McDowell County Meet Ian

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Tubing on Lake James NCSummer isn’t always about fun in the sun. It can also be about having a fun, engaging, hands-on learning experience. North Carolina State Extension offers summer internships to students enrolled in a 4-year accredited college or university. They also must be enrolled in a course of study relevant to Extension along with other qualifications.

The Extension Summer Internship program has been successful since its start in 2014. This program provides a mutually beneficial experience for students to gain hands-on Extension experience and for Cooperative Extension Centers to expand their local programming.

N.C. Cooperative Extension – McDowell County Center is quite happy to participate in this program for 2021. We are deeply involved with engaging local farmers to enhance our local food system. Currently, we are facilitating a producer group, NC Farmers of the Foothills, to increase their marketing opportunities using an online marketplace and a multi-farm CSA. The summer internship will aid in making this goal a reality.

Ian CassidaMcDowell County meet Ian Cassida, our summer intern! Ian is majoring in Plant Biology at NC State University. He is a Goodnight Scholar and a native of Burnsville living in the Celo community.

“I have always had an interest in agriculture, gardening, and local foods, and previously, I have expressed this passion through heirloom seed saving projects, as well as working to bring student-grown produce into schools.”

Molly Sandfoss, County Extension Director, said, “Ian has already done so much in developing a software platform in his short time with us. I am very impressed with his ability to work independently.”

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Soon, look for the new and improved website, NC Farmers of the Foothills, to purchase local food from regional vendors. If you want to be a vendor, please reach out to Ian at 828-652-8104. He is looking forward to working with the people of McDowell County so please feel free to contact him.

NC Farmers of the Foothills logo