Thoughts on Columns from The Denver Post

Curtis Hubbard of The Denver Post wrote an interesting column What is Colorado? More than skiing and a buzz.  I particularly enjoyed this column because the mountains (specifically Winter Park, CO) are my favorite place in the world.  The view is always breathtaking and I find peace riding up a ski lift thinking about how wonderful life is and I find my adventurous side as I race down the mountain.  I have always imagined a home in Colorado, probably because of all the memories of my family’s ski trips.  This column made me think about what Colorado is beyond skiing, which made me ask myself What is Nebraska?  More than corn and cows. 

Also from The Denver Post, Ray Ring from Writers on the Range, wrote If corporations are people what are they really like?  This caught my attention right away as it began with: 

ExxonMobil spits out a gob of chewing-tobacco juice and taps a baseball bat against the cleats of its shoes, knocking off the dirt clods. Then “Exx ‘Em” — as the fans like to call their slugger — steps into the batter’s box and slams the first pitch over the center-field wall of Dodger Stadium.

Meanwhile, Victoria’s Secret — who likes to be called Vikki — is elbow-deep in stinky compost in a Denver garden, preparing to plant zucchinis, while Yahoo sits alone in a Seattle park, getting high on marijuana to avoid thinking about how it lost so much market share to Google.

And Nike is pregnant, lying on its back getting a sonogram in a Portland clinic, trying not to giggle at the tickly feeling as the wand slides over its swollen abdomen, listening to the doctor exclaim, “You’re going to have a baby boy and a baby girl — twins!”  I was immediately intrigued as to what this was about.  I probably wouldn’t have read the article if it hadn’t began with the absurd, not to mention catchy, lines about corporations with human traits.  We watched a video in class that talked about how long writers spend working on their opening paragraph because readers only give them a few seconds of a chance.  I would have to say that in this article Ray Ring got it right.

University Services Become Better Known (Local Editorial-Final Draft)

The University of Nebraska at Kearney campus was shaken up on February 17th around UNK Services11:30 pm when the UNK alert system sent out a message notifying the public that a male subject reported to police that he had a loaded firearm and was going to shoot himself on campus.  All community members were asked to stay off campus and individuals on campus were to stay inside a secure area.  The UNK alert system notified the public around 2:30 am that law enforcement agencies checked all buildings across campus and no armed individual was located.  Individuals were allowed to return to normal activities.  Kelly Bartling, the UNK Assistant Vice Chancellor for Communications and Community Relations said classes would continue as scheduled.

Events like this make students more cautious and aware of their surroundings.  Many questioned their safety and some classes were poorly attended.  Journalism Professor Tereca Diffenderfer said she received emails from students saying they would not be attending class because they were worried about their safety and some commented that they felt uneasy about walking by the emergency phone located outside the library where the male subject called in.

This is a good opportunity to remind students of the many services offered to them by UNK.  The college offers services ranging from healthcare, counseling, safe walk services, free self-defense classes, and many safety presentations.  Many students either do not know about these services or they choose not to utilize them, even though they are included in their student fees.    

Counseling Care is a mental health clinic on campus that offers confidential personal counseling to students.  Students enrolled in seven or more credits a semester already pay for the counseling service in their student fees.  Anyone enrolled in fewer credits can pay the fee to receive the services.  Part of the Counseling and Health Care Department is The Women’s Center.  The center employs health care professionals who receive crisis intervention specialty training through Kearney’s relationship violence and domestic abuse shelter, the SAFE Center.  The center provides resources and support to women who need help.

Safe Walk is a program where students who feel unsafe walking alone at night can call in and request an escort from any location within two blocks of campus to a safe building.  

Safety education and training, as well as self-defense classes are offered for free to students at different times throughout the year.  Campus police officers give presentations on abuse, drugs and alcohol, date rape, and other serious issues.  These presentations are meant to inform students and encourage them to seek help or report any problems to health care and counseling professionals or the police.

The health and safety of students and employees is a priority for UNK.  Although they provide many services for students, they don’t always market them in ways that allow for all students to know about them.  While the university can do a better job of reaching students, the students also have to take an active role in their health and safety.  The services, like Safe Walk, aren’t going to be of any help to students if they don’t have the number programmed into their phones.  It shouldn’t take an event like this scare for students to know the resources available and be able to use them.

