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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?
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.
May 19 was a peculiar morning. The air was sticky, and the sky was gray. It was my first day of work as a Lloyd Noble Scholar in Agriculture. Nervous is not a word I commonly use to describe myself, but the anxiety I felt about the summer ahead had my stomach doing somersaults.
Twice a week for the last month, we have helped Ira and Seth with the rotational grazing project by collecting fecal and forage samples from 24 calves on 12, one-acre paddocks. The goal is to gather information about what the cattle eat and how plant communities respond in different grazing situations.
Looking at the stubborn seeds that had refused to germinate, it was clear that we would be repeating the experiment for the third time. The 360 sad, little Medicago truncatula seeds stared up at me from within their plastic tubes and refused to offer any usable data.
Last Wednesday night we got one of the emails we'd been anticipating all summer. The subject line was only one word, "Hogs," but we knew what the message said before we even opened it.
"Roller coaster" has been a common word in the agricultural community recently. I can't help but entertain a mental image of cowboys at a carnival, cotton candy in the hands of tough, weathered men wearing hats and blue jeans, all waiting to ride the Super Dragon.
After coming down from an epic hike in the Wichita Mountains, I thought it fitting to attend the Noble Foundation's latest installment of the Profiles and Perspectives Community Enrichment Series.
I am really trying to make the most of my time here in Ardmore. Today, we had a meeting about our final presentations. For my presentation I will be attempting to sum up the past three months of my life here into a mere 10-minute PowerPoint.
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.