Posts tagged Oklahoma
Places to visit in south-central Oklahoma

A long, long time ago my full-time hustle was living life as the original Chickasaw Country blogger and community manager. As such, I’m often asked to give my two cents as to the best places to visit, stay, explore, et al.

For those looking to extend a quick trip from Oklahoma City to Dallas in more of an adventure, here’s my top five.

Wayne_Payne

Wayne Payne Exit

This has no actual relevance except that I have a dream to one day byline a fictional children’s book about two brothers - Wayne and Payne - who are divided because of the evil road builders who disregard their historic deeds and divided their land. With herds of buffalo (with the strength of Greek gods, mind you) to attack from both the east and west and faithful scissor-tailed flycatchers to deliver messages to align strategic attacks (rural reception is the worst), Wayne and Payne become victorious and unite their communities once again.

Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Park

GW_Zoo

(Wynnewood, Okla.) Here’s the deal, you get to play with a baby tiger and see a Liger in real life. Worth. It.

Smokin’ Joes

(Davis, Okla.) Because, barbecue.

Downtown Ardmore

Places to visit: Threads Clothing Co., Cafe Alley, Cloverleaf  

Picking a favorite town in south-central Oklahoma is what I imagine picking a favorite child would be like. Today, I pick Ardmore, but know tomorrow I could easily pick Sulphur. Maybe because I once covered a free Pat Green show downtown, or watched our now-IRL friend, Josh, play in a historic venue. Bottom line: spend a few hours in Ardmore. 

The LadySmith

(Tishomingo, Okla.) Last fall, we celebrated my friend’s birthday in Tishomingo, Okla. - a weekend with the Lady Smith at The Ladysmith. With talented ownership, passionate staff and a curious town filled with proud citizens this stop is the best return on your investment. Each room in the Inn is uniquely decorated (yes, by Miranda) and the bar is equally stocked with top-tier wine and low-tier domestics. 

Across the street you'll find the Pink Pistol (a tick touristy) and the Ponderosa (filled with locals).

Of note: I should really byline a post about this weekend.

Tishomingo_Oklahoma
TishomingOklahomaAmerica
LadySmith_Tishomingo

Although this list doesn't include ziplining, gaming (sorry - won't blog about that), restaurants, or concert venues know they're there. There are simply just too many to list. 

Comment below if you need suggestions for a particular town. I'm always game for discussing one of my favorite regions of Oklahoma. 

I haven't unpacked my suitcase.

As I mentally prepared for a week on the road (work-week in Hartland, Wisconsin; friend weekend on Grand Lake, Oklahoma) I told myself this was the week I would conquer suitcase living.  

If I mentally prepared, pinned all the right pins and planned accordingly I could still make it to yoga 3-4 times, run on the treadmill and make good food choices. Try as I might when I’m on the road it’s like I push pause on real life.

I can’t run errands, run to the grocery store or clean the bathroom, so I’m basically on vacation, right? 

Wrong.

I’m just really bad at living out of a suitcase. Just ask my yet-to-be-unpacked suitcase.

I suppose as long as you fill your week with adventures like visiting rural Wisconsin's The Kiltie, where you'll most definitely question the Steak Pizza, but devour a double cheeseburger you're doing okay. 

Because sometimes you begin your day knowing you need to sell working-from-home in Nashville to your boss and end your day by celebrating that your boss is completely okay with you working-from-home in Nashville

Surprisingly, I only needed one Spotted Cow for that celebration. 

And sometimes life brings you lemonade and you get to spend the week with your friend since sixth grade lockers on one of Oklahoma's most beautiful man-made creations. 

And sometimes you get to keep all the vodka to yourself because your friend is rockin' a baby bump. Which, by the way, makes you the skinniest person on the boat.

Turns out adulting is hard, but I'm really good at faking it. 

advocating away from the farm
My Grandpa Compton gave me a farm tour this week. The coolest moment for a granddaughter. 

My Grandpa Compton gave me a farm tour this week. The coolest moment for a granddaughter. 

I've been invited to speak at AgChat's National Collegiate Congress tomorrow in Indianapolis. AgChat? AgChat is an organization created to empower farmers and ranchers to connect with communities through social media. 

I ventured to my first AgChat conference in 2011 and credit this organization to many of my professional contacts and dearest friends.

This organization has evolved past social media account tutorials and now focusses on storytelling and content. 

