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Building New Learning Experiences for You

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Welcome to 2018 and the new Noble News and Views. I'm 10 words into this article, and you already have a question. Yes, the name of this newsletter has changed, but for an important reason.

Through each issue of Ag News and Views, our producer relations and agricultural staff have delivered expert counsel and research-based insights on a wide range of subjects that could impact your operation, including agricultural economics, livestock, pasture and range, soil and crops, wildlife and fisheries, and others.

The new Noble News and Views will provide the same quality information from the same experts with one important addition – more information about our research. The Noble Research Institute is one of the world's most distinguished plant science research organizations. Our research specifically focuses on benefiting farmers and ranchers through breeding improved forage varieties.

Therefore, moving forward, each issue of Noble News and Views will include insights into the research and plant breeding that may someday positively impact your operation. In the February issue, Associate Professor Kelly Craven, Ph.D., a scientist who studies fungi, will dive into the soil microbiome of plants and plant roots and talk about how this hidden world is critical to growing healthy crops and forages.

With increased representation of our research within the publication, we needed a name to reflect how the entire Noble team is committed to bring you this news and views. So again, welcome to Noble News and Views.

In 2017, we took a long look at our land manager and producer learning events. Noble events allow us to get together with regional land managers and producers to share knowledge and best management practices. These events include workshops, field days, seminars and conferences. From our review and your input, we believe there is some room for improvement.

This year, we are preparing to greatly expand and modify our learning activities. We are working to offer new events that answer your specific questions and offer hands-on approaches to give you skills to benefit your operations. We will be building events that focus on differing management skill sets — beginners to advanced. Further, we will build events that assist you in future learning, allowing you to build a base of knowledge as your experiences change.

The new model of education also means we will offer new mediums and new times to make learning more convenient. In addition to our live, hands-on events, we would like to find new ways to reach you if your weekdays are spent at your primary job or if you cannot travel to join us because, on that day, the farm or ranch needed your attention more. For example, we will be developing webinars, video learning series and a producer-focused online community. We want to make these learning opportunities as readily accessible as possible.

Kade Howard drives Howard Cattle Company livestock to their feeding troughs at the Howard Cattle Company

Lastly, we've heard your recent requests, and we plan to incorporate more opportunities into our events for participants to interact with and learn from each other. We have a lot to offer each other. Your collective experiences paired with Noble's consultants and researchers will provide a wealth of knowledge to improve farm efficiency and profitability while improving our land resource using good land stewardship practices.

More than ever, we need the ability to communicate with you electronically, whether delivering educational materials, notices of upcoming events or an educational event. As a starting point, we are moving away from a printed Noble News and Views. Our final printed Noble News and Views will be March 2018. After that, the entire publication will be available online and via email.

We invite you to visit bit.ly/news-and-views-survey and provide us with the best way to reach you as well as tell us a little about your current and future interests regarding your farm, ranch or land operations. We want to be able to connect you to relevant future events or other resources but not forward you information in which you have little or no interest.

Importantly, even if you currently receive Noble News and Views electronically, we ask you to visit to the above link to help us better communicate with you in the future.

For those who provide us their contact information, beginning in April, you will receive the same outstanding news and views information but in an e-version.

We invite you to join us on this journey as we take some bold steps to build a learning system to better serve you. We also hope you enjoy the additional insights into the outstanding research being conducted here at the Noble Research Institute everyday as we continue to provide solutions to great agricultural challenges.

Hugh Aljoe serves as the director of producer relations (consultation and ranch management) and a pasture and range consultant. He has been associated with Noble Research Institute since 1995. Prior to coming to Noble, he managed a 3,000-acre 1,500-head cattle operation in Texas. Hugh received his master’s degree in range science from Texas A&M University with emphasis in grazing management.