From left to right: Breanna, Thomata, Kaity

From left to right: Breanna, Thomata, Kaity

Hello, my name is Breanna and I am a Rising Star Intern with Iowa State Extension and Outreach. I am currently a senior at Iowa State University studying design and Spanish.  My fellow interns, Kaity and Thomata will also be along for the journey. 

So far, we have visited multiple county offices to meet the Region 20 crews while making some amazing stops along the way. We began our day-long tour of the area in Louisa County where we stopped at the famous Swinging Bridge/Lovers Leap.

Our next stop was the Port Louisa National Wildlife Refuge where we saw tons of local, Iowan birds and turtles. Our next destination was the Des Moines County office in Mediapolis and ate lunch at a local diner, Apron Strings. The delicious home-cooked meal was just what I needed after a long weekend of moving. We continued our tour into Lee County where we stopped at Harvestville Farm outside Donnellson for some plant shopping and stole some sweet loving from new born kittens! We wrapped up our tour going through Fort Madison and onto Keokuk for dinner at Angelini's Italian Restaurant. Along the way we stopped at the Montrose Farmer's Market for some local, hand-made pies and fresh vegetables. 

I am looking forward to spending the summer learning, teaching and experiencing fresh local foods and events in the area; as well as meeting new people and getting to know more about the culture and history of this region in Iowa. And since I am new to the Mt. Pleasant area, stop in and say hello! 

Hello! My name is Kaity Brake and I’m one of the three Rising Star Interns of the southeast region for summer 2017! I’m originally from the opposite corner of the state, Storm Lake, IA, in the northwest. Currently; however, I’m a senior at Iowa State University studying graphic design and advertising.

This summer I’ll be promoting local foods and local food growers throughout the southeastern region of the state. I hope to visit a lot of farmer’s markets in the surrounding counties and learn about what makes local foods so great. The Rising Star team will be doing variety of educational activities, local food tastings, and cooking demos throughout the southeastern region so I hope to meet a lot of people out and about!

A quick highlight of our first two days in Mt. Pleasant: 

I and the other two rising star interns, Breanna and Thomata, visiting the surrounding county Iowa State University Extension and Outreach offices and met most of the people we will be working with this summer. We made a few pit stops to check out the Port Louisa National Wildlife Refuge and Geode State Park as well as enjoyed some local cuisine at Apron Strings in Mediapolis before visiting the Montrose Farmer's Market. We ended our day in Keokok with a wonderful Italian dinner at Angelini's. There's still lots more to see, so I'm looking forward to a great summer!

Hi, my name is Thomata Doe. I will begin my senior year this fall at Iowa State University with majors in Nutritional Science and Global Resource Systems. I am a Rising Star Intern serving in Region 20 for the summer of 2017. To my left and right are two more Rising Star Interns, Bre and Kaity. 

The first day we arrived in Mt. Pleasant, Janet, the regional director, invited the team to her home and we had dinner with her family. On Tuesday, we toured all four counties in region 20; Des Moines, Henry, Lee, and Louisa counties. We met many people in the extension offices, stopped at a local diner, restaurant, farm, and a farmer's market. One of the many favorite moments of mine was stopping at the Port Louisa National Wildlife Refuge in Wapello. 

I can already tell this summer will be filled with lots of excitement and opportunities to learn new things along the way! I look forward to working with local food growers and residents educate them about local foods.