As I landed at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport on June 8, I realized that I was no longer surrounded by the rolling hills of Central Pennsylvania and the roar of the Nittany Lion had almost been silenced. My beloved Nittany Lion fans have now been replaced by the Pokes, and I've traded in those hills for an endless view of range pastures and a flatter landscape, sometimes losing my sense of direction.
Growing up with Disney has led me to connect wildlife and fire with the image of a terrified Bambi running from an uncontrollable blaze. But, as is clearly demonstrated by the Noble Research Institute's use of prescribed burns, fire can be incredibly beneficial for the land, wildlife and agriculture.
Having the opportunity to attend the Beef Improvement Federation Conference in Oklahoma City with the Noble Research Institute and some of the other Lloyd Noble Scholars in Agriculture was a great experience. Not only did we enjoy the day, we also got to hear some of the current issues and problems different sectors of the beef industry are having.
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.
One of the best parts of being a summer scholar at the Noble Research Institute is all the amazing things you can take part in. The second week into our scholarnship, Summer, Anya and I all got to go with Dillon Payne and Josh Gaskamp to set up a hog trap.
Plants and I have an interesting history. Trees were only things to be climbed on days my mom had time for the emergency room (which thankfully was often), and vegetables in the garden gave up and died the moment I touched them.
A summer scholarship with the Noble Research Institute is serious business. There's no rest for the weary when you have feral hogs to trap, plant taxonomy to learn, 5 a.m. cattle to work and an all-day softball tournament to attend.
Perhaps it's just the week that I started, but thus far my time at Noble has taught me that there will be no such thing as an ordinary week.
Living on a farm teaches one a lot of things; for instance, that nature decides the present and future activities of each day. In my home state of Virginia, the mountains exhibit an air of majesty and power as they stand guard over the green rolling hills where the breeze rustles the tall grass.