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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.
Dirt, better known in agriculture as soil, is a structure held together by a network of roots and a media plants sustain life from. Last week, children from the Communities in Schools program learned more about agriculture through the eyes of a soil scientist.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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?
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.
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.