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"We don’t have any financial restrictions…but we want to make money," Bryan Nichols, a livestock consultant and one of our acting "cooperators," instructed us a week ago as our team met to begin our rural life plan project, which will be the focus of our presentation at the end of the summer.
Conner and I got off to an early start this morning, along with Noble Livestock Consultant Bryan Nichols, Agricultural Economist Dan Childs and Research Associate Josh Gaskamp. When 5 a.m. rolled around, we loaded up in the car and made our way toward Combine, Texas.
One of the many projects we had the opportunity to partake of kicked off last weekend as Morgan, Helen and I headed to Tulsa on Friday afternoon. Our destination the next morning was the Cherry Street Farmers' Market, one of the largest farmers markets in Oklahoma.
The scope of my knowledge broadens on a daily basis here, as I am constantly learning not only from Noble Research Institute employees but also from my fellow scholars.
When I first heard about the Noble Research Institute's Lloyd Noble Scholars in Agriculture program, I was skeptical about moving to a small city. But with what I know now, I shouldn't have been.
At 7 a.m. on a Friday, we were huddled around the coffee machine before embarking on a farm visit to Dustin, Oklahoma.
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.
Growing up in southwest Oklahoma, I had little appreciation for pecans. My grandparents have a few trees on their place, and I remember them gathering pecans for Thanksgiving pecan pie when I was a child, but overall my perception of the industry was that it was small, perhaps nonexistent.
My first week at the Noble Research Institute has flown by and has been packed with meeting new people, learning about a new state and settling into my summer home in Ardmore, Oklahoma.