Local Editorial 2nd Draft

The University of Nebraska at Kearney campus was shaken up on February 17th around UNK Services offered, with phone numbers11:30 pm when the UNK alert system sent out a message notifying the public that a male subject reported to police that he had a loaded firearm and was going to shoot himself on campus.  All community members were asked to stay off campus and individuals on campus were to stay inside a secure area.  The UNK alert system notified the public around 2:30 am that law enforcement agencies checked all buildings across campus and no armed individual was located.  Individuals were allowed to return to normal activities.  Kelly Bartling, the UNK Assistant Vice Chancellor for Communications and Community Relations said classes would continue as scheduled.

Events like this make students more cautious and aware of their surroundings.  Many questioned their safety and some classes were poorly attended.  Journalism Professor Tereca Diffenderfer said she received emails from students saying they would not be attending class because they were worried about their safety and some commented that they felt uneasy about walking by the emergency phone located outside the library where the male subject called in.

This is a good opportunity to remind students of the many services offered to them by the University of Nebraska at Kearney.  The college offers services ranging from healthcare, counseling, safe walk services, free self-defense classes, and many safety presentations.  Many students either do not know about these services or they choose not to utilize them, even though they are included in their student fees.

Counseling Care is a mental health clinic on campus that offers confidential personal counseling to students.  Students enrolled in seven or more credits a semester already pay for the counseling service in their student fees.  Anyone enrolled in fewer credits can pay the fee to receive the services.  Part of the Counseling and Health Care Department is The Women’s Center.  The center employs health care professionals who receive crisis intervention specialty training through Kearney’s relationship violence and domestic abuse shelter, the SAFE Center.  The center provides resources and support to women who need help.

Safe Walk is a program where students who feel unsafe walking alone at night can call in and request an escort from any location within two blocks of campus to a safe building.  The services are available from 9pm-1am or later if needed.

Safety education and training are offered on campus at different times of the year.  Self-defense classes are offered for free to students at different times during the year.  Campus police officers give presentations on abuse, drugs and alcohol, date rape, and other serious issues.  These presentations are meant to inform students and encourage them to seek help or report any problems to health care and counseling professionals or police.

The health and safety of students and employees is a priority for the University of Nebraska at Kearney.  Although they provide many services for students, they don’t always market them in ways that allow for all students to know about them.  While the university can do a better job of reaching students, the students also have to take an active role in their health and safety.  The services, like Safe Walk, aren’t going to be of any help to students if they don’t have the number programmed into their phones.  It shouldn’t take an event like this scare or worse events for students to know the resources available and be able to use them.

UNK offers many services to students (Local Editorial Rough Draft)

The University of Nebraska at Kearney campus was shaken up on February 17th around 11:30 pm when the UNK alert system sent out a message notifying the public that a male subject reported to police that he had a loaded firearm and was going to shoot himself on campus.  All community members were asked to stay off campus and individuals on campus were to stay inside a secure area.  The UNK alert system notified the public around 2:30 am that law enforcement agencies checked all buildings across campus and no armed individual was located.  Individuals were allowed to return to normal activities.  Kelly Bartling, the UNK Assistant Vice Chancellor for Communications and Community Relations said classes would continue as scheduled.

Events like this make students more cautious and aware of their surroundings.  Many questioned their safety and some classes were poorly attended.  Journalism Professor Tereca Diffenderfer said she received emails from students saying they would not be attending class because they were worried about their safety and some commented that they felt uneasy about walking by the emergency phone located outside the library where the male subject called in.

This is a good opportunity to remind students of the many services offered to them by the University of Nebraska at Kearney.  The college offers services ranging from healthcare, counseling, safe walk services, free self-defense classes, and many safety presentations.  Many students do not utilize these services, even though they are included in their student fees.    

Counseling Care is a mental health clinic on campus that offers confidential personal counseling to students.  Students enrolled in seven or more credits a semester already pay for the counseling service in their student fees.  Anyone enrolled in fewer credits can pay the fee to receive the services.  Part of the Counseling and Health Care Department is The Women’s Center.  The center employs health care professionals who receive crisis intervention specialty training through Kearney’s relationship violence and domestic abuse shelter, the SAFE Center.  The center provides resources and support to women who need help.

Safe Walk is a program where students who feel unsafe walking alone at night can call in and request an escort from any location within two blocks of campus to a safe building.  The services are available from 9pm-1am or later if needed.

