Organization: OSU Wasco County Extension
Serves: Wasco, Hood River, Sherman, Gilliam and Wheeler Counties
Meet Sarah Kersten:
Sarah studied Health and Human Physiology (in the Health Promotion Track) at the University of Iowa. Sarah enjoys being active- the outdoors, hiking, running, ultimate Frisbee and more. Having fell in love with Oregon this winter visiting family, she is excited to return for the RARE program.
Community and Organization:
This placement is based out of The Dalles (pop. 5,000), which has played an economic and cultural role in the Pacific Northwest for millennia. A major trading post on the Columbia River, it was also a campsite for Lewis and Clark and stop on the Oregon Trail. It’s now the second largest city on the Oregon side of the Columbia River and the seat of Wasco County. The Wasco County Extension is an arm of the Oregon State University Extension Service, which serves a four county region of north-central Oregon.
The RARE participant, Sarah Kersten, will serve as the Community Food Systems Coordinator for the Oregon State University Wasco County Extension Service. Sarah will play an integral role in connecting OSU to partner agencies including Gorge Grown Food Network, North Central Public Health District, and Oregon Food Bank. Duties will include program management, assessment, community building, volunteer recruitment, teaching, and outreach. Programmatic thrusts include providing nutrition education, refining and adapting a Food Hero Volunteer Training program, conducting a feasibility study for community gardens in the region, serving as a liaison between OSU Extension and the Food Security Coalition, providing support to the Veggie Rx program, and developing a report to share project aims, outcomes, and recommendations with other partners.