Saturday, April 20, 2024

Embrace The Journey

We spend our entire lives moving from Point A to Point B as we navigate our way through life’s journey. Along the way, we follow the progress of other journeys specific to our livelihood or interests.

For example, I’ve noticed the evolution of social media in agriculture. Years ago, Louisiana crop consultant Roger Carter sent out a newsletter he wrote under the heading of his consulting company Agricultural Management Services, Inc. He talked about what was going on in the field during the cotton-growing season as the crop moved through its journey from planting to harvest. He was a good writer who knew how to keep your attention.

At the end of the newsletter, Roger shared interesting, informative tidbits about the local people he knew. Since we are from the same area, I knew most of them, too. He might mention who was sick, who was getting married, a family who was welcoming a new baby or who had passed away. It was an excellent way for me to keep up with what was going on back home. I always looked forward to Roger’s newsletters.

Also, when AgFax was produced by Owen Taylor and his wife, Debra Ferguson, Owen literally spent hours on the phone calling ag folks to find out what was going on with agriculture in their area so he could share the information with their subscribers. As many people will attest to, it was also a social call since he spent time “visiting” and catching up on a personal level with everyone. His calls were always enthusiastically accepted. Unfortunately, we lost Owen and Debra way too soon a few years ago, but they will be fondly remembered as icons in the agricultural world.

Today, like many other aspects of agriculture, social media has evolved into the digital arena via Facebook, Instagram and X (formerly known as Twitter) to name a few.

In this issue of Cotton Farming on pages 14-15, Dr. Ron Smith, professor emeritus at Auburn University, takes us on a journey in which he chronicles 100 years of Extension cotton entomologists, beginning with Mr. Jerry Ruffin who was hired by the Alabama Polytechnic Institute, now Auburn University, Sept. 1, 1924, as the first full time Extension cotton entomologist.

Smith said Ruffin traveled the state — wherever cotton was grown — and conducted educational programs with cotton farmers on how to manage and control the boll weevil. When he returned to campus, he wrote a newsletter about his insect observations and experiences, which he titled “Tales of Insects.”

At the end of the article, Smith assures us that “the Alabama Extension Cotton IPM educational program is positioned to continue to be on top of the cotton insect situation for the foreseeable future.”

Let the journey continue…

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