plan preparation, grant development, entrepreneurial development training and many programs for students to take advantage of. This visit was extremely informational for us, as learning some of the keys to succeeding in running a business in small town Iowa is important to our economic development projects this summer.
Our next stop for the day was a tour of Sukup Manufacturing. It was a one of a kind experience to see a company of that size in a small town in Iowa. Emily (Sukup) Schmitt gave us the tour and really emphasized the importance of businesses involvement in community development in small towns. We must keep our small towns alive because these companies and jobs are so important to the economy of Iowa, and we do not want them to relocate. During the tour we learned about the companies internship program, their Safe T House, and received a tour of the facilities which included a brand new on campus healthcare center for employees. The day was an invaluable opportunity to learn about the importance of strong companies in Iowa and how they can help contribute to a strong Iowa!
The past 2 weeks have flown by! Here are some highlights since our last time chattin’…
We had the privilege to visit the the farm and see all of the work that goes on behind the scenes before they attend different farmers’ markets and such. We polished trays and trays of tomatoes, and also picked some veggies out in the sheltered gardens. The snack break was great too: tasting each and every jam that they sell, some more than twice…
With Mrs.Brown herself!
Rebecca with a little spice
School Garden with WME:
I was able to travel out to the West Monona School Garden, and help lead a lesson with Katelyn (horticulture specialist at Woodbury) with some kids. I help them plant some seeds in the garden, and let them sample some cucumbers and radishes that we harvested for our office’s teaching garden. They also had a herb sniffing lesson as well!
me teaching some kids how to plant seeds
Kids in the Kitchen
We all had the opportunity to lead the Kids in the Kitchen camp this Thursday. It was so much fun teaching the kid many lessons including : knife skills, hand washing, and planting! It was a great way to also teach the kids how to make simple snacks using fresh fruits and vegetables.
rice cake pizzas!
Joi – germ activity with a blacklight
Check us out helping out with The Bike-N-Bite (register here!) this Saturday (July 14th) and the Farm to Fork Dinner (sold out!) next week! Be sure to check the Flavors of Northwest Iowa Facebook Page for updates on both of those events!
Tucker Hill Vineyards : Farm to Fork Dinner
Our summer is moving along almost way too fast…talk soon!
Wow! I don’t know if any of you have ever tried to fill balloons with flour with young children on a windy day, but that is exactly what we attempted at Power of Produce last week. We made “silly bees”, which was essentially a stress ball balloon, in order to teach the kids about pollinators. The kids loved it despite having flour fly everywhere! All our PoP Clubs have been so much fun, but that may have been one of my favorites. Seeing the kids laugh when the wind blew the flour was just great. They even got excited to tell us everything they already knew about bees and other pollinators!
Two PoP Club members pose with their Silly Bee in Rock Rapids
However, none of this would be possible without our many sponsors for the Power of Produce Clubs in Rock Rapids, Sheldon, and Hawarden. At this point in the summer, Kassidy, Jessica, and I would like to take some of our time to thank our sponsors for helping fund our programs.
First off, the ISU Foundation Excellence in Extension Grant helped fund all three Power of Produce markets in Rock Rapids, Sheldon, and Hawarden. Each community then had its own sponsors. Frontier Bank, US Bank, Premiere Bank, Mike and Jackie Austin, and Rock Rapids Chamber of Commerce all made the Rock Rapids PoP Club possible. In Sheldon, we would like to thank Sanford Sheldon Medical Center. Finally, the Hawarden PoP Club, which begins next week, will be funded in part by Peoples Bank, Cooperative Farmers Elevator (CFE), and Premier Bank.
So, a big thank you and round of applause for all of our wonderful sponsors. Without them, we would not have been able to work with the children that have made our summer truly memorable. Now with only a few PoP Clubs remaining, we are definitely going to cherish what time we have left with all of the kids that we have come to know during our internship. If you’re in the area, feel free to stop out to the farmers markets to see the impact that these sponsors and the program have had on the children. It is quite a scene every week!
Region 20 Rising Star Interns celebrated this 4th of July in Morning Sun at their morning celebration last Wednesday. We had a variety of local food samples available for kids and adults to try. To determine what vegetable they got to try, they first had to spin the wheel. Whatever vegetable the wheel landed on, they had to try in order to receive a prize!
On the wheel we had local tomatoes, cucumbers, lemon cucumbers, kohlrabi, and everyone’s favorites, eggplant! For many, especially the kids, they had never tried eggplant before. With the incentive of a prize and a little push from us to just take a little bite and try it, many didn’t think it was as bad as they thought it would be! Some of the prizes we had included Iowa State University Extension cups, pencils, pens, sunscreen sticks and magnets.
