Welcome from Region 11

Meet The Interns:

Benton County:

Name: Jenny Hagg

Major: Community Regional Planning

Minors: GIS and sustainability

Hometown: Ankeny, IA

Dream career: Urban planner for a large city

Fun fact: I have been to 10 different countries 

The past two weeks have been very busy in Benton county! We started off with an orientation where we learned about the county and Old School Produce Partnership. Old School Partnership is a 100% donation garden in Vinton, Iowa. The garden is also 100% run on all volunteers. The garden is at the “old school” and all of the planting happens on the old football field, rumor has it that it was one of best football fields in Iowa. Last year they donated over 20,000 lbs of fresh produce to 9 food banks all over Benton county. With summer here they are looking for many volunteers to help them reach their goal of donating 20,000 lbs of produce to local food banks.

Linn County:

Name: Shay Kent

Major: Global Resource Systems

Hometown: Urbandale, IA

Dream Career: Working with International Food System policy 

Fun Fact: I once had lunch with the Vice President of Peru

The past two weeks have been off to a quick start with planning for our fun summer plans! After meeting the staff in Linn, Benton, and Jones counties we were off to work planning for weekly trips to a local summer camp, monthly visits to the Marion Farmer’s Market with the Power of Produce Program, and developing a system for Women in Ag Programming in Linn County. From various planning meetings to creating a few craft kits and lesson plans we were hard at work creating interactive, entertaining, and educational lessons and activities for our county. This also included learning about all the cool programs and lesson options Iowa State Extension has to offer so stay tuned to hear how we implement them throughout the summer!

Jones County

Name: Tyson Fleshner 

Major: Global Resource Systems and Agronomy 

Hometown: La Porte City, IA 

Dream Career: Field Agronomist 

Fun Fact: I spent my spring break this year in Uganda 

My work in Jones County has been based on preparing for Summer Science Discovery coming up for the month of June. I have been scheduling, preparing the curriculum and gathering the supplies necessary for the month of programming. We will be doing two and a half hours of STEM based programming in six different towns across the county. The curriculum ranges to work with students from kindergarten through fifth grade and is a great supplement to keeping kids engaged throughout the summer. 

Region 5 interns still groovin’ on!

The past 2 weeks have flown by! Here are some highlights since our last time chattin’…

C.Brown Gardens:

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!

tomato polishing

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!



Region 5 is still rollin’ on

Rising Star Update!

The last few weeks have been crazy but filled with many many fun days. Here are some highlights since our last time chatting…

Visiting Omaha with Region 1:

We explored the Hope Gardens, and saw the amazing work that the Master Gardeners and others put into the garden. The extensive plots and pollinator garden included every plant and flower that you could imagine.

With the Region 1 interns!

Hope Garden signage with an abundance of beautiful growth

Cooper Farm Greenhouse tour

News talk with the KMEG Station:

We had the honor of tagging along with Woodbury’s Horticulture expert, Katelyn Brinkerhoff, and speak about Siouxlands Bike N’ Bite this past week. This great event, taking place on July 14th, is a great way to explore the hidden flavors of Siouxland while biking. Check out the interview below!


Register here! : https://squareup.com/store/ISUExtWoodbury/item/siouxland-bike-n-bite

Camps (x 3) :

The past 2 weeks have been filled with tons of camps including: Mad Science Camp (level 1 and 2), Clover Kids Camp, and Kids in the Kitchen! We had the honor of helping out with all of these great camps, and also lead food demos for the kids.

experimenting with different bubble solutions and tools to make the biggest bubble!

elephant toothpaste experiment

It’s been quite the time so far this summer. Talk soon and thanks for checking in!


Region 2: Week 2

It’s week two here in Forest City and Region 2 Rising Star Interns are getting comfortable in our community. We have had the opportunity to get tours of surrounding communities including Buffalo Center, Rake, Leland, Thompson and more. We have also been meeting so many incredibly nice people who have welcomed us into their communities and given us some great advice and input to help us chose our summer projects. On Tuesday, we attended an IFA press conference where they introduced new software. Here we were able to network with leaders in Forest City and surrounding communities. On Wednesday, we traveled to Algona to attend an intern breakfast hosted by Kossuth/Palo Alto County Economic Development.   Mark Nook, President of the University of Northern Iowa was the key note speaker of this event. After the breakfast, we headed to Spencer for a grant writing workshop with the Region 1 interns. As for our summer projects, we have been making good progress with narrowing down our decisions! This week as we met with some more people around Region 2. We met with a City Council member and the City Clerk of Whittemore, a small town south of Algona in Kossuth County. As a town of a little over 500 people, they are looking for help of how to attract and keep people in their town, may it be events at the pool, or bringing in a non traditional business to the area.

Our intern Claire has decided she wants to help with this town’s needs and wants, and is hoping to develop a strategic plan for them. She is also looking into developing some proposal ideas for Winnebago County town, Buffalo Center’s main street, but researching other towns in Iowa that have had success in main street revitalization.

Emma had a meeting with the YMCA in Forest City on Thursday afternoon where plans were put in place to develop an educational garden on the land beside the YMCA building. Emma plans to take this garden on as her summer project, working with YMCA staff to design the garden, create it and start planting as a part of the YMCA Youth Programs.

