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Extension internship “a great opportunity,” says Cassville resident Lindsey Worden

Cassville”s Lindsey Worden spent last summer as an extension intern, having fun and gaining experience that will help prepare her for a career in the dairy industry.

Worden”s experiences in 4-H prompted her to pursue an internship in extension. “I was a 4-H member for 10 years, and I really enjoy working with youth. I felt that it would be a great opportunity for me to be able to not only work with kids, but also get to travel around the state and make lots of new contacts within the industry,” she said. Worden is a junior double-majoring in dairy science and life sciences communications at the University of Wisconsin-Madison”s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

With all her 4-H experience, stepping into the internship wasn”t a great stretch for Worden. She worked for Ted Halbach, the UW-Madison extension dairy youth specialist, planning dairy events.

“I was mainly responsible for contacting volunteers, doing appropriate mailings, corresponding with participants, and writing press releases” she said. “At Area Animal Science Days and the State 4-H Senior Dairy Judging Contest, I helped select classes, make sure that they got to the ring on time, judged showmanship, and ran the reasons order. At the Wisconsin Junior State Fair, I coordinated the herdsmanship judging and the James W. Crowley Leadership Awards.

“I really enjoyed everything that I did!” she said. “Badger Dairy Camp and the Brown Swiss Youth Olympics were my two favorite events for the summer.

“Badger Dairy Camp was valuable because I did so much work ahead of time, I really felt like I had accomplished something when it was over, and I improved many skills while doing it. It was also a weekend-long event, so I got to know a lot of the kids better than I do at just a judging contest.

“I really enjoyed the Brown Swiss Youth Olympics because I worked with an organization that I knew nothing about, and met a lot of new people doing it. It was a pilot event, so it was fun getting to make something from scratch. I really enjoyed Jr. State Fair because I got to see a lot of the kids that I have worked with all summer and talk to them.”

In addition to having fun, Worden honed her life skills on the job. “My communication skills definitely improved. By having to talk on the phone, e-mail, and write letters, I learned to communicate much more effectively,” she said. “I also improved my troubleshooting skills, and working under pressure. I learned to get along and communicate with all different types of people, from judging team coaches to the 12-year old kid at Badger Dairy Camp.

“I did not have an experience this summer that I didn”t enjoy. Extension is definitely still a career possibility for me,” Worden said.

A scholarship awarded by the James W. Crowley Management and Extension Fund supported Vanderloop”s internship. The fund was established in honor of the late “Doc Jim” Crowley, an extension dairyman at the UW-Madison from 1950 to 1988.

“I really appreciate the suppose that the James W. Crowley Extension Fund provides for this internship,” Worden said. “I feel that it is a very valuable experience. I know that I definitely benefited from it, and I”m glad to know that others will be able to experience similar benefits from the program.”

“Dr. Jim Crowley”s dairy extension career epitomized what extension work is all about. He took technical information and taught dairy producers how to use this for their benefit back on the farm. As our dairy industry continues to apply innovations to everyday practices, we need bright, enthusiastic young people to carry on that Wisconsin tradition,” said Al Schultz, vice president of Vita Plus Corporation. “I am proud to be a part of the Crowley Fund Steering Committee and financially support several undergraduates as they ”try out” a job in dairy extension through a summer internship.”