Week 1 in Region 17

During week one in Region 17, Colter, Emily, and Jasmine started the week by helping the volunteers harvest lettuce and kale from the Beloit Donation Garden. It was a great start to the week as we were able to get our hands dirty working in the garden. We learned how to properly harvest, weigh, and wash the produce so it can be packaged.

We were able to meet and greet with the Story County Extensions and Outreach Office. We all brought items for a taco potluck. It was fun to get to know everyone who we will be working with for the summer.

On Thursday, we held a program of growing container tomato plants for youth members of the Darul Arqum Islamic Center in Ames. It was great to interact with members and to teach them how easy it is to grow fresh produce from a container, such as a bucket.

Week 1 in Region 13

We began our Rising Star internship by having a meet and greet with Shelby County and touring all three offices and towns. Because of the storms we weren’t able to meet more people. We also began preparing for the rest of the summer. We also finalized and determined our goal for the summer: To raise awareness about recycling and its impact on our community.

We toured each extension office and got to know most of the staff. The regional director, Terry Torneten, gave us a tour of each town, Harlan, Audubon, and Denison. He also showed us the community gardens into which we plan to put composting units. We also met with the Shelby County community this past week. We contacted a local farmer who will help us with our composting project. The local radio station, KNOD, had us on to introduce ourselves to the community. To end one of our days, we got to meet and take a photo with Albert the Bull in Audubon. 

All three of us are looking forward to the rest of this summer. We hope to deepen the community’s knowledge of recycling and the steps we can all take to help preserve the planet. 

Week 1 in Region 4

We spent the majority of this week meeting all of the amazing Iowa State Extension Employees in Worth and Cerro Gordo Counties. We learned more about our projects and began preparing for the activities which will take place: Art Farm Iowa, Show Stock Buddies, and 6th Grade End-of-Year Carnival.

In Worth County, we took a running start with Art Farm Iowa as we tilled a plot for the garden. We planted the corn in the ground and took inventory of plants left over from a different 4-H activity. We created a design for the garden plot and came back Friday to finish planting. We shopped for the raised beds and began planting flowers. As they open next week, we are planning to come back and help prime a wall for an upcoming mural.

In Cerro Gordo, we started planning for Show Stock Buddies and did activities at the 6th Grade End-of-Year Carnival. We looked over our budget and started planning the workshops for Show Stock Buddies. We designed ice breakers and activities to help bond the mentors and buddies. To ensure the safety of the buddies and mentors, we created lessons for animal care and handling to do at the next workshop in June. On Thursday, we attended the 6th Grade End-of-Year Carnival to help 6th grades students learn about aerodynamics and energy in STEM based activities featuring straw rockets and a blender bike.

Week 10 in Region 1

This week we hosted our last skillathon and started wrapping up on our DayHab sessions as well, we had two DayHab sessions this week; one with the Orange county group and one with the Rock Rapids group. We presented our last session on budget boss with them and we also had a little graduation with each of the groups. We had certificates given out to each of the participants along with some socks and treats for everyone to take home!

Additionally, we got our report finalized and done! and our presentation to the deans is close to being done as well!

Week 10 in Region 13

President’s Visit

On Monday, we attended a Cyclone Meet and Greet in Denison, where we met and talked with the president of Iowa State University, Wendy Wintersteen. It was a great opportunity to network with local alumni.

Armstrong Research Farm

Later Monday, we got a tour of the Armstrong Research Farm facilities, including the Wallace Learning Center. We saw the bedded hoop barn, which is used for cattle feeding. 

Wrapping Up

This week, we spent time tying loose ends on our remaining projects. We’ve been adding the finishing touches for everything we need for our presentation on campus on August 3rd. This week we said our goodbyes to the Crawford and Shelby counties office staff and thanked them for all the support they’ve given us throughout the summer!

Week 11 in Region 17

Final Touches

As we near the end of our internship, we have started wrapping up our projects. This week we finished our fair project by recording a presentation to deliver to the Story County Fair Board so they can easily understand the materials we provided them. Next, we have begun passing on our lengthy gardening document to individuals within the Master Gardener Program, so they can get it published. And finally, we have made our final presentation for August 3rd to be presented as a summary of our projects this summer. Be sure to tune in!

Education Outreach

Thursday morning, we were able to represent Iowa State Extension and Outreach at Cultivating Hope Farms for an educational event. We taught visitors how to dissect a bean, discovered nature through a scavenger hunt, and planted seedling necklaces. We even got to hold baby piglets!!

Sponsorship and Family Night Event

Thursday, July 27th was our Sponsorship and Family Night Event! The raffles raised some money and lots of visitors were able to see Cultivating Hope Farms while supporting Cultivating Hope 4-H. Axis Therapy Centers made and appear to help support the club they sponsored. The Cultivating Hope 4-H sustainability efforts definitely paid off!!

