Saturday, August 13, 2016

Wrap Up!

My time at the Owsley County Extension office has come to an end. The internship has been such an amazing experience. It definitely wasn't what I expected it to be; it was so much more! I gained knowledge, techniques, and experience that I know I will be able to implement in my future career and life. I loved the variety in what we did each day. If a specific program was not my favorite, I didn't have to worry long, because we would probably be doing something different later that day. There was always variety in the programming and tasks and that made it exciting to see what each new day would bring. 

One of my biggest responsibilities of my time this summer was organizing the "Lightning Bug 5K Run/1 Mile Walk." Although I was familiar with running in races, the task of actually organizing was a bit daunting. The race was held in July, but the planning process began much before that. I began with scheduling, getting sponsors, t-shirt designs, course approvals, and more. We worked tirelessly on the race to make sure everything went off without a hitch and to my elation; it did! We had a wonderful turn out with 71 runners and a large group of volunteers. After the race was over and the trophies had been awarded, there was still much to do! We began the cleanup process the next day and the last task was to send the thank you letters sent to the sponsors. This event taught me a lot about planning and organizational skills that I know I will be able to use for a lifetime. 

Looking back on my time with the Owsley Extension Office, I can say confidently that it has prepared me and molded me for what is to come after graduation at EKU. The relationships I have cultivated are invaluable and I am thankful to have worked with such wonderful people who have taught me so much in such a short time. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The End of the Road!

It feels as if it was yesterday that I had started this twelve week adventure and now it is coming to the end of the road. Its funny how we get so accustomed to the road we travel that it becomes second nature then we slowly find ourselves embarking on a new a path. The last week here at the Breathitt County Office seems bitter sweet for I have made contacts and friendship that will last a lifetime. I have overcome obstacles that I never knew that I could face. While all along the way building my character and professional strength. Establishing my self as not just a intern but a professional body in our field of work.
To the people that I have worked side by side with I thank you all for such a rewarding summer. I have enjoyed the task of dealing with home sick children at camp. The challenge of properly caring for home gardeners Roses and Green Beans. While discovering how to kill multiflora rose in the pastures of Mr. Deaton cattle farm. The Understanding of the diversity of a Extensions office so called "job" has lead me to gain a passion for all people and their issues. It has lead me to believe that if you are in Extension its not a "job" but its a lifestyle.
In order to sort of sum up my summer and my project it taught me no matter the subject matter or the area of programming that you are in the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service is a family. We all have a purpose to educate and demonstrate the proper way to handle everyday task for the public to be better aware of hazards, and be better at their crafts. In my project it taught me how to handle a program that would benefit the community I was serving. It also taught me what I could strengthen for my future career. In all I was a blessed individual to work with the outstanding people that I did and I thank everyone for the opportunity.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

I Can't Believe the Summer is Over

As I approach the last week of my internship, I can't help but look back and think of how fast this summer has flown by. I've learned so much more than I thought was possible. Lessons that I'll take with me to use in my future career as well as whatever future endevors I may come across. If you'd asked me at the beginning of the summer, "Do you think Extension is the career path for you?" I would've responded with "I don't know if I'd like to do something like that," but now that the summer is over I've fallen in love with everything that extension stands for. I'm beyond blessed to have had the experience I've had this summer in extension, and even more blessed to have been able to spend it in Spencer County. Even though, Spencer County is my home county I wasn't involved in 4-H when I was younger, and wasn't sure what all extension even had to offer me now as just a community member. It's going to be extremely hard to leave the co-workers that have become more like family. 

When I leave extension I'll so many memories, from going to 4-H camp for the very first time to getting the behind the experience at the county fair to getting to teach different age groups from what I'm used to. I got to teach for my individual project and I helped teach a leadership class as Teen Conference. As an education major, they can teach all the tricks and engaging tips in the world to use on your students, but actually using them in a real life situation is different. Another that can't be taught is classroom management. One of my biggest fears thinking about student teaching in the spring was "How am I going to control 32 kids that have no idea who I am?" Now that I have experienced 4-H camp and teaching kids, I've learned that I do have the ability to control a classroom. I would've never guessed that extension would have taught me how to develop and adapt lessons plans I'm teaching, or teach me that going outside of your comfort zone can open up a variety of opportunities. I don't think I'll be able to thank extension enough or my co-workers for all the memories and experiences I've had the opportunity to be apart of.

I also got teach kids about Animal By Products for my individual project. I taught 6 different groups of children from ages 5-11 about the importance of the products that come from animals. The products that I introduced them to were things other than food. These were things that they use in their every day lives like deodorant, cosmetics, crayons, sports equipment, and so much more. The kids got to see disgrams with products that cam from a cow, pig, and sheep, as well as seeing some of those products up close and personal. The kids were really grossed out at first, but as they learned exactly how those products were made from animals they became amazed at how little they would have without the contribustions that livestock animals make to our every day lives. 

