Half a year ago, I received the call. I was heading to Oklahoma, a place that I only knew through the stories of my grandmother. She grew up in the oil fields of the Southern Plains. Her dad moved the family from town to town, oil rig to oil rig, during the same time that Lloyd Noble was building his reputation as one of the best drilling contractors in the area.
Oklahoma changed my life by showing me agriculture on the other side of the country, and Noble gave me a compass to help point me in the right direction. Now it's dependent on how I utilize these resources that will determine my future.
As I began the summer here in Ardmore, I didn't comprehend the experience I was about to have. I was able to work alongside some of the most influential ranchers north of the Red River and had the opportunity to understand the ranching way of life.
Recently 12 interns and three willing Noble employees embarked on a voyage to the bustling streets of Bricktown, an area of downtown Oklahoma City, Okla. As we drove to our destination in a caravan of white vehicles, I wondered what adventures were in store for us.
We started analyzing GrowSafe Beef data today. The GrowSafe Beef system is a ginormous database and the focus of my summer here with the Noble Research Institute.
A week ago during a quick agricultural consultants meeting, a tour group from the Universidad Autonoma Chapingo was mentioned. The group would be traveling 18 hours from just northeast of Mexico City to visit the Noble Research Institute and I would have the opportunity to assist with the tour.
My high school cross country team always said we ran because putting one foot in front of the other was about all we could manage. Well, there's some truth to that saying, particularly for me. The numerous times I've tripped while running hurdles is proof enough.
So one of the tasks we have taken upon ourselves as Summer Scholars is to try out the local fare. One weekend we made the short trip north from Ardmore, Okla., to small town named Davis for barbeque at Smokin' Joe's Rib Ranch.
Growing up, agriculture was symbolized by cattle, the hard work of my grandparents and the wide open spaces of northwestern Colorado. Today, as a Lloyd Noble Scholar in Agriculture, agriculture is being presented on a much larger scope and with a deeper significance that is no longer limited to just cattle.
A majority of our time at the Noble Research Institute the past few weeks has been consumed by the scholars' annual grazing project, consisting of prairie species identification and what seemed like endless moving of cattle. Through this process, we became relatively knowledgeable about these native grasslands and all that the prairie encompasses, which up to this point I had only read about in books.