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Department of Curriculum & Instruction
College of Education
University of Idaho
Moscow, Idaho 83844
Phone: (208) 885-6587

Coeur d'Alene

Dr. Paul Gathercoal
College of Education
University of Idaho
Moscow, Idaho 83844-3080
(208) 885-5707

Dr. Anne Kern
College of Education
University of Idaho
Coeur d' Alene Center
Coeur d' Alene, Idaho 83814-5497
(208) 292-1402


Department of Curriculum & Instruction
College of Education
University of Idaho
Moscow, Idaho 83844
Phone: (208) 885-6587

From Farm to Class

By Allison R. Stormo

Cara PatoneA passion for teaching led junior Cara Pantone to spend a summer on a farm and in the fields to better prepare for the classroom.

While the program’s connection to a future teaching career might not seem obvious at first, Pantone found
valuable lessons that apply to her career goals.

The secondary education major spent the summer of 2013 on a paid internship with the University of Idaho
Extension’s Gooding office doing what she describes as an “eclectic” mix of duties. “The purpose of the
internship was to expose the intern to the different areas of Extension,” Pantone said.

She took on projects in outreach and research with dairies and the Gooding community garden
while working with specialists such as Mario E. de Haro-Marti, who serves as Extension Educator and
specializes in dairy/livestock environmental education.  

“She wasn’t afraid of doing anything,” de Haro-Marti said of Pantone.

Her projects ranged from writing and editing the community garden’s newsletter to digging ditches and
helping to gather milk and blood samples from dairy cows for a study.

“There were days I literally was working from 4 a.m. until 2 in the afternoon,” Pantone said.

The hard work didn’t deter her, nor was it unfamiliar. The Shoshone native grew up on a cattle ranch, was
involved in FFA as a youth and served as a state FFA officer during her freshman year of college. That
background was part of what attracted her to the Extension internship, even though it didn’t directly
relate to her goal of being a high school educator. Pantone said it’s important for her to have a job and
work hard, but also to have different experiences and be able to have respect for people’s backgrounds and
what they do.

“It is important for me to have practical experience before I teach it,” she said.

De Haro-Marti helped ensure that Pantone gained that practical experience. He creates projects so that students learn and aren’t bored. He assigns interns to create promotional materials and prepare a class for the community garden in addition to creating the newsletter.

“I don’t want them pulling weeds all day,” he said.

Pantone arranged the class, prepared and organized materials and brought her own ideas on presenting the materials to an audience that often includes an audience of diverse community members.

“You don’t always have a captive audience and it teaches you to sharpen your technique to attract the audience,” de Haro-Marti said. “(Pantone) will go to the classroom and apply the experience and understand students better.”

Among the internship’s highlights for Pantone were being able to experience the community through the garden and interacting with people from different generations with different backgrounds, she said.

“I think it helped me fully embrace that education isn’t always in a classroom and doesn’t always come from a book,” Pantone said.

That experience has strengthened her desire to teach not only students, but the public at large. She was able to combine teaching with enhancing people’s awareness of nutrition and the environment. The secondary education major is aiming for a minor in Spanish.

Ultimately though, “Secondary education is definitely what I am passionate about,” she said.