Safety education and training are offered on campus at different times of the year.  Self-defense classes are offered for free to students at different times during the year.  Campus police officers give presentations on abuse, drugs and alcohol, date rape, and other serious issues.  These presentations are meant to inform students and encourage them to seek help or report any problems to health care and counseling professionals or police.

The health and safety of students and employees is a priority for the University of Nebraska at Kearney.  Students need to be aware of the services provided to them by UNK and not be too ashamed or embarrassed to seek help when needed.  

Have you ever had a near death experience, contemplated the meaning of life, wondered what you have done to make a difference, or thought about how people might be affected by your death?  Daytripper, a meditation on life, illustrates life’s painful moments of heartbreak, failure, and grief, along with life’s precious moments of finding true love, starting a family, achieving success, and striving to accomplish dreams.  Readers can relate to many thoughts and emotions through this book.  It forces them to reflect upon their own lives.

Daytripper, a graphic novel written and drawn by brothers, Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá, was originally serialized as ten separate comic books.  Later, the issues were compiled to make a book.  Daytripper is the story of Brás de Olivias Dominguez’s life.  Each chapter features an important time in Brás’s life, revealing the people and events that have made him who he is.  Brás had dreams of becoming an author, but until that day would come, he wrote obituaries for a newspaper.  Interestingly enough, each chapter concludes with an alternate ending of Brás’s life and his obituary. The final chapter of the book goes through the different points of his life, but this time he dies his real death.

Last semester I decided to try something new, so I took graphic novels.  We read several books including wordless texts and comic books ranging from Donald Duck, Axe Cop, and Batman to Habibi, Are You My Mother?, and Daytripper.  Each one was quite different from the other and had differently literary elements.  I hated a few, but found myself liking many.  These were all books that I never would have read if it weren’t for taking a chance on this class.  Daytripper is now one of my favorite books.  If you feel like taking a chance on something new and decide to pick it up, I guarantee you won’t regret it.

Daytripper reminded me to appreciate the little things, truly live, and reflect upon my life.  In the book Bras says, “All the places my dreams take me, no matter if I’ve never been there or never will be…help me understand where I come from…and where I want to go.  So what my dreams really show me is what my life can be once I open my eyes.  My dreams tell me who I am” (p. 223).  Dreams give people something to aspire to be or work towards achieving.  Dreams keep us fighting, looking, and searching.  This book reminded me not only to follow my dreams but also to appreciate where I come from.  People aren’t defined by single moments in their lives, but rather all the moments combined.  Life starts with your family, your home.  “Home is not a physical place at all, but a group of elements like the people you live with-a feeling, a state of mind” (Bá, p. 234).  Where people come from and where they’ve been, the people who have impacted their lives, and the obstacles they have had to overcome have all influenced who they have become.  Now the question to ask is “Is who I have become, who I wish to be?”

Parents, Teachers, & School Board Members Have Separate Roles

In class today we discussed the Pulitzer Prize winning editorial “Boards should be invited in, not locked out” by Mark Mahoney.  The editorial basically says that parents and board members have a right to visit the school during the school day and see what their children are doing.  He argues that the elected officials who are setting the policies and paying the bills should not have to get special permission to observe classrooms like principals do.  Mahoney offers a solution: “And if a large number of citizens or board members want to see, for instance, what they’re doing in gym class these days, then schools can either designate a place where they can all watch, or set up video cameras so visitors can observe the operation later.”

I completely disagree with this.  For starters, any traffic into a classroom is a potential disruption, especially if they can come and go as they please. Besides how many junior high and high school students actually want their parents in the classroom.  It would be embarrassing and they would probably be teased.

What would parents or school board members hope to get out of these classroom visits?  They don’t know the material covered the day before or what will be discussed tomorrow.  So is sitting in on class one day really going to tell them what students are learning?  Teachers went to school and got their degree to teach, most parents did not.  So what gives them the right to try to control the classroom, the teachers, and the content?

Lets just say that your child has a problem with a specific teacher, do you really think that on a day you visit the classroom that the teacher would behave in a negative way towards your child?  Or maybe they will call out your child or give them a bad grade, but maybe that’s because they’re disruptive in class or their work needs improvement.

In class we discussed that maybe parents don’t like the content of material being covered, like a graphic book or say evolution.  I feel like those topics are covered because they are important.  They are a part of history or the progression of thoughts.  It all connects to the changes and progress that occurred to get us where we are today.  Students don’t have to believe everything they are taught, but does that mean that because an issue is controversial it shouldn’t be discussed?  Is it really right to shelter them from such issues or are they able to make their own decisions?

