Monday, August 3, 2015

Busy but Fantastic

Summer 2015 is winding down and so is my internship at the Clark County Extension Office. My to-do list is almost complete and my summer project is finalized. During my last blog I wrote about planning for a summer day camp called “Getting in the Garden.” Twenty youth participated in the day camp making food and learning about soil quality. All of the participants enjoy the day camp and were excited to share the recipes with their family and friends.

 After the day camp was completed, I went to work finalizing my main summer project. I contacted participants from the 2015 communications contest to video their speech and demonstration. These clips were made into a longer video for the agents to show in school classrooms. Along with the video, I created a grading sheet that includes a scale for the students to judge the participants in the video. The guidelines the students are judging came from the actual judging sheets for the communications contest. The video and judging sheets will allow the students to visually see what an actual speech or demonstration looks like for a competition.

 During the last week of my internship I had the opportunity to work with David Davis, the agriculture agent in Clark County. For David’s Ag Field day, I planned farm friendly kid’s activities for kids to do while the adults went on the farm tour. I also helped set up for the event, attended the event where I helped on the tour and with the kids activity, and of course cleaned up for two days afterwards. In between working on the field day, David let me tag along on a few farm visits where we looked at soy beans and maple trees. The work was hard but very rewarding.

To describe my summer in two words would be bust but fantastic. Some days went late into the night, some days were spent on the road, and some days were too short. Having the chance to work for the extension office has given me more of an appreciation for the agents. The agents in the Clark County Extension office do more than just go to camp and buy supplies for activities; they teach and support everyone they encounter.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Life as a Double Agent: Part 4

         Wow! I cannot believe that this is the last week of my internship at Butler County Cooperative Extension services. I can legitimately say I am going to miss the agents and staff that work there; they have been nothing but great and welcoming to me. The first day of my internship I walked in only knowing a few people, but when I left on Thursday I will have made some wonderful friends and colleagues. I have learned many new hobbies such as canning, freezing, quilting and painting.
           My last week in the office were spent totally on making a quilt of my summer! My quilt has 12 blocks and each block has a different event that I attended. The first block is a canning and freezing block. The Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agent had at least 5 lbs. of fresh blueberries delivered to the office. After lightly rinsing each bag of berries I dried and separated them. I separated them in to separate bowls for jam, freezing and a blueberry cream cheese pound cake. We started with the cake, then made the jam and then finished with freezing the rest of the berries. It was definitely a new experience that inspired me to set aside more time to cook and bake.
            The second block is for Aerospace camp. At Aerospace camp I rode in a helicopter, learned how make rockets and how to fly an airplane. That was the first time I had ever flown an airplane and it was definitely an experience! I felt so confident after flying that airplane all by myself. While in the plane I taxied down the runway, took off, flew around in the air, learned many flying techniques and got a little help when landing the plane. I never expected in the beginning of my internship that I would be flying an airplane, but I am so glad that I did!
            The third and twelfth blocks are about the Catfish Festival. The third block is for all the work I did on setting up the 4H and Family and Consumer Sciences exhibits at the festival. The twelfth block was for Catfish Festival Judging. I was one of the judges for the 4H items. We judged them all: blue ribbon means great, red ribbon means needs improvement, and white ribbon means need extreme improvement. We also gave purple ribbons: the champion and grand champion of the categories.
            The fourth and seventh blocks have to do with Western Kentucky 4H Camp at Dawson Springs, Kentucky. The fourth one is just 4H camp. The 2015 4H camp was the first time I had ever been to 4H camp before in my life, I never went as a camper, CIT, teen or adult until this year. It was quite an experience, but I really enjoyed it! The seventh block is for the abstract art class that I taught at camp. I taught the kids what abstract art was, why people do it and famous paintings and artists. We did tape painting, name art and paint drop painting. It was an absolute blast because I love art and I think the campers really enjoyed it!
            The fifth block is the 4H clover. It stands for the four H’s: Head, Heart, Hands and Health. This clover shows that I did work with 4H and really got to know the in’s and out’s of 4H.  I did one or two things with 4H as a child and I wish now that I had done more. The sixth and ninth blocks are also events that I did with 4H. These are Day Camp and Teen Conference. At Day Camp the campers did a numerous amount of crafts each of which were categories in the Catfish Festival or the Kentucky State Fair. Teen Conference took place in Lexington, Kentucky on the University of Kentucky campus. There were hundreds of teens taking different classes, learning new skills and leadership. These kids were all very well behaved and I enjoyed this conference very much.
            The eighth block is a Family and Consumer Sciences block. This block stands for all the things I learned while working with FCS. I learned how to can, freeze, bake, quilt, sew, and use alcohol ink. I really enjoyed FCS because this is the field that I want to go in to. I love helping others to learn new skills that can help them in their family, personal, and recreational life and nutrition and health. It has been a blast learning all these wonderful skills and I plan to continue using all these skills.
            The tenth block stands for all the leadership skills that I have made over this summer internship. I have learned how to take all my leadership roles to the next level and really excel in being responsible. The eleventh block stands for 4H Shooting Sports. I got to go shooting at the Butler Co. Conservation Club. I had never shot anything but a handgun and ended up shooting many different types of guns.  I look forward to getting to spend more time out there or at the range. 
           I am so thankful that the University of Kentucky gave me the opportunity to do this internship! I now know what profession that I want to go in to and what I want to do with my life and I would not be able to say that if it weren't for this internship!

