The mob grazing project for the Lloyd Noble Scholars in Agriculture came as a blessing for the early birds in our group, but a rude awakening to the night owls.
The sun breaks over the shrubby horizon, warming the Oklahoma landscape and setting the sky ablaze with the vibrant pinks and oranges of dawn. On the slight ridge that overlooks the cattle pastures of Oswalt Ranch, the cowboy surveys the fields from atop his trusty steed, a green four-wheeler ... wait a second! What happened to his horse?
Our Lloyd Noble Scholars in Agriculture group was completed this week with addition of Anna Stehle from the University of Washington. All total, we now have seven girls and one guy. Poor Andrew is hopelessly outmatched.
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 My beloved Nittany Lion fans have now been replaced by the Pokes, and I've traded in those hills for an endless view of range pastures and a flatter landscape, sometimes losing my sense of direction.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.