Sonoma County Farm Bureau Welcomes Two Summer Interns

Written By: Brytann Busick
Published: June 3, 2020

Avery Essick

I was born and raised in Sonoma County. I grew up in Cloverdale and attended Cloverdale schools and then went to Santa Rosa Junior College after graduating high school. There, I received two Associate’s Degrees in Communications and Political Science. My family has deep ties to Sonoma County agriculture. I am a member of the Duer family which has been in Sonoma County since the 1890s. Our family had a well drilling business and provided water services to agriculture in Sonoma County.

I just finished my 3rd year at Boise State University where I am a Communications major and am also working towards a minor in Political Communication and a Leadership certificate. I have found a passion for advocacy and public service. I am hoping to come back to Sonoma County and find a job in community engagement work and government affairs.

I wanted to intern at the Sonoma County Farm Bureau because I realize how important agriculture is to our county. The Farm Bureau does a fantastic job advocating for our farmers. I found that my interests and skills closely align with the work the Sonoma County Farm Bureau is doing, and I believe I could make a significant contribution to the Farm Bureau’s efforts in community outreach and public education to further the Farm Bureau’s mission of advocacy.

In my internship, I am most looking forward to learning more about the Sonoma County Farm Bureau and how agriculture plays a role in the heart of Sonoma County. I am excited to better my understanding of community and government affairs as it relates to Sonoma County agriculture and how I can better advocate for agricultural interests in Sonoma County. I am also excited about the opportunity to utilize the relationship-building, communication, and public service skills I have developed in and outside the classroom to help the Sonoma County Farm Bureau achieve its mission and vision.

Before the COVID-19 crisis, I was excited to work on community events and fundraisers during my internship. Now, I look forward to learning more about community and government affairs during my internship. I’m excited about the opportunity to help the Sonoma County Farm Bureau in any capacity they may need.

I had to come home from my spring semester at BSU early because of the COVID- 19 Pandemic. I see the concern and stress the pandemic has brought to the community. As we are working towards getting back to normal, I am grateful for the opportunity from Sonoma County Farm Bureau to help my friends and neighbors in agriculture wherever I can.

Gillian Rhoads-Albert 

I am 21 years old and was born and raised in Chico. I am the first in my immediate family to be pursuing a degree in agriculture. I am currently attending CSU, Chico as a full-time student. I just finished my third year of school and am studying Agriculture Business and minoring in Animal Science. 

Surprisingly, I grew up not really having strong ties to agriculture. It wasn’t until I got into high school that I learned more about agriculture. I participated in FFA in my sophomore year and that was the extent of my exposure to agriculture at that point. It wasn’t until I got into college that my passion for agriculture grew. I changed my major from Communications to Ag Business when I was attending freshman orientation, and I am so happy I did. In my sophomore year, I joined Sigma Alpha, a professional agricultural sorority. My goal with joining the sorority was to not only make life-long friends but to better myself as a future professional in the agriculture industry. Being in the sorority has allowed me to gain more confidence and to find ways to strengthen my ties to agriculture through industry tours and volunteering. 

My future goals are to one day own and operate a cattle ranch and to make an impact on the agriculture industry. I feel it is important to be strong advocates for the ag industry and to teach young generations about the importance of agriculture to the well-being of society. I have also considered pursuing a Master’s Degree after graduating from Chico State. 

One of the reasons why I was interested in interning for the Sonoma County Farm Bureau was because of the commitment to agriculture in Sonoma County. What really drew me in was the fact that there are people who are committed to protecting and maintaining the rangeland that is home to several different sectors of agriculture. Having seen the devastation of the Camp Fire back in 2018, I feel it is important that our land is protected from future devastation. What also drew me to the Sonoma County Farm Bureau was its mission to be advocates for agriculture and to teach the younger generations about the importance of agriculture. 

What I am looking forward to the most during my internship is being able to network with different agri-businesses. Sonoma County is rich in agriculture, and I feel it is important to create strong connections with professionals in the industry. I am excited to experience working in a professional workplace and I also hope to work on my public-speaking skills. 

Due to COVID-19, I will be working remotely from my aunt’s house in Santa Rosa for the first few weeks of my internship. A lot of the work I will be focusing on is creating talking points for advocating for agriculture. The COVID-19 Pandemic and the Shelter in Place Order has really impacted my life. Chico State decided to have the rest of the Spring 2020 semester transition to an online format. Not only was it an adjustment to switch to online classes, but it has also been hard not being able to spend time with my friends and sorority sisters. I am a huge supporter of small business, and it hurts my heart knowing a lot of small business owners are hurting financially during this Pandemic. I know it is going to take time for everyone to bounce back, but I am excited for the day that life will hopefully start to feel normal again. 

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