By Megan Schulte, U of M Student
During my internship with Clark County 4-H and Agricultural Extension, I was able to work with the extension agents to mold my internship around my interests. With my background in 4-H, I wanted to do a wide variety of tasks within their county program. Growing up on a dairy farm, I have a huge interest in all things that have to do with cows. So when it came to Ag Extension, I was luckily able to focus on the dairy and crop side of things! For example, I had the opportunity to help coach the county’s 4-H dairy judging team after their coach retired. At the end of the summer, I was able to chaperone the dairy kids from the county on their trip to the state fair.
The first week of my internship, I started planning three different summer camps. The first camp was a 4-day, 3-night extended camp for older 4-H members. It was held at a private lakefront campground, and we were able to go hiking, swimming, and canoeing every day! One of my favorite memories was when the campers performed the skits they had been preparing throughout their time at camp. After that camp, I planned and facilitated two other camps: an overnight for middle school 4-H’ers and a day camp for Cloverbuds and Explorers.
After camp season ended, I dove right into planning two events for the Clark County Fair. The first was an end-of-the-year party for 4-H’ers to celebrate the accomplishments of the year. This event was held at the dairy show arena. There were various activities and games for members to play, and we also recognized some of the major accomplishments of various members (including the results from the dairy judging contest and the awards members won at the Wisconsin State Fair). The second event I planned was a showcase of various theater projects. The theater aspect of 4-H is something that is often forgotten, as the performances don’t occur at the county fair. This event allowed the members involved in that project to showcase their talents to visitors at the county fair.
With a lot of my time over the summer spent on 4-H, I didn’t have a lot of time to work with the Agricultural Extension agent. However, I was able to help do a few tasks including counting bug traps around the county. Whenever I had spare time, I was able to travel around the county and tour dairy farms, including two different robotic milking set ups and the USDA farm in Marshfield, Wisconsin.
I was able to utilize other talents unrelated to agriculture throughout this internship as well. Because of my passion for photography and Clark County’s need for photos from various 4-H events, I was able to capture high-quality images that were used in their newsletter and on social media outlets. At the extended summer camp, I took pictures of the members participating in activities, designed a slideshow, and created a DVD each of the campers.