Hello! I am Alex McDougall and I am the Rising Star Intern for Region 1! I am a Junior at Iowa State University and I am majoring in Agriculture Education, Teacher Certification Option, with a Biology teaching endorsement and Agronomy minor. I am from Melvin, IA, which is in Osceola County. I enjoy baking, showing dogs, sewing, and playing guitar. I love plants and gardening, and I can’t wait to work on PoP club this year (more about that later). Last summer, I was a Horticulture Intern for Region 1, and I am so excited to be back as a Rising Star!
A Week in Review
This has been a very eventful first week for me! I spent my first two days in the Sioux County Extension Office in Orange City, IA, to start planning my summer and get started on projects. Tuesday afternoon, I had the opportunity to plant zinnias in the Sanborn Donation Garden in O’Brien County. It was great to reunite with Jan, who I had the opportunity to work with last summer. Then on Wednesday, I was in the Lyon County Extension Office in Rock Rapids, IA. I was supposed to help plant the Rock Rapids Donation and Youth Gardens that day, but unfortunately, we were unable to due to the rain. On Thursday, I was in the Osceola County Extension Office in Sibley, IA. In the morning, I went to the Sibley-Ocheyedan Elementary School with Ashley Peters, the Osceola County CYC, to do an activity with the 4th graders. We talked about foods that contain dairy and sugar, some of which were very surprising to the kids (did you know that canned ham contains sugar?). After this discussion, the kids had the opportunity to make homemade ice cream using an ice cream maker ball.
Then on Friday, I was back in the Sioux County Extension Office. In the morning, John Lawrence, Vice President of ISU Extension and Outreach, stopped by to visit to hear about everything that is occurring in Sioux County Extension and Outreach. That afternoon, I traveled back to Rock Rapids, IA to start planting the Donation Garden and flower patch.
- Extension Council Videos
- These videos will feature an Extension Council member from each of the county councils. The videos will explain what the Extension Council is, what they do, and the roles of their members. The videos will be used to recruit new Extension Council members and in Extension Council Member training/orientation.
- Extension Program Specialist Videos
- These videos will feature an Extension Program Specialists in Region 1. The video will be about the Specialists and their work. These videos will be posted on social media.
- PoP Club
- PoP Club stands for Power of Produce Club. This is a club that is present at local farmers’ markets to encourage kids aged 4-12 to eat healthy and try new fruits and vegetables. At PoP Club, kids participate in activities and then they receive a $2 token that they can use at participating vendors to get produce. PoP club starts June 5th at the Orange City Farmers’ Market, June 7th at the Sheldon Farmers’ Market, and June 7th at the Rock Rapids Farmers’ Market. I am creating and planning activities for each week, and currently have the first 3 weeks planned.
- Storywalk at Fair
- Storywalks are a way for families to read while spending time outdoors. I am a designing a Storywalk that will be at all the fairs and will be a guide for families to walk through the barns and see the animals.
- Camp Activity at Fair
- I am currently planning out an activity that I will do with kids at fair. I am targeting my activity towards K-4th graders, but it is open to the public. This activity will be an educational activity that excites youth about agriculture.