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. 



The Region 5 Stars have finally arrived! We are ready to go and have some very exciting things planned for the summer. Here’s just a few things about us for now:

 Ebere Agwuncha

“I’m ready to extend my hands using my evolving and developed set of skills throughout the community this is summer and onward!”

WHERE I’M FROM: Chicago, Ilinois

MAJOR(S): Industrial Design with a concentration in User Experience

WHAT I DO FOR FUN: Watercolor, Volleyball, take pictures of flowers, thrift, eat chocolate

SPECIAL INVOLVEMENTS WITHIN MY COMMUNITY: Volunteering at the Food Pantry, Kiwanis Club, Social Networking Chair for Industrial Design Sketch Club, IDSA, and BUILD

Joi Latson

“I’m excited to combine my passion for health, languages, and food to provide a space for people to learn how to grow and prepare whole foods and prioritize their health.”

WHERE I’M FROM: St. Louis, Missouri

MAJOR(S): Global Resource Systems & Spanish with a minor in Nutritional Science

WHAT I DO FOR FUN: baking, watching Food Network, hiking

SPECIAL INVOLVEMENTS WITHIN MY COMMUNITY: Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority Incorporated, Student Government, Women in Science and Engineering, Honors Ambassador, Global Ambassador for Department of World Languages and Cultures

Rebecca Wallace

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to hone my teaching skills, gain more experience with diverse learners, and use my knowledge to assist community members.”

WHERE I’M FROM: Bussey, Iowa

MAJOR(S): Family and Consumer Sciences Education and Studies, Licensure Option with a minor in Culinary Food Science

WHAT I DO FOR FUN: Watch the Food Network and Netflix, bake, sew, craft, kayak, and read

SPECIAL INVOLVEMENTS WITHIN MY COMMUNITY: Phi Upsilon Omicron Honor Society, Kappa Omicron Nu Honor Society, College of Human Sciences Representative, Family and Consumer Sciences Club



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

Meet your Region 20 Rising Stars!

(Left to Right): Kelsey, Allison, Kelley

The Region 20 Rising Star Interns arrived in Southeast Iowa on May 14 and are already planning for the summer. They have received warm welcomes as they have traveled to the Lee, Louisa, Henry, and Des Moines County. Allison, Kelsey, and Kelley are excited to get started on introducing school-aged children to local produce. Get to know more about your Region 20 Rising Star Interns and stay tuned to find out more along the way!

Allison Hadley

Sophomore in Elementary Education

From Afton, Iowa

Allison Hadley heard about the Rising Star internship through her advisor at Iowa State University. She has always enjoyed teaching and working with others and promoting food and nutrition. She feels like Region 20 is a perfect fit for her. Allison is most excited to work with the children at the various schools through the Sharing from the Garden program and explore the many farmers markets in this region. When not working, Allison enjoys exercising, being outdoors and cooking or baking. She’s excited to take all her experience and knowledge gained this summer and apply it in her future career!

Kelsey Pretz

Senior in Agriculture and Life Sciences Education: Communications Option

From Columbus Junction, Iowa

Kelsey has always had a passion for agriculture and working with youth. She is looking forward to serving her own and surrounding local communities in hopes to educate the youth and consumers about the food system and promote local agriculture. After graduation, Kelsey is considering a career with ISU Extension and Outreach to continue to make a positive impact in communities. In her spare time, she enjoys spending weekends at pig shows with her family, boating on the river and of course fair time!

Kelley Harris

Senior in Family and Consumer Sciences

From Graettinger, Iowa

Kelley has always had a passion for food and nutrition and getting involved within the community. When she heard about the Rising Star Internship from a friend who was involved the previous year, she thought it sounded perfect for her. Kelley is most looking forward to getting to know the communities of Southeast Iowa and promoting a healthier lifestyle in today’s youth. In her free time, Kelley can be found out on the golf course, in the kitchen baking a pie, or reading Harry Potter.

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.

Region 2 Rising Star Interns are Settling In

The Region 2 interns arrived in north central Iowa on Wednesday and are settling in well. A dinner with the extension council welcomed them to the internship and the area Wednesday evening.  On Thursday and Friday, the interns toured communities in Winnebago County, and met with economic development and chamber of commerce professionals to help them learn a little more about the area. They are looking forward to this summer, here is a little bit about them.

Jamison Brus

Seniorin Community and Regional Planning and Geographical Informational Systems

Jamison found out about the Rising Star Internship through a professor within Community and Regional Planning that has worked within extension. Jamison is interesting in using his knowledge of Community and Regional Planning and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) skills for the Community and Economic Development sector of region 2. Jamison is looking forward to working with the north central Iowa communities and helping them with developmental practices to make a positive impact in the respecting cities and counties in Region 2.

Claire Michelson

Senior in Political Science and Community and Regional Planning

Claire has always wanted to help people, and felt that the Rising Star Internship was a great way to do that while gaining professional skills and experience. She was interested in the internship after talking with a student that participated last year, and a professor who used to work for Iowa State Extension and Outreach.  During this summer Claire is looking forward to working with professionals in community and economic development in Region 2, and helping them develop plans that will positively impact their communities.

Emma Robinson

Junior in Global Resource Systems

Emma is a sophomore at Iowa State University focusing on Global Resource Systems, Horticulture and Spanish. She is looking forward to direct interactions with community members and learning more about the area. Emma is interested in potentially developing a community garden with an emphasis on educating youth of the area through gardening.



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.