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It was a wet and unusually cool day for southern Oklahoma as four ag scholars crawled into the suburban to make the trek to the Addison ranch.
When a sizeable group of individuals who have lived in a state their whole lives question the existence of a destination, it generally does not bode well.
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.
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.
"So you made a theoretical plan for raising theoretical goats for a theoretical cooperator?" asked Luke Braswell, Noble Research Institute photographer, one evening as we were doing a Rural Life Team photo shoot. Though the plan and goats may not have been real, the time, effort and lessons I learned this summer from the Rural Life Plan project were definitely real.
"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.
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.
Feral hogs, branding laws, drought, grasshoppers. For most producers in Oklahoma, these words stir up feelings of frustration, stress or dread.
As my time at the Noble Research Institute comes to an end, I can't help but think back on all I have had the opportunity to do this summer.