Goodbye from Region 20

 As my time in Southeast Iowa is finishing up, I just want to express my appreciation to everyone who has worked with Rachel, Katelin, and I this summer.  Everyone has been so generous, patient, and more than willing to work with all three of us throughout the summer. A special thanks to Morgan Hoenig and Janet Smith who are the reason we even got the opportunity to be a part of an internship as unique as this one. I am also grateful that Katelin and Rachel were chosen for Region 20 as well. They were half the reason this internship was so fun and I will miss all the laughs we had this summer. As far as working for Extension and Outreach I loved every minute of my time promoting local foods.  It included all of my favorite activities: visiting farms, cooking food, and sharing that food with others.  The Rising Star internship opened my eyes to new interests and experiences, yet at the same time reaffirmed that I want to be able to combine my interest of agriculture and nutrition in my future career. 

-Grace, Region 20 Rising Star Intern 

What a summer! I have bittersweet feelings as this internship comes to an end. Not only have I built upon my career-related skills through the abundance of tasks I had this summer, but I have also gained a lot of beautiful connections along the way. I am happy that spending 40 hours a week with my coworkers led me to consider them as friends. Every time I get ice cream I will be reminded of Grace’s love for food, and whenever I need a great story time, I can invite Katelin over and she will have plenty to tell. Thank you, ladies, for making the long days a memory that makes me laugh at our tired, goofy selves. I am grateful I had an internship experience that strongly emulated some of my passions: local foods, healthy habits, and building connections with wonderful community members. I loved that when I was supporting local producers in Southeast Iowa, I also felt I was indirectly supporting my own farming family back in Illinois by this promotion of family farms that were passionate about their work. A final thanks to Morgan Hoenig, Janet Smith, and all the other friendly faces in extension that lent kind words, advice, and helped with organizing our entire summer. You have all contributed to my growth during this internship, and I am excited to bring these connections and lessons to the next step in my career. 

-Rachel, Region 20 Rising Star Intern 

Wow! I can’t believe my time as a Rising Star Intern is coming to an end. It feels like just yesterday I was moving to Mount Pleasant for the summer. To say the least, this summer has flown by. I am so thankful for being selected to be a Rising Star Intern. This summer has been full of new experiences, new learning opportunities, new life-long friends, and a new-found appreciation for Extension and Outreach. Throughout the summer I have been able to grow as an individual, as well as a business professional. I was able to combine my interest of agriculture, education, and outreach throughout this entire internship. My coworkers and I were able to host eight library programs at different libraries, attend countless farmers markets, visit multiple family farms and create promotional content for them, visit county fairs, and so much more! This summer has been jammed packed with so many wonderful experiences and opportunities. No two days on the job were the same and every day was extremely fun. I can’t express my gratitude enough to Janet Smith and Morgan Hoenig for guiding us in the right direction throughout the summer. Without these two, my coworkers and I would have never been able to have so many wonderful experiences. Also, a big thanks to all of the wonderful individuals at all of the county offices for being so kind and welcoming to my coworkers and me. A final thanks to Rachel and Grace for being the BEST coworkers I could ask for! There was never a dull moment working with these two. I’m so glad through this internship I have gained two new friends. Although I am sad to see this summer come to an end, I will be forever grateful for this amazing experience and the Rising Star Internship program. 

Yours truly,  

Katelin Pagel, Region 20 Rising Star Intern