Tomorrow I will stand before a herd of college students and discuss advocating away from the farm. Known to me as livingCollege students are the most terrifying of species. They know everything. I know this because I was the most basic of college students. 

Because my genes are from Indiana, I ventured to the 317 early to spend a few days working remotely on the davenport while discussing soybean prices and checkoff programs with my grandpa. Meanwhile, my other grandpa started a new blog

Being here (literally, in Indiana) working on tomorrow's presentation has afforded the hamsters a significant about of time on the wheel. How did I get here? This path, man. I couldn't have planned this. 

the three one seven

I most definitely made my way to the National FFA Dairy Cattle Evaluation competition because of these genes. 

I most definitely made my way to the National FFA Dairy Cattle Evaluation competition because of these genes. 

My genes are from Franklin, Indiana. My family has been farming in central Indiana for quite a few years. In fact, my great-grandpa was the Indiana Dairyman of the Year in 1957.

Agriculture is in my genetic makeup. 

In the late 90s, when today's college students were learning to walk and my parents decided a life in the west was their jam.

Talk about traumatic for this 5th grade graduate. My parents loaded up a pot belly of commercial cattle, a stock trailer full of our prized processions and drove to Oklahoma where dreams could be made. You know, unicorns, glitter, magic. 

Middle school. Dirt roads. Dirt roads.

Home became Perkins, Oklahoma. 
 

the four oh five

If there was ever a time to use this photo from the Johnson Co. Fair this is the time. I'm sure I lost. 

If there was ever a time to use this photo from the Johnson Co. Fair this is the time. I'm sure I lost. 

Since the late 90s (when Nick TV was better than Disney), my family’s farm transitioned into more of a ranching operation. With a few thousand acres to run commercial cattle and purebred angus my family fell in love with Oklahoma.

I fell hard.

The life I became to know and love was so different that what I would have had in Indiana. 

Then I fell harder in college. The food system and agriculture's many facets became the thing that made sense to me. I traveled abroad with groups to Nicaragua, Argentina, Scotland, England and France and saw first-hand the different views of the vast agricultural industry. 

After two degrees, I moved the 100 miles to Oklahoma City where I became the pork girl. ( A post to be written by the sportswriter.) 

At OPC, was thrown directly into media buying and marketing promotions. I loved it. I loved telling stories. However, I became very intimate with the gap between agriculture and consumers. I needed something that, at the time, agriculture couldn't give me. I needed to know consumers. 

I mean, I liked consumers. Wasn't I one? To me, the line between the two didn't exist. I'm an equal opportunity human supporter.

My plan: Leave agriculture and return in five to seven years with mainstream media and advertising experience. 

I became the official travel writer and social media manager of Chickasaw Country, which is the south-central region of Oklahoma., and covered concerts, restaurants, stores. 

The. Best. Job. Ever.

Just me and my consumers. Chatting. Exploring. People really liked hearing my stories. They loved knowing I broke ice before school, how my show stock made its way into the herd, what “fixing a water gap” meant.

the seven oh four

In North Carolina, I joined a prominent advertising agency that worked with clients in tourism, banking, sports, consumer products, commerce, et al. and found myself on the consumer frontline.

Sure I managed social properties, but I also worked with consumers every day.  Until then, I had never been so intimate with a group of humans who were so completely removed from the family farm.

For example, during my interview, an individual in a leadership position laughed as she told me her 6-year-old didn’t know what a cow was. To me, this was completely baffling, but it made sense. How could a child know what a cow was if she didn't venture far from an urban setting? 

My examples could go on for days, but it was like something clicked. I felt like Rocky. My whole life I’d been chasing chickens just I could compare consumers to Clubber Lang. 

That may be a bad example. No fighting necessary. 

the five one two

Only three and half years after leaving agriculture, I've rejoined the team. Go team ag! I serve as a liaison between agriculture and consumers in a vast lineup of commodities and have found a solid niche career in the digital space. 

I live in an urban jungle filled with food trucks, live music and really cool humans.

My life is advocating away from the farm. 

As a work on tomorrow's presentation and pull specific tips, examples and such I'm reminded it's really just about relationships.

  1. Listen more than you talk.
  2. See both sides of the story. (Even if you have to physically go see both sides of the story)
  3. And be you. No one knows (insert your industry/passion/project) better than you do.  

From the 317 to the 405 to the 704 to the 512 and back. 

Tomorrow I talk about sharing agriculture's story in the very place my life began developing its roots. Full circle, man. Full circle.