We also did a basket of produce giveaway on Facebook. The purpose of this giveaway was to promote Eat Fresh Southeast Iowa Facebook page where we post updates on region wide events and tips for farmers and eaters. We also use this post to promote local farmers and local farmers markets. The produce giveaway reached over 1,500 people and we received over 60 participants! One lucky winner was selected the evening of July 4th, and received her produce the following day very excited and pleased with all the local produce.
We’re having a blast in Region 20 and can’t believe that we only have just over 3 weeks left! We can’t wait to share the rest of our internship journey with you in the upcoming weeks as we complete our school program and continue to promote local foods at county fairs and community events.
Region 20 Interns
Kelsey, Kelley and Allison
Happy Independence Day!
Last week we had a full week of fun activities. On Tuesday, we had a Kids in the Kitchen with Beyond the Bell children at the Woodbury office. They learned about what we have in our garden, did a little exercise, had a hand washing lesson, and prepared a spinach wrap for their snack. They had a great time and we enjoyed their excitement for preparing healthy snacks!
Joi and Ebere doing exercise with the children for Kids in the Kitchen
Children making their snacks.
On Wednesday, I went to Moville to help Lujean with Water Rocks! Day Camp. The campers went for a small hike to gather soil samples to test, observed their soil samples, learned about what is in soil, and learned about the different types of soil. Also, they made soil cups for snack, they learned the importance of keeping the water system clean and did a service project at the fairgrounds. It was a day full of learning and fun!
Gathering soil at Water Rocks! Day Camp.
The felt board to teach children the layers of soil.
Yummy “soil” cup the children made for snack.
Joi and I went to Onawa on Thursday to do some healthy samples at an assisted living home and the Onawa Food Giveaway. The group at the assisted living home loved how fresh the Summer Bounty Salad was and how easy it was to prepare. The people at the food giveaway were hesitant to try our salad but the individuals that did try it, enjoyed it! I’m glad we could provide an easy recipe that anyone could prepare with just a few fresh vegetables.
Family and Consumer Sciences Education and Studies
This week Emma put out a survey to see what kind of interest people would have in a Farmers’ Market in Buffalo Center. The survey started on Tuesday, and so far we have 54 responses all saying they would be interested in this market. She has also been working on advertising and looking for vendors. Her goal for next week is to establish specific vendors and begin planning an opening day for the Farmers’ Market. Here is the awesome poster she created for interest in the event
Jamison has been working more with Cassie Johnson the Executive Director of the Lake Mills Chamber Development Corporation. He worked on his interactive map created with ESRI Arc GIS online software with Cassie and did a test run to make sure everything would be shown on the Lake Mills City website under there Economic and Development tab. The map details each business and business vacancy in Lake Mills that will show the location, contact information, and the business service provided by that business (e.g. salon, retal, contractor, ect.) as well as a photo of each businesses store front that he will add periodically as more survey results come in.
Claire has been working more with the city of Whittemore with their economic development wants. Her survey was sent out and she is eagerly awaiting the results to see what the citizens want. While awaiting these results she met with Marc Thoma the General Manager of Winnebago Cooperative Telecom Association (WCTA), as well as Evan Fritz, Marketing Coordinator for WCTA, this helped her gain more knowledge on how to start up a fitness center in a small town. This is something that Whittemore is exploring, and she wants to gather all the information possible about this concept before compiling options to give them at the end of the summer.
Region 1 has just reached passed the halfway mark and the realization that our days are limited has started to set in. This makes our programs become a little more cherished and the relationships we have made with the kiddos in our programs a little more special.
We only have 28 days left and the greatest summer of my life will come to a close. Before starting the internship, I thought I was going to miss the flexibility I had with my schedule, the time spent with family and friends, and had it in my head I would somehow be missing out on the fun. What I have come to find out is that I have gained so much more than what I have “lost”. I have gained two incredibly fun and creative friends that make laughter a constant in the work we do together. I have found the connections I have made with extension and county staff to be ones I can reach out to in the future with questions or information. We have also been a part of programs and events that are appreciated by kids, parents, and those within the counties we serve on multiple levels. I have never felt like the work I would do as an intern would be something that would benefit me so greatly.
We worked on the parts of a plant with the Beginner Gardeners program and the information we are teaching is starting to make the students look at the plants around them a little differently. Within PoP and the gardening program, the impact we are making is starting to be seen in their retention of the content we present.
WIDA Dairy tour freebies!
Allie, Jessica, and I attended the WIDA Dairy tour last Thursday, in Lester Iowa, and we had a fantastic time meeting new people and catching up with some faces we’d seen before. We had a dairy trivia game that we played with the children and handed out cheese sticks that were donated on behalf of Agropur out of Hull, Iowa. We enjoyed the events and all the goodies we got along the way.
I hope everyone had a safe and fun 4th of July!