Honestly parents sitting in on classes makes me think of that commercial for Capri Sun where the mother does everything for her sun.  If problems exist then parents should encourage their children to talk to the teacher about it.  My high school had specific complaint policies.  Problems first had to be discussed with the teacher, then the principal, then the school board.  I understand some situations may require a little extra help or an outside perspective, but trying parents trying to fix and do everything for their children isn’t going to help them any.  They can’t follow them to college or their future jobs, so they should teach them to be responsible and either do something about their situation or deal with it.

School board members are kind of similar to parents.  They can conduct their business after school hours.  If a problem exists, trust the judgment of your principal and superintendent.  Unlike the school board, taking care of school business is what they are paid to do.  If something more needs to be done, then by all means work to resolve the issue.

School boards, administration, teachers, parents, and students all have their own roles in education, so how about we just let everyone do their job without trying to interfere.

Lead Me to the Cross

“Thou art dust. And to dust thou shalt return.” -Genesis 3:19

Today is Ash Wednesday and marks the beginning of Lent.  This period of spiritual growth and renewal lasts approximately six weeks until the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday.  During this Lenten season people are able to reflect on their spiritual lives and offer up prayer, penance, repentance, and almsgiving.  Traditionally people fast, give something up or make some sort of sacrifice in commemoration of the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert.

Growing up my siblings and I always dreaded the time when we had to do without something, especially if it meant giving up candy when Valentine’s Day fell during Lent.  I remember a specific year when I gave up watching TV and playing games on the computer.  Today this could probably be compared to a 40 day social media cleanse (which I considered doing this Lent, but thought my commentary and blogging grade might suffer).  It wasn’t too bad, I found other things to occupy my time.  Things like playing outside, reading books, helping my mom in the kitchen, etc.  It became a real sacrifice though when my family would sit down to watch something and I had to leave the room, being the only one left out.

What I realized when I got a little older was that it’s supposed to a sacrifice, but merely going without something is not the purpose.  The purpose is to bring you closer to God.  It’s supposed to help you eliminate being too busy to pray, too tired to attend church on Sunday, and too consumed with your own life that you don’t pay attention to what is going on in the lives of others.  It’s supposed to help you recenter your life around what’s important and get rid of all the things that are distracting you.

Many ask why Catholic don’t eat meat on Fridays during Lent.  Mark Hart gave a few reasons in his blog post “Why do Catholics abstain from eating meat on Fridays

  • Some say the Church was trying to support the fishing industry when times were tough.
  • There was a time period when fish was safer to eat than beef.
  • “Only the very wealthy could afford meat. Fish (in comparison) was the poor man’s meal. It was cheap, humble food that you had to catch yourself.”
  • “Some say that not eating meat helped folks to focus on the humility of Christ, who lived a simple man’s life.”

    He also said:

    “If we aren’t focusing on Jesus and on the cross when we abstain from the meat, then the matter can become less about Lent and more about” what we should have for lunch.

    “Jesus Christ, my Lord and my Savior, gave up His own body, His own flesh, that Friday so many years ago, for me and for you. He went through the pain of that self-sacrifice, completely mindful of God the Father. When I go through the incredibly minor act of abstaining from meat on Fridays, it is just one tiny act of self-sacrifice that points me back to that awful but Good Friday. That was the Friday when God loved me so much that He gave up His flesh in the most selfless act in history.”

    “When we abstain from meat, we focus on Christ and on our souls, rather than on self and on our bodies. It is faith in action, placing our attention on Jesus and offering Him “our flesh” as a sacrifice (Romans 12:1-2), a vessel through which He can and does work.”

Farmers Conserve to Preserve (State Editorial)

Nebraska’s history is full of dedicated farmers who fought hardships and draught to transform the desert land into farms. Irrigation has helped Nebraska become a leading agricultural state, but the future of Nebraska and its farmers depends on the conservation of the state’s finite resource, water.

Twenty percent of the irrigated farmland in the United States depends on the Ogallala Aquifer.  According to Esquire, “damage to it would change “the lives of the people who depend on it, their personal economies, the overall national economy, and what we can grow to feed ourselves.”  The water level is already dangerously low and is easy to empty, but not refill.

