Hello! My name is Isabella Maggard and I am an intern at the Virginia Cooperative Extension in Wise. Currently, I attend the University of Virginia’s College at Wise and am working towards a BS in biology. I love the outdoors and am passionate about keeping our environment healthy. My future goal is to become a conservation biologist and help our wildlife as well as our environment. As Thomas Jefferson once said, “No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden.” With this being said, I am very familiar with gardens and the problems that could possibly arise. My grandparents have raised a garden throughout the years and I frequently help them with planting and harvesting. One thing to remember is that gardening is laborious and takes a lot of time and dedication. However, it is also very rewarding when you have the finished product that you raised all on your own. With all of this being said, I am excited to work with the individuals that are in the Grow Wise program and assist them in any way that I can.

My first week as an intern was very exciting and I can not wait to see what the future holds. From touring the Powell River project, going on site visits, taking hay samples, and seeing the Coalfield Agriculture Center, my first week was by far fun. I enjoyed talking to Master Naturalist volunteers and people who are in our Grow Wise program. In fact, I got to see some of their gardens first hand. I look forward to meeting new people and building connections with the community. Likewise, I enjoy being outdoors and interacting with people of all ages. I hope that I can be helpful this summer to many people and I would like to provide the resources and aid that is needed to ensure that members of our community are successful in their quest to utilize the natural resources in our area.