I can't wait to see where my future will take whether it be into a classroom or into extension I know that  I'm more prepared than I thought I would be before taking this internship. I love everything extension is, and am beyond happy that I recieved the opportunity to be an intern. I definitely wish it didn't have to come to an end. Until next time extension!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

A Summer To Remember

I’ve been dreading writing this post for the past two weeks. Tomorrow is my last day as Boyle County’s Cooperative Extension intern. I’ve done and learned so much that it’s impossible to describe the incredible experience I’ve had this summer. From day one, there was always something to do, with several different programs, clubs and events. Some of my favorites include Babysitting Academy, community service in school clubs, teaching canning and baking at project week, Cloverbud Camp and of course regular 4-H camp. These experiences tested me and taught me new skills and showed me what I was capable of accomplishing. I learned about more opportunities that Extension has to offer the community and how I could help youth in the community. The people I’ve worked with, both in my office and other agents, have touched my heart with how loving and kind they’ve been all summer long. I cannot thank my mentor and agent, Kim Ragland, enough for all the advice, encouragement and support she has given me. At the beginning of this summer, I loved 4-H and couldn’t wait to be a 4-H agent, and that’s still true today. I still have that love for 4-H and Cooperative Extension and believe in education of our youth and this summer has only increased that. It has definitely been a summer to remember!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

County Fair!!

The Meade County Fair has come and gone for 2016. While the actual fair only lasted a week, I feel as if we have been getting prepared for it since the beginning of summer, which is probably because we have been ever since we returned from 4-H Camp.
I have always enjoyed the county fair. When I was younger, my sisters and I would always enter a bunch of projects in the 4-H and Family Living sections of the Breckinridge County Fair. We also showed livestock at the county fair and my sisters still do. However, county fair week this year was a whole new ballgame for many reasons.
One reason is this year I was able to experience a completely different county’s  fair. I grew up in Breckinridge County so we always attended the Breckinridge County Fair almost every night because my mom and dad are on the fair board and we usually have to help do something every night of fair week. Even though I had to help with the Breckinridge County Fair, I did not get to experience all of the behind the scenes work that goes into all of the 4-H and general extension events that take place at the fair like I was able to experience this year.
Another reason this year was completely different for me is because the Meade County Fair is so much bigger than any county fair I have ever been to. There were almost 70 kids participate in the livestock shows alone at the Meade County Fair.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Meade County Fair. I especially liked working all of the livestock shows and working with all of the leaders and kids during the shows and during the Skill-A-Thon, which was my intern project for the summer. I enjoyed learning most of the ins and outs of the livestock programs and their youth livestock auction. It was crazy for me to see how different all of the Meade County 4-H fair events were compared to what I was used to in Breckinridge County. I hope to learn more about what Meade County does to get the word out about 4-H in the last few weeks of my internship and as Meade County gets ready to go back to school. 

Below are some pictures from Fair Week.  

Monday, August 1, 2016

12 Weeks is Already Over... How Did That Happen?

Well, this is it, the last week of my internship with Menifee County. How can 12 weeks have already passed? There is one thing I am sure of and that is this internship has been an educational experience unlike anything else! I have participated in things and met people that I will cherish forever!

My research project was a success! Finding more out about breed resistance to varroa mites will greatly help the community members of this county, as it will help the beekeepers decide which breeds to have or to cross their current hives with. While conducting the project, my knowledge of bees and bee behavior escalated significantly!

I also attended 4H camp for the first time in my life, which was a great experience! Being able to see the kids run free without a care in the world was awesome! I have helped our local farmers market numerous times. I have conducted many farm visits helping the local farmers determine problems that they are having, whether that be soil condition, pests, or diseases. I have helped conduct cloverbud camp as well as taught at a science camp. I have done countless other things, but listing them all would take too many pages. Overall, my knowledge of what extension is has grown drastically and has opened up my eyes that an extension agent needs to be a walking encyclopedia and a jack-of-all-trades!

Wrapping It Up In Harrison County

This week is my final week here at the office. I cannot believe how fast the summer has gone by. There are so many things that I have learned throughout my internship that I can apply to a future career. I have been beyond blessed to have had the opportunity to be an intern this summer. I have had many great memories with extension this summer and I hope to be an agent one day. I have come over a lot of fears and have grown from them.

Some of these fears include talking to kids. They are not as scary as they seem. I got better at talking in front of them. I experienced fair week from a different side and I was absolutely terrified about fair week. However, it went really smooth and I would love to help out again next year! I learned that extension is non stop all the time it seems like and that you are constantly bettering yourself for the community. I love the fact that everyone here at the office has so much passion behind bettering my hometown of Cynthiana.

On to my project:

My project was an over all success. The kids loved learning about terrariums and I absolutely loved teaching them. They did enter them into the county fair for some prizes. They learned about how the ecosystem works within the terrarium, along with what each component gives towards that type of environment. I gave a short PowerPoint Presentation first, followed by me doing a quick demonstration. With that demonstration I allowed the kids to tell me what went first into the jar. I hop to help out with this project in the future.