Episode 8: Dusting Off the Past to Learn from Oklahoma
We aren’t far removed from the largest man-made ecological disaster the United States has ever seen. The Oklahoma Dust Bowl was a decade long drought that had severe economic, social and environmental impacts. Has our society learned from the past? Brandon sits down with Larry O’Dell, Oklahoma State Historian, to discuss the history of Oklahoma pre-dust bowl, what contributed to the dust bowl, and the process to recovery for Oklahomans.
Brandon Meets up with Curtis and Randall Bensch. Doctor Curtis Bensch, Professor of Agronomy at Oklahoma Panhandle State University, teaches the improved practices in soil conservation. Keeping “residue/cover crop” on farmland is used to capture water and minimize wind erosion. Randall Bensch, meteorologist and farmer discussed the weather that contributed to the dust bowl and recalled stories from the older generations.
Brandon got an impromptu campus tour from Dr. Julie Dinger, President of Oklahoma Panhandle State University. Dr. Dinger talks the meaning of “No Man’s Land” and why the school has adopted the once controversial phrase.
Finally, Brandon visits with Jody Risley, Director of the Cimarron Heritage Center, in Boise City, Oklahoma. The Heritage center is home to the Dust Bowl House exhibit – a real life look at living conditions during the dust bowl.
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