Fin


Words can’t explain how great of an experience I’ve had this summer.  I’ve met several wonderful people that are the epitome of hard workers. My final weeks consisted of creating a healthy school lunch program, kids cooking camp and Oldham County day. Kids cooking camp was a hand-on learning experience for kids and teens. We made scones, pickled relish, wheat rolls, chocolate cake, apple jelly, and biscuits. This three-day program taught them how to become proficient in the kitchen. They developed knife skills, sanitary skills, and identified potential program with a recipes. Oldham County day was an educational day for the community. We expressed the purpose of cooperative extension and advice women to become a homemaker.







I wish I had to words to express my gratitude towards extension.  I will miss this program dearly. My FCS agent Christ Duncan has been amazing and had taught me the true meaning of being a community leader.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Special Project

For my special project this summer, I led a Crafts and Apps class. During this class, participants made a craft followed by an appetizer. This Crafts and Apps class was Fourth of July themed and was held at the end of June so the participants would have their craft before the holiday. The participants made a fourth of July wreath out of clothes pins and burlap ribbon. For the appetizers, the participants made fruit pizzas. We made the fruit pizzas by switching up the usual cream cheese frosting with a healthier option using yogurt. Many of the participants said that they would rather have the healthier option than the unhealthy option. In preparing for the class, I used Pinterest to find a cute craft idea. I found the clothespins wreath that looked very easy to assemble. However, I had the pleasure of spray painting over 800 clothespin in the colors red, white, and blue by myself. I am glad I did put the time into because the end product looked better than the picture. I was so pleased with how they turned out. For the appetizers, I searched the internet and found the healthier option frosting for the fruit pizzas on eatright.org. To advertise the class, I contacted the local online newspaper, I made a flyer and passed them out, spoke about the class at other programs, and used social media. We had an attendance of six individuals come to the class. Kelli allowed for me to lead the class all by myself and I really enjoyed the responsibilities. It was a great class with fun participants and I would rate my special project as a great success.




Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Time flies when you're having fun!


I can’t believe that it is my last week at the Jessamine County Extension Office! I am so sad that my internship is coming to an end, but so thankful to have had this opportunity. The past twelve weeks have been filled with such a wide variety of programs and events that have made my summer a blast!

              For my project I have put together a training for the officers for our teen council. Today is day one of my training and I am so excited for it to start. The training includes a scavenger hunt around the community, goal setting for the year, brushing up on expectations, parliamentary procedure review, Kentucky 4-H achievement program information, attending the Breakout Games in Lexington, Kentucky 4-H state board’s information, leadership building activities, and much more!