Water research is necessary to invent and implement new ways of conserving water.  According to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Water Center, new technology and new methods are being used to help irrigators cut back on water usage without reduction in crop yields. –LJS.  A water-financing group, led by Don Nelson, estimated that “the state would need about $60 million annually for water science and technology research, to help protect water quality, to restore water infrastructure and to build new projects.”  –NE Farmer.

Farmers need to use the irrigation methods with the least amount of water waste.  Pipe and ridges, also called flood irrigating uses the most water.  Pivots use even less water, but allow for land that couldn’t be irrigated by pipe to still be irrigated.  So even though it saves water, pivots allow more fields to be irrigated.  Pivots can’t replace flood irrigation because they don’t work on every shape of field and are expensive, costing around $75,000.  The method of irrigation that the Nebraska Resource Districts (NRD) need to help all farmers changeover to is drip irrigation, where hoses are placed 18 inches underground in a grid pattern.  This method uses the least amount of water because it waters the subsoil instead of the top, where evaporation occurs.  It works especially well on odd shaped fields, but costs around $1,200 per acre.  The substantial cost makes it unlikely that farmers will changeover on their own.  The NRD needs to provide some sort of assistance or tax break to help farmers install drip irrigation.

Mandating watermark sensors would also help conserve water by making sure that the water applied is the correct amount that the crops need.  The electrical probes get stuck in the ground to measure water at 1-4 foot depths.  Farmers use an equation and the mark reading to determine when they need to irrigate again.  The topsoil might appear dry, but the readings measure the subsoil, which is what’s important.  This is a cost-share program through the NRD, which runs approximately $600 per field.

According to Cornell News, another way to protect the soil and conserve water is to prohibit disking and shredding and mandate crop rotation.  Disking and shredding dry out and damage the soil.  Rotating crops allows farmers to plant over previous crops, without disking. Crop rotation also helps replace nutrients into the soil, as beans create nitrogen, while corn uses it.

The future of Nebraska agricultural depends on the cooperation between the NRD and Nebraska farmers to make the transition to water-saving irrigation methods and technology, which will help protect the state’s vital water resource and the lives of the people in this great state.

Farmers Role in Conserving Water (State Editorial Rough Draft)

Here is a long draft of my state issue editorial concerning water conservation, farmers, and the NRD:

Whether it is from rivers, rain, or the Ogallala Aquifer, Nebraska’s future and the future of farmers depends on water, so Nebraska farmers need to take responsibility and do their part to conserve this finite resource.

The main source of water for the Midwest is the Ogallala Aquifer, a subsystem of the High Plains Aquifer.  According to Esquire, “The system covers 174,000 square miles beneath eight different state, ranging from North Dakota to Texas and from Nebraska to parts of New Mexico.”  Twenty percent of the irrigated farmland in the United States depends on this water.  Damage to it would change “the lives of the people who depend on it, their personal economies, the overall national economy, and what we can grow to feed ourselves.”  The water level is already dangerously low and is easy to empty, but not refill. 

The importance of conserving this vital water resource seems obvious.  The question is how can this be done? The NRD creates the regulations for their own districts.  Each district is regulated differently because each region is fundamentally different in the rivers that run through them, the water levels, the shape of the farmland, and even the climate.  A regulation that protects or benefits one region, might not work the same way for the others.

The NRD is working to increase water conservation by imposing water allocations on irrigators.  Some regions are already required to have meters on their wells.  Those regions require farmers to pay for the amount of water used and also restrict the amount of inches per acre that is allowed.  Other districts require that if farmers do have meters on their wells, which most farmers do, that they report their usage.  If all regions would be required to use meters, then farmers could be taxed according to their water usage.  In addition to reporting water usage, no regions should approve any new farmland for irrigation.

Water research is extremely important.  According to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Water Center, new technology and new methods are being used to help irrigators cut back on water usage without reduction in crop yields. –LJS  Don Nelson led a group of Nebraskans for an informal discussion on water financing needs a year ago.  The group estimated that “the state would need about $60 million annually for water science and technology research, to help protect water quality, to restore water infrastructure and to build new projects.”  –NE Farmer.  Farmers pay a checkoff tax that gives so many cents out of every bushel of grain sold to research.  This checkoff tax has benefited farmers with new technology, like the biodiesel from soybeans.  The checkoff taxes could be used to benefit water research and be increased as necessary.

