Monthly Archives: September 2011

Rain Boots, Norts or Both??

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Whether we know it or not, we’ve all been greatly affected by the temperamental weather that plagues our country.  In many places, especially central Oklahoma, we’ve been experiencing a drought. Some areas in the country, however, have had flooding or even frost. We know mother nature sometimes likes to have her fun and play tricks on us.

The recent weather has certainly taken it’s toll on soybean production.  In places like Minnesota, soybeans have been hit because of long boughts of late season drought. Recently however, soybeans have been hit by frosts.  Soybean production is suffering from both ends of the spectrum of weather patterns. This could cause a huge problem for people in the United States and around the world.

Soybeans are important to our country. We use soybeans for everything from livestock food to food humans eat.  It is a great source of protein, so it’s used a lot by people who don’t eat meat.  Frosts and droughts greatly effect the way soybeans mature, grow and are harvested. While we may not always pay attention how the weather effects us more than if we need rain boots, norts or both, we all need to watch how the weather affects agriculture because agriculture effects us all.

Money Makes the World Go ‘Round

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Some of the lucky few went to private schools, but most of us went through the public school system. There are many advantages to both sides of the spectrum, but one thing that is a huge advantage to goin’ to a private school is the amount of fundin’ that’s provided.  Bein’ from a small town AND bein’ a teachers kid, I know first hand how hard it is for school districts and teachers alike when it comes to underfunding.

I realized this, once again, while studying for my Spanish I test this weekend. At Crescent, we don’t have a foreign language teacher on staff. While Spanish was offered, it was only offered over I-TV, and during the one and only AP class the school offered. The school district didn’t have enough funding to hire a teacher. It’s really hard to understand something like a foreign language without someone there to actually help you face-to-face.  This is a HUGE disadvantage for me because I MUST have 10 hours of foreign language to graduate with my degree, since I didn’t take any  classes in high school.

Please be aware of the struggles public school districts go through. There has to be a solution to getting more funding to small school districts. I don’t know what the solution should be, but what we’re doing right now is not cutting it.

From the Gas Pump to the Field

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Gas prices are somethin’ we’re all concerned about. We go to the gas station and complain about how much it costs to fill up the tank. If you’re like me, it cost quite a bit to fill up and that’s in my 28 MPG Toyota! However, that hasn’t always been the case for me. I drove an F-350, white, flatbed truck with hay spikes on the back for the past year.  Imagine a little 5’5″, blonde hair, blue eyed sorority girl driving that…. funny I know, my friends thought so too. While it was NOT my favorite thing to drive around Stillwater, it gave me a greater appreciation for how much money  ranchers put in their trucks just to make sure their livelihood runs as smoothly as possible.

Many people view ranchers as “southern, redneck hicks” that like to play in the dirt and mess with “cows.” That could not be farther from the truth. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and money to be a successful rancher. One thing that you must have is what we dub as a “farm truck.” While farm trucks vary from person to person on brands, makes, and such, they’re fundamentally all the same: THEY’RE USED TO TAKE CARE OF CATTLE.

If a rancher is successful and has a substantial amount of land and cattle, it takes a lot of time in the truck to make sure everything is running like it should.  The gas milage on these trucks are not that great. If you were to get 12 miles per gallon, that’d be amazing and unheard of.  Depending on the truck, it could take more than $150 to fill up. Some ranchers fill up more than once a week! So remember, next time you fill up at your tank, be grateful you don’t have a farm truck!