Last but certainly not least, Jamison’s potential project concerns the small, yet economically thriving town of Lake Mills Iowa. Jamison has already met with the executive director of the Lake Mills Chamber Development Corporation, Cassie Johnson. Cassie is a fellow Iowa State Alumni and was very open to working with extension on potential projects for the community. This project will center around accessing and evaluating businesses in Lake Mills. Jamison has plans to meet with the city administrator and realtors in the community to compile a list of data for the businesses in Lake Mills such as what type of businesses are in Lake Mills, relative size of businesses and the age of the businesses. After this step, he intends to compile this list into an excel document to organize this data and insert it into Arc GIS, which is an online mapping tool to display the data visually. Finally, from this analysis of the businesses in Lake Mills, Jamison will be incorporating spec designs for vacant plots in the city to encourage and showcase what businesses can be incorporated in this community. This project will help with expanding Lake Mills and positively impacting other Iowa small towns outside of Lake mills.

Region 1- Week 1

        In college, educators stress the importance of that telltale college experience where you not only learn, but work in the industry to apply that newfound knowledge. Internships become something of finding that connection with those seasoned professionals and hopefully finding your place among them in the coming years.

        Allie Faivre, Jessica Gale and I have been on a mission to soak up the summer and learn as much as humanly possible about this tiny town of Sheldon, Iowa and the counties that surround it. Between the three of us, we raised the population of Sheldon by three, got lost a time or two, are proud owners of Sheldon library cards, and have met one of the most knowledgeable and genuine patrons of this sweet little town.

     Before this internship with Iowa State Extension and Outreach, I was looking for professional contacts, who will one day be able to vouch for my work. I didn’t realize was the type of people I should really be looking for – people at the center of the community who can truly tell you what it means to live and work in a place that you are unfamiliar with.

     Allie, Jessica, and I effortlessly found that despite different backgrounds, we can carry on a good conversation and adventure or two. On Thursday and Friday, we attended training with our regional director, Cheryl Heronemus, and other staff who helped us become familiar with the role we will play this summer and get organized for the upcoming months. We then headed to Orange City for the Tulip festival, while there we encountered some modern Dutch culture, some trendy little stores and enjoyed an apparent crowd favorite, the almond patty.

          On Sunday, we ventured out on the town and got ourselves a little reading material by wandering over to the Sheldon Prairie Historical Museum. There we met a wonderful man, Duane Wahlstrum (pictured to right), who graduated from Iowa State University in 1956 with a degree in Animal Science and a minor in Agriculture Education. He worked as an agriculture teacher for 31 years and since Allie and I are attending Iowa State to do that very career, we enjoyed learning about his ideas on teaching that subject. For the afternoon, Duane was our insightful tour guide, comedian and ultimately our Dairy Dandy advisor. We’d like to thank him for his dedication to the town of Sheldon and for being a friendly face in a place that is so new to us. being a friendly face in a place that is so new to us.

        When it all is said and done, this summer appears to be looking like a fun filled and exciting time for the three of us. We can’t wait to get to know everyone and keep you all updated in the process!

Until next time,
Kassidy Kuhlmann

Region 20 Interns travel to Winfield/Mt.Union Elementary School

Region 20 2018 Rising Star Interns travel to Winfield/Mt. Union elementary to visit with 4thand 5thgraders about the “Sharing from the Garden” summer program. This summer Kelley Harris, Kelsey Pretz, and Allison Hadley will travel to four different schools in Region 20 to educate students about local produce, getting to know fruits and vegetables, food safety, the importance of compost, and more! This will be an engaging experience providing hands on opportunities to prepare recipes using local produce.

Welcome Region 1 Rising Star Interns!

Jessica, Allie and Kassidy (Region 1)

The Region 1 Rising Star Interns arrived in Northwest Iowa on May 16, and are already planning for summer.

We’ll write more later, but in the meantime, here is a little bit about us.

Jessica Gale
Junior in Dietetics at ISU
From Stillman Valley, Illinois
Jessica heard about the Rising Star Internship from previous interns, and that insight aligned with what she desired for an internship experience. With Gale’s dietetics major, she was looking for an outlet where she could utilize what she has been learning about with nutrition in her classes. With the Rising Star’s emphasis on bringing healthy eating to the forefront she found it would be a good fit. During this summer, she is looking forward to working with children and teaching them about food and how healthy choice influence your overall well being In her spare time, she likes to be a part of the Student Dietetic Association, reading about nutrition, watching the Chicago Blackhawks, and spending time with friends and family.  

Allison (Allie) Faivre
Senior in Agricultural and Life Sciences Education, Teacher Certification at ISU
From Washington, Illinois
Faivre is considering a career with ISU Extension and Outreach after graduating college.  She looks forward to serving communities as a Rising Star intern, specifically through the Beginning Gardeners Program, Bike-n-Bite, and donation gardens. Faivre enjoys spending time outside, working with plants, playing volleyball, hiking and biking in her free time. She loves learning about and working with hydroponics. On campus, Allison has a part-time job as a Student Business Office Assistant for ISU Recreation Services.  She is actively involved in Agricultural Education Club and Students Today Leaders Forever.  

Kassidy Kuhlmann
Senior in Agricultural and Life Sciences Education, Teacher Certification with a Minor in Agronomy at ISU
From Readlyn, Iowa
Kassidy has always had a passion for agriculture and the influence it holds in the lives of Iowans. Kuhlmann hopes to one day work with various age groups about different aspect of agriculture and hopes to bridge the gap between farmers and consumers. Kassidy looks forward to the summers activities such as PoP (Power of Produce) Club, Beginner Gardeners Camp, and  additional opportunities to teach others about extension. In Kuhlmann’s spare time she enjoys working as an Ambassador and student worker to the Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, being outside, attending country concerts, and spending time with her family on their acreage in northeast Iowa.