Extension Interns Gain Real-World Experience and Serve Local Communities

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Raleigh, N.C. – NC State Extension proudly announces that Tanner Collier is completing a summer internship with the Caldwell County Center, gaining hands-on experience and serving the local community.

As an Extension summer intern, Collier is working closely with Extension personnel to deliver educational programs that connect communities with research-based information. Through job shadowing and mentoring, interns like Collier learn about the mission and work of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension.

“Extension makes a positive difference in the community every day,” said Dr. Richard Bonanno, Associate Dean of the NC State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Director of NC State Extension. “We provide educational programs that connect communities with research-based information. Our internship program is another way we help prepare students for challenging and rewarding careers in food, agriculture, natural resources, and family and consumer sciences.”

Collier, a native of Lenoir and a senior at NC State majoring in Agricultural Science, brings a wealth of local knowledge and enthusiasm to his role.

In an interview, Collier shared insights about his background and the relevance of his education to his internship:

Can you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your background?

“My name is Tanner Collier, and I am the 2024 Extension Intern for Caldwell County. I was born and raised in Lenoir, North Carolina, where I attended West Caldwell High School. I was part of the FFA Chapter and the baseball team. My high school agriculture classes exposed me to the industry and inspired me to pursue a degree in Agriculture.”

What is your educational background, and how does it relate to this internship?

“I am currently an upcoming senior at NC State University, majoring in Agricultural Science with minors in Horticulture, Crop Science, Extension Education, and Environmental Education. My major encompasses leadership, communication, and extension, which are all crucial skills for this internship. This program has provided me with knowledge and experience in leadership, teamwork, strong communication, and public education—all essential for working in Extension.”

What do you think are the most important qualities for someone in your position?

I think the most important qualities are that they have to be organized, flexible, outgoing, and collaborative.

How do you see the role of NC State Extension in the community?E

Extension is the backbone between the community and the university. Through Extension, the community can ask questions and receive answers that are fact-based and found via research. Extension relays information and research to the community in a way that the community will be able to understand it.

Collier’s passion and dedication are evident as he begins his internship, aiming to make a positive impact on the Caldwell County community and gain invaluable experience for his future career in agriculture. Stay tuned for his exit interview when he completes his internship at the end of July!