The cows are starting to come home in Southwestern Oklahoma. But high prices are slowing down the process. When I traveled to the Southwest corner of the state last year, I found crunchy ground, long trailer lines at the sale yards, and people rationing their water. It was site I prayed I would never have to see again.
As this spring rolled around, the rains poured across North Central Oklahoma where I live. But I wondered what was happening with our friends to the Southwest of us. I was very pleased to find that they had gotten 14 inches of rain by the month of June! Things were definitely turning around for them and I knew I had to get back down there and tell the other half of their story.
In this week’s video blog, we take a look at how the citizens of Caddo County survived the drought and how they are bouncing back and reclaiming their livelihoods.
Wheat is one of our most basic commodities. From this crop we get breads, pasta, supplements, animal feed and a wide array of other foods. But last year when a drought threatened the southern plains, wheat and many other crops took a hit and their producers were left collecting insurance settlements.
Luckily, when February rounded the corner, the clouds opened and rain poured from the skies. The water continued for months and the wheat grew thicker and taller. By harvest time, producers were harvesting a bumper crop.
In this week’s video blog, we take a look at the difference a year and a little rain can make in the lives of wheat farmers.
Hot, dry. Hot, dry. Hot, dry. It’s the same day after day and has been all Summer. Now they’re saying the La Nina that we thought was gone is coming back. Which means warmer than normal temperatures and dry weather will continue. Now normally headed into Winter, I’d be really happy with that but not this year. We are desperate for rain in much of the state so a wet Winter would have been a blessing. Now that blessing will take a miracle. And what climatologist are saying it will take to break the drought is something like a really bad hurricane.
You know, it’s really a shame when you have to pray for one natural disaster to help break another natural disaster but that’s what I’m doing. And the sooner the better because the results of this drought are adding up. See how in this week’s video blog.
On the Horizon: What Happens Next? from Alisa Hines on Vimeo.
When I joined the Oklahoma Agricultural Leadership Program (OALP) a year ago, I didn’t have a clue what I was in for. We’ve gone across the state and seen so much what Oklahoma farmers and ranchers do and have found out what it really takes to be in the agriculture business today. It has really opened my eyes and I’m glad to be a part of such a wonderful organization and to be able to say I am a member of Class XV.
But I think one of the most useful aspects of the program, is the people we meet who are in our class. It is a network of people from across the state from all walks of life who become your friends. They are someone you can call for anything and be able to count on them to be there for you. My classmates are extremely talented, intelligent people. I sometimes feel intimidated by their knowledge. In this week’s video blog, meet Shannon Cunningham, one of my OALP classmates who I feel really sums up what Oklahoma agriculture is all about.
~ Alisa Hines
On the Horizon: Making Agriculture Count from Alisa Hines on Vimeo.
I remember back when I was a kid, my mother would bundle all of us kids up in long sleeve shirts and then spray us all over with bug spray. It was an annual ritual each year right at blackberry picking time. There was a spot near a lake by our house that had wild blackberries and every year we would go pick that dark fruit so mom could make jelly.
Now this wasn’t a ritual I really wanted to do as a kid. It was hot, especially with the long sleeves we had to wear to protect our arms. Bugs would swarm around our heads and it seemed like even though we had bug spray on, they still were biting us (I think the bug spray has gotten stronger since then). But while I may have been miserable and don’t even like blackberries, it was still something I did with my family and we always had a good time.
So this week’s video blog really brings back memories of my childhood picking blackberries with my family.
On the Horizon: U Pick’em from Alisa Hines on Vimeo.