Mules and Mud
Each day at the Noble Research Institute offers another opportunity to learn, as well as fosters an atmosphere for laughter. This past week at Oswalt ranch, we clambered onto the Kawasaki Mule and started off to find quail posts ... or so we thought.
We came upon a sandy spot that crisscrossed a shallow, rocky creek bottom. It was a little soggier than usual as it had rained the night before, but another Utility ATV made it across fine. We proceeded to cross, but, to our dismay, started sliding on the gravelly sand. The Mule dug in, but the tires only spun, sending mud flying and the tires deeper. Yep ... 'mud' bogging at its finest.
After a couple of hours of critical thinking when the ingenuity light bulbs had finally dimmed, we determined that we needed the truck to pull the Mule out. Bottom line, we never did find all the quail posts that day ... but we did realize that not all mules are 'surefooted.'
Kristen Ulmer is a 2013 Lloyd Noble Scholar in Agriculture from Broadway, Va. She is a senior at Virginia Tech, majoring in animal and poultry sciences with two minors in agribusiness and crop and soil environmental sciences.