April 2, 2010

Farming cattle and wind in the Panhandle – Day Five of Working Across Oklahoma

Today marks the end of Week One (a long, but enjoyable week) of the Working Across Oklahoma tour. I’ve had the honor of working alongside some great Oklahomans and so far it’s been an incredible trip.

This morning, a round of spring thunderstorms kept us from flying to Boise City as planned. Instead, we hopped in the car and drove to our meetings in Guymon. I know a lot of statewide elected officials can neglect the Panhandle because it’s isolated; but it’s an important part of our state and I promise I’ll visit plenty when I’m governor of Oklahoma!

After speaking to the local Rotary Club, I headed out to the Mayer Ranch to work as a ranch hand. As you’d expect, the pastures were littered with cow chips, but we pulled on our boots and waded into the mess. Joe Mayer rode along as I drove his feed truck through the pastures to feed some of his herd and check on the cattle.

Agriculture has played a huge role in our past and will be an important part of our future. There’s a lot of technology and strategy that goes on in today’s ag industry and Oklahoma can be proud of the work our farmers are doing. They represent the best of our state with our common values of self-reliance, community and integrity. As governor, I will be committed to supporting our agriculture industry and ensuring the long-term survival of our farms.

Next, I visited with the folks at Novus Windpower, which is a wind energy company based in Guymon. They took me on a tour of one of their wind farms on the other side of the Oklahoma/Texas border. Novus is doing great work in trying to harness the wind that comes sweeping down the plains. We just need to get more wind farms on our side of the border!

Our nation must develop a comprehensive, long-term strategy for ending our dependence on foreign sources of energy. Part of that plan will be unleashing our oil and gas companies so they can develop our domestic energy sources. But another key component will be alternative energy sources like wind farms. In my administration, I will work to ensure Oklahoma becomes a leader in the alternative energy industry.

We ended the day with a lovely reception at the Draper barn outside of Guymon. They have some really neat memorabilia there including a collection of canes, a collection of old cars, license plates, umbrellas, books, scales, dolls, cassette tapes and old record players.

Finally, today is Good Friday and I want to wish all of you a very Happy Easter. I’m looking forward to spending time with my family on Easter Sunday and I hope you are able to do the same.

The Working Across Oklahoma tour gets going again on Monday. I’m headed to eastern Oklahoma to work in a Love’s Country Store in Webbers Falls and to work at a nursery in Hulbert.