Region 20 – A Bittersweet Week

Can you believe county fair time is upon us? I sure can’t! Fair time means an exciting week in the ISU Extension and Outreach office in Henry County as the events began on last Wednesday. Although our office space has been filled with various 4-H and fair supplies, we have very much enjoyed spending more time with the extension ladies as they work in our room preparing for the events. The laughs and storytelling were much needed amid us realizing the sad fact that our internship is coming to an end in a week and a half.  

In continuation of past events, we had more opportunities this week to work with some familiar organizations. We made our second visit to Hinterland Dairy during their milking time to film more footage for their promotional video. We enjoyed being a part of their family operation on that peaceful evening and can’t wait to show you all the video that we are working on! We also had a second visit to the Burlington Library where we gave out samples of local beets, cherry tomatoes, and watermelon. A reward of watermelon was our best tactic to get kids to try the beets and tomatoes, and I have to say it worked very well after a little bit of persuasion! We were able to provide produce at the Fellowship Cup Food Pantry again and had extra watermelon to give out as samples on the hot and muggy day (it was a dreadful real feel temp. of 105). Our third visit to the Christamore Family Treatment Center included making salsa with local onions, tomatoes, and green peppers along with cilantro picked fresh from their garden. The kids finished all the salsa and we even had watermelon (surprise, surprise) as a refreshing option on the very hot day.   

New and exciting events were a highlight of this week, and I have to say one of my favorite weeks of the internship thus far. We gave a lesson to kids at the Lee County Conservation on the MyPlate food groups and helped the kids weed, water, and harvest vegetables in the garden. The kids even got to try the vegetables they harvested, but unfortunately, watermelon was not offered as a reward and the persuasion became a necessity. One of the most exciting things we were able to do this week was putting our chef hats on for the night and becoming cupcake judges at the Henry County Fair. After tasting over TEN cupcakes, our bellies were full and the winners were chosen. We loved being a part of the fair’s events since it was something we had all been a part of when we were young. 

This week was a hot one, but we were able to spend a few afternoons relaxing at the public pool. Working in the evening isn’t too bad when you just spent the afternoon getting a nice tan! Between food pantries, dairy farm visits, library programs, and fair activities it has been quite the rollercoaster ride, and I am starting to realize that I will soon have to say goodbye to this wonderful experience. I am grateful for this diverse week and the amazing work I get to do with this internship.   

Now onto the next exciting week!