Pike County Times

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PO Box 843, Zebulon, Georgia 30295. You can donate through PayPal at the link on the bottom of the page. Becky Watts: Phone # 770-468-7583 editor(@)pikecountytimes.com
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Intern's Final Letter

ZEBULON - Alexis Barker is a 2021-2022 intern with the UGA Pike County Extension office and a class of 2022 senior at Pike County High School. She will graduate in May and will attend college in the fall as a part of the University of Georgia’s Class of 2026. She plans to study Molecular Biology on a Pre-Med track with aspirations to become a pediatrician. Over the course of this year, Alexis has interned with the UGA Pike County Extension office under county agent, Brooklyne Wassel. Alexis was part of the STEM program in high school where she studied Basic Agriculture, Horticulture, and Landscape design, which made this internship a perfect opportunity to expand her knowledge on those subjects. Under the supervision of the county extension agent, Alexis was able to participate in a variety of activities from, collecting data for Georgia Adopt-A-Stream, to assisting in research for a study on Ambrosia beetles conducted by the University of Georgia Griffin campus. She was also trained to pull soil samples for testing of soil pH and fertility to assist clients with sustainability and productivity.

During her internship, Alexis and Brooklyne visited local plant nurseries to assist farmers with production questions and concerns. The visits were not confined to only farms; at times, they travelled to homeowners that needed advice on anything from invasive plants in their yard to problems with their lawn. Throughout the warmer months, Alexis helped collect Ambrosia Beetles from traps set around the property at Mid Georgia Nursery. The purpose of this study was to serve an indicator to local producers when Ambrosia Beetle flights occur to time pesticide application accordingly. Looking back at the various projects and research that was done this year, Alexis’s favorite project was working with Adopt-A-Stream. She was taught how to find the conductivity and water temperature of a stream using a conductivity meter and perform titrations to find the dissolved oxygen levels. When Alexis wasn’t out doing research, she was in the office writing articles for the ANR monthly report. She also wrote a poem for the River of Words contest, as well as writing essays for the 4-H Horse and Bee essay contests.

Alexis greatly enjoyed her time interning at the extension office and is grateful for the knowledge that she has gained and the people she has met along the way. “This has been a one of a kind experience, and I believe it has been one of the most valuable ways that I have spent my time during senior year.”, says Alexis as she is entering the end of her school year and internship. The Pike County Extension office and Agent Brooklyne Wassel have done a great job at teaching me not only about agriculture, but the value of an extension office itself.

Submitted 5.27.22