If you’ll recall, last year I began affectionately referring to my stack of work related to graduate school as #ThePile. It is a never-ending list of things to do, papers to digest, and imitating statistics to encounter. I don’t have the time I would like to share my thoughts on everything, but I have been ruminating on a few concepts that are worth sharing. They’re not enough for full blog posts, but I figured they’d make a list. Here’s what I’m ruminating on from behind #ThePile this week…

  1. A lack of perspective for the bigger picture is hampering our ability to truly make progress. Sure, when we are in our environment, we may know quite a bit about our current situation, but don’t take that as a sign that you’re an expert outstanding in the field. Survey the landscape outside your bubble and realize that every situation is different. A lack of perspective is so very evident in so many people I interact with, myself included. The more you are open to the opinions of others and take time to experience new things, the more you will realize and learn about your own foundation.
  2. “Your constant barrage of statistics and articles have completely changed my mind on the subject.” Pretty sure I’ll never actually say that in response to the flood of links and numbers that sometimes fill my inbox, Twitter mentions, and Facebook messenger from anti-GMO folks. I imagine the same would pertain to folks on the receiving end of a constant stream of statistics and articles about how farmers are the best people in the world and improving our production ___% each year.
    Those numbers and pieces of information are great. I don’t want to discount the value of hard data, but the flood of sound bites does nothing if you’re not practicing what you preach. Share the story of HOW conservation practices are improving your farm along with WHY you do employ them. Share what the improvements LOOK like when you are applying new technologies on the farm. Share how it impacts YOU when you utilize these resources. Then, use those pieces of hard information as a part of your message, not the entire tale. Then when you are involved in conversations on the topics, refer back to number 1 on this list of thoughts.
  3. Many folks would rather blame the unknown or foreign than be accountable for their actions.
  4. And on a brighter note, I love the Kansas Flint Hills. Spending 2 days there last week was the best and worst thing I’ve done in a while. Best because it was great to clear my mind and get away for a few days. Worst because… well… How can I stay away from scenes like these?
Kansas Flint hills Horseback There's something about the outside of a horse that is good  for the inside of a man
There’s something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.

Kansas Flint hills

Kansas Pork K-State Beef
My desk has some new Beef and Pork swag thanks to Kansas Pork Association and the Kansas State Beef Stocker Cattle farm.

A big thanks to Kelly Rivard for inviting me out to Kansas City for a few days and to Brandon and Jodi Oleen for hosting us and showing me around Manhattan, Kansas.

Kansas State University
And yeah… While I was on campus, I had to give a shout out to my Oklahoma State Cowboys. Go Pokes!