By Garrett Fong
Hello! My name is Garrett and I am this year’s summer intern for Archuleta County Colorado State University (CSU) Extension. I am a junior at CSU double majoring in animal science and agriculture education.
I am originally from a small town south of Sacramento, Calif. I was first introduced to agriculture through Future Farmers of America in high school, where I had a variety of livestock projects from goats to beef. I also held a variety of leadership roles through the program at and above the high school level. After an unusual year of online learning, being selected for this internship was a welcome opportunity for me to explore a new part of the state and see firsthand what role Extension plays in the community.
The Colorado State University Summer Extension Internship Program puts students from the CSU campus in or actively working with one of the many Extension offices around the state. More than doubling the number of interns from the previous year, there are currently around 66 students participating in the program this year. Each student is also supported by a mentor team composed of Extension agents and faculty from campus aimed at assisting the communities that each are based in. Pulling students from every college at the university from engineering to natural resources, and liberal arts to agriculture. Each opportunity provides a chance for the interns to discover how their major can fit into the Extension world.
My project this summer is to work on a goat grazing project, in partnership with Tim and Lisa Vail from Pagosa. I am aiming to examine the viability of a type of weed seed after passing through the goat’s digestive system. I took several gel caps filled with kocchia weed seeds and gave them to five different goats, three different breeds. After collecting what came out, the samples were mailed back to the main weed lab at the CSU campus to be germinated there.
Along with this, my role has also been to assist in other Extension duties. These include attending property visits, sitting in on collaborative meetings on various topics and programs including the annual weed tour held in Sambrito and the upcoming Goat Demonstration Day on July 10. (See below for more information.) The aim of the Extension Internship Program is to provide us students with different and unique experiences around the state. I strongly believe this program excels at providing a connection between the university and their Extension locations and the communities that they serve.
I think it is common for a place to develop a bubble where you live and it is something you do not realize until you get outside of that bubble. It was something that I experienced leaving California to come to Colorado for the first time and again leaving Fort Collins coming down to Pagosa Springs. Getting to experience life firsthand in a different part of Colorado has made me appreciate the different lifestyles that we all have. As an ambassador in the College of Agriculture, our new brand is “Come to the Table,” highlighting how every background and viewpoint around agriculture is valid and should be discussed. With the exposure to Extension that I have had so far, I believe that CSU Extension is serving and representing the Land Grant University mission very well. I am grateful for all that I have experienced here in Pagosa Springs and when I return to Fort Collins, will continue to advocate for more connections with university organizations and the Extension programs here in Archuleta County as well as around the state.
There will be a goat grazing demonstration on July 10 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the San Juan Conservation District and Natural Resources Conservation Service office located at 505A County Road 600 (Piedra Road). Come see goats eating weeds and get information on weed control. For more information, please call (970) 264-5931 or email Garrett.Fong@colostate.edu.
Fair set for Aug. 5-8
Have you ever wanted to enter the Archuleta County Fair? Maybe you are a bread maker or you preserve food. Maybe you grow vegetables, crops or flowers. Would you like to show off your goods? It’s easy. Go to https://www.archuletacountyfair.com/ and look up the 2021 Fair book. The rules are on page 24. Judging will be Aug. 4.
If you have further questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. You could be the grand champion at the Archuleta County Fair.
Visit us on the Web at https://archuleta.extension.colostate.edu/ or like us on Facebook and get more information: https://www.facebook.com/CSUARCHCTY.
CPR and first aid classes
CPR and first aid certification classes are offered monthly by the CSU Extension office, generally on the second Monday and Wednesday of each month from 6 to 10 p.m. The cost for the classes is $80 for combined CPR/first aid and $55 for CPR, first aid or recertification. Call the Extension office at 246-5931 to register.