Summer’s ending but SOA has only begun
August 25, 2017

Constructing a DIY Rain Barrel for blog post project.

Over the last 3 months, I have had the opportunity to blog and run social media for Stewarding Our Aquifer. Being a blogger I was able to go to communities, companies, government agencies, and farms in the Texas Panhandle with a mission to inform my readers and followers about water conservation of the Ogallala Aquifer and the modern tools and mindsets people across the plains are taking in order to preserve this precious resource. The 95% of the Ogallala Aquifer is used for agriculture purposes combining that with my personal background in agriculture the blog came to life with agriculture centered pieces. Because of this, I was able to interview agriculture producers on their farmers. I discovered that for these producers water is the backbone of their operations. Producers that make their livelihoods off of the Ogallala Aquifers water, for the most part, have an understanding that without its preservation the aquifers completely depletion would put them out of business and out of a way of life they so deeply love. The very root of why we must extend the life of the Ogallala Aquifer is extending the life of rural communities and their ways of life. I talk to producers on a daily basis and their main hope and reason for saving water

Touring vineyards in Terry County.

is to one day pass on their operation to the future generations. This is why modern day producers see the need for change and are taking advantage of the technological strides that industry has developed to make conservation of water as simple as unlocking your smartphone. Farming on the Ogallala has become a science, producers now have information about from root to pivot at their fingertips eliminating any previous guess work in farming.  

   In these last 3 months not only have I had a hands on learning experience in the agriculture industry, but I have also have discovered the need and understanding of the ends and out of social media. Being a millennial social media is part of my every day but through my internship, I now know the behind the scenes aspect of graphic design production. We have heard a picture is worth a thousand words but when you combine that picture with a caption based in fact you can produce something emotional, a driving force. Stewarding Our Aquifer is about education and using social media we have successfully continued to educate the public every day on the importance of Our Aquifer.

   

Attending a TAWC field walk tour in a cotton field.

If you can’t already tell agriculture and water conservation are something I care deeply about. I was raised in a small agriculture committee and grew up as a proud member of 4H and FFA. Despite this, for a long time, I simply saw agriculture as just a thing I was surrounded by so as soon as I graduated I headed for those city lights. Once there I realized that the true problem America will face in the next 50 years is one we rarely discuss, water. After a recent conversation with a former mentor over my Stewarding Our Aquifer internship, he told me that it looks like I have found my passion. Tackling the Ogallala Aquifer region’s water problems one blog or social media post at a time has been my official start in the industry. I know it sounds very specific and to some not a high paying career path for someone to be taking at age 19, but when you have an actual moment when you see the first well ever dug, or find nothing more enjoyable than driving around with an underground water district looking a crop, you know you have found a drive, a passion. After a visit with a producer, I was so driven by this passion of mine that I changed my major and will now be studying Interdisciplinary Agriculture with a focus in Agriculture Leadership as well as minoring in Natural Resource Management this Fall at Texas Tech University. Stewarding Our Aquifer has helped me form professional skills and connections that I know will serve me well in my future career. Our blogs and social media posts are continuing to grow with viewership daily. As readers, I thank you for taking the time to come along on this educational journey with me and I can not wait to share with you more stories in the next 7 months.