Week 10 in Region 17

This week marked a busy schedule for the Story County Extension Office and the Rising Star interns as the Story County Youth Fair was kicked into full gear. Alongside the hustle and bustle of the fair’s activities, the rising star interns have been working tirelessly to get final documents prepared for submission and to finalize extra elements for their projects for completion before the end of their time in the office. 

Carrots and Cameras

Tuesday afternoon started earlier than usual at the Beloit Donation Garden as we arrived with video cameras, microphones, and tripods. The goal for this day was to gather interviews and footage of the garden in action. This footage will be used to create a thank you video to display gratitude towards all the organizations that have helped support the garden over its long history, alongside helping display all the benefits the garden provides to its community. With speaking pieces from Kent and Susan discussing the garden’s history and influence, accompanied by shots of the garden being tended to and harvested, we have high hopes for the outcome. 

Place – A – Potty

Wednesday and Thursday mornings were spent in the sun with a small booth at the Story County Fairgrounds. This booth aimed to gather a consensus from the fair’s audience and participants about where the fair board should consider pacing new bathrooms. A large bulletin board provided an ariel view of the fairgrounds with specific buildings marked to help display locations. Fairgoers could then place a pin on the map where they believed the best location for a new bathroom would be. The most popular location displayed on the map was the option for redoing the existing bathrooms at the center of the fairgrounds, as many stated that a renovated location had been an ideal proposal for many years. 

Cardio Cards

Thursday afternoon, the interns assisted many other Story County Extension staff with providing activities for a large school group that took short tours earlier that afternoon. When provided with a rotation of broken-up groups, the interns used an interactive version of our cardio card idea from the farmers market. Each group of kids gave examples of exercises to represent each suit in a deck of cards, then took turns drawing cards and doing the exercises however many times that were displayed on the card. After a few rotations, the kids relaxed from the exercises by doing group stretches followed by passing around an activity ball where they talked about food groups. 

Week 9 in Region 13

Crawford County Fair

The Rising Star Interns helped with the Crawford County Fair in Denison this week. We started our week off by helping with static judging. We wrote comments about a 4-H member’s project and wrote what ribbon they received. Then we judged the club’s booths. We judged the booths by ensuring they had the members’ names listed and followed the fair theme, Spy Your Potential. The booths were ranked 1st through 3rd, and we had to give each booth an “award,” like most creative and most informational.

Open Community Garden Night

On a beautiful Tuesday night, the interns held their Open Community Garden Night at the community garden in Harlan. A few Master Gardeners and community members brainstormed ideas on two big sticky pads, what they liked about the garden, and what they would like to change. Some things they liked about the garden are people sharing ideas and it’s inspirational. Throughout the night, we focused on how we could change the garden. The community members suggested having a security system, a donation garden, composting, and much more. We also had water and cookies, handed out ISU Extension and Outreach bags, and even had a door prize. We had a great time talking about the garden and meeting new people!

Harvest Dy at Community Garden

On Thursday, the interns helped pick produce from the community garden in Denison. We picked cucumbers, zucchini, and yellow squash. Once we got back to the office, we cleaned the produce so they were ready to be sent off to the food pantry!

Week 9 in Region 1

It was a busy week, with the fair season in full swing this week. We started our week with a full day of preparing lessons for the rest of the week. We presented our Smelly Socks Day Hab lesson for the last time on Tuesday and taught about what to do before you wash your laundry. The participants enjoyed putting matching socks together and treating stains with household items.

We finally received our Birth of an Idea display for the Hull Museum. After a long process, it came in. We will have it in the Sioux County office for our final Council Meeting. We are so happy with how the display turned out. It looks great, and we’re excited for the community to have it in their museum to show the history of extension.

We had our second and third Skill-a-thons this week. To prepare, we usually go around the county fairs to hang posters and get some attention around the event. This week we tried to put one up on a rock wall, but after two failed attempts, we decided to just put it on the display table. Our Skill-a-thon for Lyon County was a great success, and we gave out money for the top 3 placed kids. It has been an amazing experience to see the level of learning these kids have been able to improve upon.

Week 8 in Region 4

With the summer starting to wind down, region 4 has been working mainly on finalizing the presentation. There are several events yet to happen that need to be added, but otherwise the presentation is in its final stages!

On Tuesday we attended a screening of “Like We Don’t Exist” at the Northwood theater. It was hosted by Art Farm Iowa, and featured the struggle that the Kareeni people have faced at the hands of the Burmese people. It was an extremely educational experience, and many community members attended. Many of them had questions, and asked how they could help the refugees in the camps in Thailand. A former refugee by the name of Maw was even in attendance, as he is currently doing a mural at Art Farm Iowa.

We also learned that our boulder for Art Farm Iowa is being delivered next week, so that’s an extremely exciting project that is finally coming into fruition. Its always a great feeling to see your hard work finally come to life, and have others appreciate the ideas. Next week will be focused on the Art Farm, and getting things finalized out there!