              At 9am this morning we will start our weekly Clover Dashers program. This is a program for our teen girls on healthy living. I usually teach a thirty minute lesson each week on a topic ranging from healthy eating to self-esteem, then my supervisor Cathy, leads the girls in a couch to 5K running program for the other thirty minutes. This weekly program has been a lot of fun to do this summer. It has been great to see how excited these teens are to get active especially during their summer break!

              I am sad that my internship is over after tomorrow, but hopefully this is just the start of my career in the Cooperative Extension Service! And I can’t forget, over the next year I will still be coming back to the office at least twice a month too, because I am an advisor for the teen council here. So although my internship is coming to an end, it really just means that there are new beginnings!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Winding Up

As I enter the final two weeks of my internship here with the Johnson County Extension Service, I'm reflecting on the past 10 weeks and all that I've learned. I began this assignment not knowing very much at all about the UK Cooperative Extension Program, what it did, how it worked, or the monumental role in the community that it very quietly fulfills. When I began in May, I jumped straight into the issuance of the Farmer's Market Senior Voucher program, which was a very proud thing for me to be a part of. Ag agent Brian Jeffiers and I had several programs in the making in the early stages of the 12 weeks that we both planned, set up, and now in the last few weeks we have seen evolve into the events that we were looking for. Our Farmer's Market began in mid June, and although between several crop setbacks here in the county and a terrific uptick in at-home product sales we've suffered a slow market, it has been a pleasure to work with producers and consumers alike that are interested in promoting the local brand. We also are halfway through our four session "Farmer's Law School" program, which included my internship project. This program has been aimed at educating local farmers and landowners about ever changing regulations in the environmental, transportation, and legal realms. And of course all in between these things we've had our farm and home call visits, helping clients with a variety of issues with their flora and fauna.

They told us interns at our orientation to be ready to work 60 hour weeks, to never expect the same thing on any two days, and to be ready to have to dive into anything at anytime that the clientele could require us to. They were right. I've learned that in this business, there is no routine. The routine is chaos, and that's the only thing you can get used to. You never know where you'll be, what you'll be doing, or who you'll be helping. From our recent flood victims here in this county, to senior voucher recipients, to local producers, to landowners and even a visit to a local golf course, Cooperative Extension is a blanket that covers Kentucky like a blanket of consultation and direct help with issues (primarily Natural Resource and Agricultural in my emphasis). I've learned all that goes into running an Extension office and a whole lot of what goes into being an agent as well. I've learned the impact that this Service has on communities in this state is profound, and also largely unheralded, at least to its real extent. It has been a very enriching and diverse internship, and I've gotten so much out of it. It has been a fantastic experience, and I am very sorry to see it now very nearly over!

Friday, July 24, 2015

My Extension Office is better than yours! I kid....kinda lol

I'm actually convinced that I have been lucky enough to intern in one of the best extension offices in the state of Kentucky, Shelby Co.  They are more then my mentors and guiders through this summer life of as an FCS agent they are like family. Everyone may from time to time get on each others nerves but everyone loves each other like brothers and sisters. Oh my don't get me started on my FCS agent Sheila Fawbush!!!!! OMG she is the best sweetest, most kind hearted person that I think that I know. Working with Sheila has not only been a professional lesson but a life lesson. She has taught me patience, she has showed me what it means to be selfless, she has inspired me to be a better person inside and out and  most importantly she has helped shaped me to be a great future FCS agent. She is a woman that knows how to tackle a million and one things at once while making it all look so effortlessly. She is just awesome. Oh and I probably shouldn't forget to mention that my awesome extension office threw me a mini birthday surprise party with my favorite cake present, Dairy Queen's 'OREO BLIZZARD CAKE!!' Talk about yum!! Today has been a busy day like always but yet Sheila has found time to sneak me in a birthday surprise! Yeah they are awesome!! I love everyone at my office!!! 



Sincerely,
KC

PS. My birthday is tomorrow, July 25th