When was the last time you got up early enough to watch the sunrise? And, no, I don’t mean peaking out your window. I mean, sitting outside, in solitude, and watching the sunrise from start to finish. From the point where the stars are bright until the last of the circle is above the horizon. I used to watch these events unfold every morning while doing my rounds at the feedlots in Texas. There’s just something about having a flat landscape and being able to see the entire scope of the horizon that makes it special – being able to watch the whole world wake up.
I had the opportunity to do this during my cross-country trip this past summer when we camped out at Fort Reno, Oklahoma, just outside of Oklahoma City.
First, you have to start out when everything is still pitch black and only the stars are shining.
Trust me, it’s worth watching the entire event unfold.
Remember the cross-country trip I took late this past summer? It was 2,600 miles filled with fun and new experiences. More importantly, it was a great experience to learn more about diversity in forage management from producers across the country. No matter the environment in, no one style of management fits every farm or ranch.
I have the opportunity to share a few thoughts on the topic for Progressive Forage Grower magazine. Be sure to swing over and read the article – Learning from other producers
Late this summer I had the opportunity to travel across the country with a group of faculty and graduate students from five different universities.
We began in the Carolinas, traveled across Tennessee, then up through Missouri, into Kansas, Oklahoma and eventually Texas.
Our goal was to study grazing lands systems in different environments, and the tour included cow-calf, stocker and dairy operations with conventional and local and/or organic end-points.
The contrast and change in forage species and production from the Carolinas to the native prairies of the Kansas Flint Hills was very drastic.
One of the aspects that stuck with me was the great diversity of forage species each producer utilized. This year has been severely wet for many producers in the Southeast, while the High Plains are recovering from extreme drought conditions over the past few years.
The Pokes have a few promising options at quarterback, as usual I expect us to have an explosive offense. If the defense holds up their end of the deal, it should make for some great games against the likes of TCU, Kansas State, Texas, and Oklahoma.
I’ll actually be on campus in Knoxville as Tennessee opens up against Austin Peay. The Volunteers have a new coach, so it may prove to be an interesting season, though the SEC is a pretty rough conference once again this year. I just hope Alabama doesn’t make it all the way to the NC game again.
Who’s your team? How will they fare this season?
And for a little fun, here’s your Dip em and Pick em for Week 1 from Earl Dibbles Jr.
I’ve been out-of-pocket for the past few weeks. I took part in a Grazing Lands Ecology course this summer where we visited 7 states and traveled 2,600 miles over the course of 2 weeks. We started in Charlotte, traveled down to Clemson, all the way across Tennessee, up to Missouri and Kansas City, over to the Flint Hills, then down through Wichita, Oklahoma and eventually Dallas. This was a heck of a way to earn 3 course credits. Much easier and more intensive than sitting in a classroom throughout an entire semester.
We visited several beef cattle farms, a few dairies, an organic vegetable farm, several University research farms, a few family farms, a few historic sites, and a private research farm. There’s not many opportunities like that available at an affordable cost.
We focused primarily on forage management systems that varied between each farm visited. There are some great technologies available for producers to make the most efficient use of our resources. I look forward to them being employed on a larger number of operations in the near future.
I took a few hundred photos over the course of the two weeks, most of which are available on my Flickr page, but here are a few of my favorites.
I also had the opportunity to travel home for the first time since Christmas. 5 days was entirely too short of time to spend with the family, but we tried to make the most of it.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll have a few more posts sharing experiences from the trip, but don’t expect too many updates because I’m trying to buckle down on Thesis work.
Here’s a few important headlines I’ve missed from the past few weeks: