Summer Internship Program: Westmoreland and Richmond County (Northern Neck)

westmoreland map

Primary Program Area Focus:   4-H and ANR

1. Describe your plans for this internship.  (i.e. What specifically will the intern be doing?)

This 10-week position shared between Westmoreland and Richmond Counties on the Northern Neck of Virginia will contribute to both the agriculture and 4-H Extension program areas.  Based on the current COVID-19 restrictions, the intern may telework for two or more days per week.    


    -contribute to on-farm research and demonstration plots in grains and vegetables

    -participate in weekly monitoring and scouting of crops and the Rappahannock River

    -attend field days and other agriculture programs with the opportunity to present material

    -assist in troubleshooting field crop, vegetable, and nursery crop production problems  

4-H Youth Development:

    -prepare for, attend and teach at 4-H Jr. Camp and local day camps (virtual or in-person)

    -assist with prep work and running 4-H programs at the Richmond County Fair

    -provide support for existing long term 4-H clubs and volunteers

    -compile/create materials for 4-H school enrichment programs

2. Describe the knowledge / skills you expect the intern to gain from this experience.

The summer intern will develop an understanding of all program areas of Virginia Cooperative Extension by working with both the Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) and 4-H agents, as well as by delivering interdisciplinary programs.  The intern will specifically gain experience in conducting on-farm replicated research, including plot design, data collection and data summary, as well as the importance of the results to the farming community.  The intern will learn the steps in diagnosing plant problems in the field, as well as learn how to use resources such as VCE publications, diagnostic labs, and collaborations with Extension specialists to determine the problem and the solution.  The intern will be exposed to and learn about the diverse agricultural industry in Westmoreland County which includes field crops, vegetables, and greenhouse/nursery crops. 

The 4-H experience will include learning how to plan and deliver intentional programming that is developmentally appropriate.  Content areas may include leadership, STEM, stewardship, health and wellness, and risk management.  The Extension programming model will be used to develop programs so that the intern can experience how programs are needs-based and begin with the end in mind.

3. How will the intern learn about the breadth of VCE and our various program areas?

The intern position is shared between ANR and 4-H, so s/he will have hands-on experiences in both these program areas.  Interdisciplinary programs such as 4-H Pizza Camp will expose the intern to some FCS programming and to the Family Nutrition Program.  In addition, the intern will learn the importance of volunteers to Extension programming by working with the Northern Neck Master Gardeners and/or Northern Neck Master Naturalists and participating in teen and adult volunteer leader training for 4-H camp. 

The intern will also spend time in each office participating in daily operations.  This should reveal the depth and breadth of questions and requests that Extension offices handle daily.  The intern will participate in staff conferences to observe how the dynamic office operations and programming all come together to deliver the mission of Extension.