Monday, December 17, 2007

Getting caught up on odds and ends

I've been on vacation and haven't posted anything for a while, so I wanted to mention a few things to get myself back in a posting mode and share information that may be of interest to Capital Press and Blogriculture readers.


Kudos to fellow Capital Press staffer Steve Brown (and fellow Blogriculture blogger too I might add) for getting his recent video story about Christmas tree harvesting by helicopter mentioned in a post on the Oregonian newspaper's website earlier this month.

The boost in traffic to his YouTube video from that post has made it the most popular of the videos we've posted at Capital Press in our short video-posting history.


Speaking of Christmas tree video stories, the Associated Press recently posted a video about the debate over whether real or artificial trees may be better for the environment. You can check out the video here.

Or read a recent guest commentary piece published in the Capital Press on that issue by Joseph Sharp, president of Yule Tree Farms at Aurora, Ore., and chairman of the Coalition of Environmentally Responsible Growers.

Staff writer Elizabeth Larson also did a story on this issue in the Nov. 23 edition.


And, on a more personal note, the reason I was playing hooky last week was because I was down in Las Vegas for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Last year, when I went to the NFR I took a laptop along and posted some blog updates from Las Vegas on the rodeo.

We don't really cover rodeo at the Capital Press, but there is an obvious link between the sport and agriculture, and farming and ranching news in the West is what the Capital Press. Rodeo grew out of the skills needed in ranching and working with livestock. The people who compete in rodeo largely come from ranching backgrounds and maintain farms or ranches in addition to their competitive lives. The stock contractors are specialized ranchers. And I would be willing to wager that the core of the rodeo fan base comes from the greater agriculture community. Rodeo is not only part of the Western lifestyle it is also a part of the agribusiness economy.

So, needless to say, it was difficult not to think about work when I was surrounded by farmers and ranchers from Umatilla County who make the annual trek to Vegas for the NFR.

But if you are craving some Wrangler National Finals Rodeo news, check out columnist Butch Thurman's dispatch from Las Vegas. Capital Press print readers will get the column in their paper Friday, but you can read it online now on the Capital Press website. You can even read more of Butch's columns there.

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