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As I watched this ballet of wind and water elementals I thought quietly to myself—actually I had to scream-think it because of the noise of the maelstrom – "Boy, was this Iowa boy ever ignorant. How could I ever have thought that this place was a desert?"
When Center for Pecan and Specialty Agriculture manager Charles Rohla asked me to help at this year's Oklahoma Pecan Growers Association Convention, I was elated to expand my knowledge on this specialty crop.
Before I left home to head to Ardmore, I was told numerous times that I needed a boat in order to get around. I didn’t take much heed to this advice, though I almost needed to.
I have traveled a couple of miles in my short lifetime, but generally my time has been spent inside conference centers. This trip was a little different.
From my first week at the Noble Research Institute, I’ve been growing and taking care of several flats of Setaria viridis, more commonly known as green foxtails.
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.
Recently 12 interns and three willing Noble employees embarked on a voyage to the bustling streets of Bricktown, an area of downtown Oklahoma City, Okla. As we drove to our destination in a caravan of white vehicles, I wondered what adventures were in store for us.
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.
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.