Home is on the range for some Oklahomans.
We’ve always romanticized the life of the cowboy. Waking up before sunrise, feeding livestock, riding horses, communing with nature. Certainly, these are components of the cowboy way, but thanks to technology, the role of the cowboy – or camp men, as we find out they are often called in “Ride for the Brand,” (p. 66) – is continually changing. Everything from data analysis to smartphone apps are making it easier to adapt to the changing needs of farmers and ranchers.
In February, a device named Moocall was named a nominee for London’s Design Museum Design of the Year 2015. Nominated alongside Google’s self-driving car and Norway’s newly redesigned banknotes, among others, Moocall hooks onto the tail of a pregnant cow and sends a text message when the cow’s ready to give birth. Designed by an Irish farmer, the device could help save the lives of cows and calves during the birthing process.
But is this the way of the modern farm or ranch?
No doubt that technology is a driving force in the way these operations run today; however, the job of the cowboy, the camp man, remains decidedly low-tech in some ways: There’s still cows to feed, fence to fix and, yes, calves to birth. As long as there is agriculture, there will be cowboys.
Also in this issue: Every year, studies put forth suggest that Oklahoma is a less-than-ideal state for women to live in. High incarceration rates for women combined with incidences of domestic violence and teen pregnancy often place Oklahoma near the top in rankings of the worst states for women. But there are countless advocates in the state helping to change those realities. In “A Woman’s World” (p. 72), writer Lindsay Cuomo visits five Oklahoma women who are hoping to change the conversation around this topic. We also talk to Oklahoma musicians about their craft and how this state has influenced what they do. And take a pie tour around the state to find out what spots are serving up the tastiest piece in “Just One More Slice” (p. 52).