UACES Facebook Cooperative Extension Service summer internship program alumna plans for career in extension
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Cooperative Extension Service summer internship program alumna plans for career in extension

Oct. 19, 2022 

By Rebekah Hall
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Fast Facts:

  • Extension taking applications for 2023 summer interns
  • 2022 intern Rayvin Callaway says ‘my passion for extension went off the rails’
  • Visit to apply

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WARREN, Ark. — When considering whether to pursue a summer internship, Rayvin Callaway has three words of career advice: “Just try it.”

HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE — Rayvin Callaway, a member of the first class of Cooperative Extension Service summer interns since the institution reintroduced the program in 2022, tries her hand at grafting a tomato plant while based at Bradley County extension. (Division of Agriculture photo.) 

Callaway was among the first class of Cooperative Extension Service interns since the institution reintroduced the program in 2022, working a 10-week paid summer internship at the Bradley County Extension Office.

The internship opportunity recently opened for the summer of 2023, and incoming college juniors and seniors seeking a degree in agriculture or family and consumer sciences-related fields are encouraged to apply. Applications will close Jan. 3.

This year, 11 interns served in counties across Arkansas. Carla Due, extension Ouachita District Director for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said the success of this group of interns prompted the decision to offer the program again in 2023.

“They were so excited to learn more about what a county extension agent does for their communities, as they were immersed into the extension program in the county where they served,” Due said. “They worked with all the agents in the office, even if it was not in their program of study, so they had a better idea of how county agents work as a team. I wish they were all available to hire right now.”

Callaway, 20, is a junior at the University of Arkansas at Monticello, where she’s double majoring in Animal Science and Plant and Soil Science. A native of Star City, Callaway was a member of the Lincoln County Critters 4-H Club, where her main project was livestock, including cattle, rabbits and poultry. She said her participation in 4-H was one reason she applied for the Cooperative Extension Service’s internship program.

“I knew I loved working with 4-Hers, and when I got accepted to the internship program, my passion for extension went off the rails,” Callaway said.

While based in Bradley County, Callaway said she also traveled frequently to work in Cleveland, Desha, Drew and Lincoln counties.

“They really instilled in me, throughout the entire summer, how awesome of a job extension is,” Callaway said. “You get good family time, you work with 4-Hers, you get to do the research side, and you get to do the learning side. I’d never really worked with horticulture crops, so when I got to do that, that was very new to me. All summer, I was learning new things and picking up on new ideas.”

Though Callaway’s assigned program area was agriculture, she said she learned about the roles of family and consumer sciences and 4-H agents as well. Over the summer she attended agent trainings, the Farm Bill hearing in Jonesboro, worked with 4-H members and got to see firsthand how multi-faceted an agent’s role can be.

“Every day is different for an extension agent, and that was something that really made me more interested in the job,” she said.

Though Callaway said she “does not have a green thumb at all,” one of her favorite experiences of the internship was working with John Gavin, Bradley County extension staff chair, to transplant one variety of tomato plant into another variety.

“You conjoined them together to make them grow. One was resistant to fungus, and one had good yield,” Callaway said. “I was like, ‘Wow, I didn’t know this was something you could do.’”

Gavin said Callaway “brought a boost of energy, creativity and enthusiasm” to Bradley County extension’s agriculture, 4-H and family and consumer sciences programming.

“She showed an exceptional passion for working with livestock and a broad spectrum of interest in agriculture, including commercial horticulture lawns and gardens,” Gavin said. “We enjoyed our time with Rayvin and benefited from her enthusiasm.”

Callaway said that before her internship, she was double majoring in Animal Science and Agriculture Business, but after working with extension, she switched her second major to Plant and Soil Science.

“Once I stepped into the role as intern, I thought, ‘Maybe I do need that plant and soil science background,’ especially because of where I’m from in the state,” Callaway said. “We mainly have row crops here in the southeast portion of the state. So, with Plant and Soil Science, even just a bachelor’s degree in it would help me in the long run. This whole experience has just jump-started my knowledge and supported my choice to change majors.”

Callaway said that when she finishes school, she plans to pursue a career as an extension agent.

“When I graduate, this is exactly where I want to be,” she said. “The people there are nice, the whole organization is where I want to be.”

Callaway is a member of the UAM Pre-Vet Club and the National Society of Leadership and Success, serves as president of the UAM Collegiate Cattlemen’s Association and vice president of the UAM Collegiate Farm Bureau Association, and recently served on the 2022 UAM Homecoming Court.

Callaway said she would “love to do the internship program again” and has already applied for the summer 2023 session. She said she encourages her peers to do so as well.

“Take the leap,” she said. “Go and apply for everything you can, and whatever you get accepted for, if they come back for an interview and they offer you this job, take it. Because it’s only a 10-week program. If you don’t like it, it’s not the rest of your life. Just try it. Just take it and run with it.”

For more information about internships and other employment with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, contact Human Resources at 501-671-2219 or at To apply online, visit

To learn about extension programs in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @AR_Extension. To learn more about Division of Agriculture research, visit the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station website: Follow on Twitter at @ArkAgResearch. To learn more about the Division of Agriculture, visit Follow us on Twitter at @AgInArk.


About the Division of Agriculture

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system. 

The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.  

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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Media Contact:
Rebekah Hall