Mandating water mark sensors would also help conserve water by making sure the water applied to fields matches the amount of water that the crop needs.  The sensors are electrical probes that get stuck in the ground to measure water at 1-3 foot depths.  Farmers use an equation and the mark reading to determine when they need to irrigate again.  The top soil might appear dry, but the readings measure the subsoil, which is what’s important.  This is a cost-share program through the NRD, which runs approximately $600 per field. –Irrigation Monitoring System

Farmers can irrigate their crops in three different ways.  Pipe and ridges, also called flood irrigating uses the most water.  Pivots use less water than flood irrigation, but allows for land that couldn’t be irrigated by pipe to still be irrigated.  So even though it saves water, pivots allow more fields to be irrigated.  Pivots can’t replace flood irrigation because they don’t work on every shape of field and are expensive, costing around $75,000.  One final method of irrigation is drip irrigation.  Hoses are placed 18 inches underground in a grid pattern.  This method uses the least amount of water because it waters the subsoil instead of the top, where evaporation occurs.  It works especially well on odd shaped fields, but costs around $1,200 per acre.  This form of irrigation is very beneficial to conserving water and will probably become increasingly popular in the future.  Right now because of its cost it is not widely used and cannot be mandated. 

Another way to protect the soil and conserve water is to prohibit disking and shredding and mandate crop rotation.  Disking and shredding dry out and damage the soil.  By rotating crops you can just plant right over, without disking.  Beans also create nitrogen, while corn uses it.  So crop rotation helps replace nutrients into the soil. –Cornell News

Water meters and taxes according to water usage, along with mandatory water mark sensors and crop rotation, prohibited disking, and increased checkoff taxes for water research would not only help conserve water, but also benefit farmers in the long run. 

Water’s finite supply should be valued

There are many people out there who will say global warming is a bunch of BS, but it’s happening and our water sources are depleting.  “Everyone can see the need for roads, but can you sell the need for water?” Nebraska Sen. Mark Christensen asked.  “Most people aren’t aware of the importance of water in this state.” –NE Farmer

Water is used for everything from drinking, cooking, and bathing to recreational activities, farming, transportation, energy, and a part of wildlife habitats, yet it’s taken for granted. Water conservation is especially important in states like Nebraska, where many people make their living farming.  In addition, “eighty percent of Nebraskans drink from groundwater supplies that are so free of contamination that no treatment is necessary.”  –Lincoln Journal Star

The main source of water for the Midwest is the Ogallala Aquifer, a subsystem of the High Plains Aquifer.  According to Esquire, “The system covers 174,000 square miles beneath eight different state, ranging from North Dakota to Texas and from Nebraska to parts of New Mexico.”  Nebraska depends on the water from the Ogallala Aquifer.  Right now the aquifer is facing two problems, running dry and being contaminated by the Keystone Pipline. 

“Make no mistake.  You screw with the Ogallala Aquifer and you screw with this nation’s heartbeat.”  Twenty percent of the irrigated farmland in the United States depends on this water.  Damage to it would change “the lives of the people who depend on it, their personal economies, the overall national economy, and what we can grow to feed ourselves.” –Esquire  The water level is already dangerously low and is easy to empty, but not refill. 

The recent drought has increased tension and brought about conflicts between irrigators and domestic well users.  According to the Lincoln Journal Star, “In order to resolve the conflicts, the NRD spent more than $100,000 to help pay for deepening wells or taking other measure so that residents in the area could have water to drink, shower, take baths and wash clothes.”  The expense of deepening a well can cost more than $20,000.  The NRD is working to increase water conservation by imposing water allocations on irrigators.  Flow meters will record water usage and all irrigators will be required to install them.  In addition to that, the NRD will not approve any new farmland for irrigation.

Don Nelson led a group of Nebraskans for an informal discussion on water financing needs a year ago.  The group estimated that “the state would need about $60 million annually for water science and technology research, to help protect water quality, to restore water infrastructure and to build new projects.”  –NE Farmer

Land west of 180 degrees in Nebraska is considered too dry for farming without irrigation.  “The ‘flash drought’ that hit last summer reminded Nebraskans in the eastern part of the state that they cannot take water for granted.  That’s a relatively rare occurrence in a state with a plentiful supply of groundwater.” –LJS

According to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Water Center, new technology and new methods are being used to help irrigators cut back on water usage without reduction in crop yields. –LJS

Whether it be from rivers, rain, or the Ogallala Aquifer, Nebraska’s future and the future of farmers depends on water.