Summer intern experience
By: Tiffany Patrick
Summer Intern, Virginia Cooperative Extension
My internship this summer was much more than an internship. Along with all the things I was sent here to do, I learned much more. My main responsibility was data collection in the Variety Trial at Bald Top Brewing Company in Madison, VA.
Aside from that, I was also in the Culpeper Extension office doing many different activities, such as forage samples, hay samples, Cloverbub camp, and the annual Farm Show.
My data collections in the hop yard consisted of monitoring the growth of the plants, seeing which variety reached the peak of growth first, seeing which variety had cones first, and taking leaf samples for data collected back at VSU.
Some of my findings are as follows:
- The Zeus variety reached the top of the line (18 ft) first, followed by Cascade, Newport, Nugget and then Chinook.
- Several varieties reached the point of coning at the same time: Cascade and Zeus
I also kept record of when things were applied, such as fertilizer and pesticides. Below is some of my records:
- On 5/22/2017, 50 lbs of 34/0/0 granular fertilizer was applied
- Oxidate and boron were sprayed for mildew and insects on 5/31/2017
- The yard was mowed and weeded on 6/8/2017
- Oxidate was sprayed on 6/8/2017
- 8lbs of Miracle grow was added via irrigation 6/11/2017
This is the chart that shows how the varieties were planted in the yard:
I was housed for the first five weeks with a couple in Madison, VA that was provided by their donation. The second half of my stay, along with my travel funds, was provided by scholarship by the Ohrstrom foundation. My payment for the summer was provided in part by the Ohrstrom foundation, the George Washington Carver Regional High School Alumni Association and Virginia State University.
Now for some background about me. I am from Damascus, a small town in Southwest Virginia. I grew up on a small-scale farm, with goats and sheep that we raised for pleasure and showing, along with a garden that we harvested mostly for ourselves. But I have had my foot in just about everything throughout the years. I showed lamb and goats through 4-h and FFA, and I was very active in both.
In high school, FFA was my entire life. I competed in a variety of activities, such as parliamentary procedure, floriculture, creed speaking, livestock judging, etc. So you could say that I developed quite the passion for agriculture along the way. I decided my Junior year of high school that I wanted to pursue a degree in Agriculture Education. Of course, my ag teachers were thrilled and very helpful in the application and getting there process. My first school of choice wasn’t VSU, but I have no doubt that it is where I am supposed to be. My professors are pretty amazing, and even though my major is newer to the school, there are so many people who are excited about it and trying to push the program to its fullest potential. I am very excited to be one of the people who develops new ideas and getting to see where the program goes in the future. I believe that Agriculture Education is SO important and it’s in very high demand right now. The teachers that are out there now are older generations, and there aren’t many people who can truly see the importance of educating the up and coming generations. But they are our source of, well, everything. The farmers and people who grow and even market our daily essentials, are all older generations as well, so we need to be showing people the importance of Agriculture again. And I for one can’t wait to be apart of that process. I hope to one day spark the interests of young people enough that they, like me, develop a passion for Agriculture.