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Rachel Myslivy

Diverse Lands

6 years ago | May 07, 2013
By: Rachel Myslivy, Program Director

The past several weeks I’ve visited farms and ranches all over Kansas. The windshield time allows plenty of time for reflection! It’s easy to overlook the beauty of Kansas as you’re flying down I-70 from point A to the mountains. While many say that Kansas is "flat,” I’d say they’re not paying much attention. Kansas offers a subtle beauty for the more discerning eye.

Farmers and ranchers of Kansas have the best job around. No walls close them in, no roofs block their view. Yet they are also the ones most directly affected by the diverse, often frustrating weather. We go from record highs on Monday to blizzards on Tuesday. A few weeks ago,when I set off towards Hoxie it was warm and rainy straight through Junction City. All of a sudden, the sun came out and the sky turned brilliant blue while the trees still glistened with a thick layer of ice from the previous night’s storm.As I drove further west, signs of moisture decreased until the landscape bore no sign of precipitation.

While the latest news reflects that the drought situation is improving slightly, the reality is that the weather will always challenge Kansas farmers and ranchers and that they will continue to meet those challenges in innovative ways. While townsfolk are buffered from the reality, the livelihoods of farmers and ranchers are bound to the weather, they think on their feet, make changes in mid-stride, learn from mistakes, and keep on going, always looking to the skies hoping for signs of the right weather to come.

The On Farm Water and Energy project seeks to find these folks, these innovators on the land.We’re collecting their stories of stewardship, innovation, and success to encourage others to continue to innovate to address whatever the weather holds. I’m excited to share their stories with you in coming months �" stay tuned!


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