Announcements

Cooperative Extension Service 2022 Summer Interns Announced

SUMMERTIME — Colton Hewitt, 17, will be one of 11 summer interns for the Cooperative Extension Service. The program will give interns the experience of working as an extension agent in multiple fields. (Image courtesy Colton Hewitt.)

By Rebekah Hall
U of A System Division of Agriculture 

Fast Facts:

  • 11 college students from Arkansas, Mississippi will participate in 10-week paid summer program
  • Program culminates in 4-H State O Rama
  • Interns will experience 4-H, agriculture, FCS programming

(1,186 words)
(Newsrooms: ‘Atalanta,’ ‘Rayvin’ and ‘Lensey’ are c.q.)
(With additional art at https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjzEzAA)

LITTLE ROCK — As college students prepare to enter the workforce, those with a passion for agriculture and helping others are searching for hands-on ways to apply their skills. The Cooperative Extension Service recently created a new learning opportunity for students at this intersection of interests.

In late 2021, extension announced the reinstitution of an internship program for college students interested in pursuing careers as extension agents. Extension’s three district directors, Carla Due, Kevin Lawson, and Jerry Clemons, selected 11 interns from universities in Arkansas and Mississippi for the 10-week paid program. Bob Scott, senior associate vice president for agriculture and extension for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said the intern program will help develop the next generation of extension employees.

“We decided to reinstitute an intern program to give college students a chance to experience what a career in extension might be like,” Scott said. He added that while the Division of Agriculture does hope to “identify potential county agents,” Scott also believes it will be an important learning experience regardless of what careers the students choose. 

The interns’ main program areas will be 4-H and agriculture, but Scott and Due both said students will take part in all program areas within extension regardless of their major.

Scott directed Due, Lawson and Clemons to develop the internship program. Due said she hoped that the first cohort of students will “become advocates for the work our County Extension Agents do” across all program disciplines. She added that another goal of the program is for the interns to “become a close group that will stay in touch past their college years and network professionally.”  

The 11 interns hail from across Arkansas and from Tennessee (by way of Mississippi).

2022 Cooperative Extension Service summer interns:

Atalanta Baker

Program area: 4-H

County: Conway

Hometown: Center Ridge, Arkansas

School: Arkansas Tech University

Major: Agricultural Business and Animal Science

Year: Rising senior

Why did you decide to apply for the CES internship program?

“I decided to apply to see what great opportunities the extension office offers and to hopefully find my forever home.”

Rayvin Callaway

Program area: Agriculture

County: Cleveland

Hometown: Star City, Arkansas

School: University of Arkansas at Monticello

Major: Double major in Animal Science and Agriculture Business

Year: Rising junior

Why did you decide to apply for the CES internship program?

“I applied for the CES internship program because I wanted to learn more about the role extension agents play in their community, county, and state, and work for the 4H members, preparing them to be leaders – one of my passions – and teaching them to believe in themselves and dream big. I also want to continue my learning in agriculture and grow the passion I already have for the industry.”

Brent Clark

Program area: 4-H

County: White

Hometown: El Paso, Arkansas

School: Arkansas State University – Beebe

Major: Agriculture Business

Year: Rising junior

Why did you decide to apply for the CES internship program?

“I applied for this internship because I wanted to gain quality work experience in a program that I believe in!” 

Rae Dawson

Program area: Agriculture

County: Craighead

Hometown: Signal Mountain, Tennessee

School: Mississippi State University

Major: Agriculture Business

Year: Senior, graduating in December

Why did you decide to apply for the CES internship program?

“When I heard about the CES internship program through a friend, I knew I had to apply! I am a people-oriented person, and I knew this internship would give me the opportunity to help others while gaining professional experience. I look forward to learning more about what Extension is as a career and making new connections! I’m so thankful for this opportunity, and I’m looking forward to being in Jonesboro for the summer!” 

Lensey Ford

Program area: Agriculture

County: White

Hometown: Bismarck, Arkansas

School: Southern Arkansas University

Major: Agriculture Education

Year: Senior, graduating in December

Why did you decide to apply for the CES internship program?

“I decided to apply for this internship so that I can be immersed in the world of extension. I love agriculture and it is my passion. I wanted to further involve myself in the agriculture world and make many more valuable connections.”

Sarah Gaskin

Program area: 4-H

County: Independence

Hometown: Bald Knob, Arkansas

School: Arkansas State University – Jonesboro

Major: Agriculture Education, minor in Plant Science

Year: Rising senior

Why did you decide to apply for the CES internship program?

“I saw this as an excellent opportunity to have more insight and hands-on experience in my dream career.”

Colton Hewitt

Program area: Agriculture

County: Little River

Hometown: Fouke, Arkansas

School: Southern Arkansas University

Major: Agricultural Education

Year: Rising junior

Why did you decide to apply for the CES internship program?

“I applied for the CES internship program because I wanted to learn more about extension and see what extension agents do on a day-to-day basis. I want to see if I would be interested in pursuing a career in extension.”

Belle Richardson

Program area: Agriculture

County: Yell

Hometown: Bluffton, Arkansas

School: Southern Arkansas University

Major: Agriculture Business

Year: Rising senior

Why did you decide to apply for the CES internship program?

“I applied to the CES Internship because I want to be an advocate and leader within the agriculture community. I admire the impact of my county agents, so when I heard about the internship program, I knew I had found my calling.”

Caitlyn Simon

Program area: Agriculture

County: Faulkner,

Hometown: Conway, Arkansas

School: University of Arkansas

Major: Agricultural Systems Technology, minor in Agribusiness 

Year: Rising junior

Why did you decide to apply for the CES internship program?

“I applied for the CES internship program for several reasons. I always knew my local county extension agents growing up and didn’t truly understand or know what they did, but I always thought they had a fun job. I have grown up in the agriculture industry my whole life, and after college I plan to find a job in the agriculture industry where I can help make a difference for farmers. I am very excited to be an Extension intern this summer and learn about agriculture from a different perspective.”

Stephanie Ward

Program area: 4-H

County: Lonoke

Hometown: Beebe, Arkansas

School: Associates of Science from Arkansas State University – Beebe, heading to Arkansas State University Jonesboro in the fall to finish bachelors

Major: Agricultural Education

Year: Rising junior

Why did you decide to apply for the CES internship program?

“I applied for this internship because I wanted to widen the variety of experience I will have when I graduate and look for a full-time job. I worked in the plant pathology department last summer in Lonoke and learned a lot, and I figured it would be just as fun and educational to try something new too!”

Anna White

Program area: Agriculture

County: Miller

Hometown: Greenbrier, Arkansas

School: Southern Arkansas University

Major: Agriculture Education

Year: Senior, graduating in December

Why did you decide to apply for the CES internship program?

“I’ve been wanting to be an extension agent for a few years now, and this internship will be the perfect opportunity to do that. I’m really excited to start!”

To learn about extension programs in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit www.uaex.uada.edu. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @AR_Extension. To learn more about Division of Agriculture research, visit the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station website: https://aaes.uark.edu. Follow on Twitter at @ArkAgResearch. To learn more about the Division of Agriculture, visit https://uada.edu/. Follow us on Twitter at @AgInArk.

About the Division of Agriculture

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system. 

The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.  

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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