Our Turn At This Earth

Thursdays at 6:44 p.m. during All Things Considered
  • Hosted by Julene Bair

High Plains Public Radio will begin airing all new episodes of Our Turn At This Earth, beginning this Thursday at 6:44 p.m. CT during All Things Considered. 

Every week in Our Turn At This Earth, author Julene Bair ponders the questions she began asking as a young woman working beside her father as a fourth generation High Plains farmer: How do we honor our families’ past while also honoring the land and water beneath our feet? How do we ensure that our children and grandchildren will have a future during their turn at this earth?

Julene Bair is the author of One Degree West and The Ogallala Road. For links to her books and other essays visit www.julenebair.com.  

Our Turn at This Earth is a production of High Plains Public Radio, written and voiced by Julene Bair and produced by Angie Haflich. 

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Last year, I bought a 2012 Subaru Forester with only 30,000 miles on it. A great deal – not exactly what I wanted, but I’d been researching cars for months. I’d given up on the notion that a car existed that could tow a hefty wagon, take me far off-road, and get good gas mileage. So I finally caved on the mileage point.

Our Turn At This Earth: The Farm In The Girl

Feb 6, 2020
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When I was sixteen, my family left the farm where I grew up and moved into town. The house, along with all of the outbuildings and the corrals and pastures that used to hold a thousand head of ewes, several horses, a few cows, and some chickens and pigs, were eventually torn down.

But that western Kansas farm still lives within me. It shaped my values. By “values,” I mean not only how I believe I should conduct myself in life, but what I most treasure and wish to preserve.

Julene Bair

As a child, I lived in a big, old two-story farmhouse that my maternal grandfather had built in 1919, the year my mother was born.  It never occurred to me that my family could exist anywhere else. So it came as quite a shock when I was 16 and my parents traded that house and farm for land in another part of the county and we moved to town.

Today we welcomed Dr. Alex Hunt back into the studio to discuss the forthcoming Southern Plains Conference 2020, with the theme Representing, Modeling, and Imagining Water on the Southern Plains. Dr. Hunt heads up the Center for the Study of the American West (CSAW) at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, TX.

Our Turn At This Earth: Ogallala Road

Nov 14, 2019
ANI ESPRIELLA

High Plains Public Radio will be re-airing the past year's episodes of Our Turn At This Earth beginning Nov. 22, 2018.

New episodes will be airing after the new year, so stay tuned!  

Our Turn At This Earth: The Beaver Creeks

Nov 7, 2019
ANI ESPRIELLA

My father pastured his sheep on what could loosely be termed the “shores” of Little Beaver Creek, a dry watercourse that flowed only after gully washers – his term for big rainstorms. Today it amazes me that I could have grown up in that place and never wondered how the creek got its name. Nor did I wonder what happened to the water or the trees that beavers could not live without.

Our Turn At This Earth: The Carbon Cycle

Oct 31, 2019
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Stories about disruptions in the carbon cycle abound in the news these days. But recently, it occurred to me that I didn’t really know what the carbon cycle was.

A few Google searches later, and I will never again see my fall garden in quite the same way.

Our Turn At This Earth: Animal Stories

Oct 24, 2019
Julene Bair

My mother used to tell a story about a dog that our family had before I was born. She swore he could read her mind. “’Elmer, ‘ I said to him one time, “why don’t you get me that chicken?’ I didn’t even point. But danged if he didn’t go over and grab me the chicken I’d been thinking about.”

Our Turn At This Earth: Elephant Or Cash Cow?

Sep 26, 2019
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High Plains Public Radio will be re-airing the past year's episodes of Our Turn At This Earth beginning Nov. 22, 2018.

New episodes will be airing after the new year, so stay tuned!    

A few years ago I attended a meeting in my hometown, Goodland, Kansas. It had been called by the Vision Team, appointees of then Governor Sam Brownback, who had taken a noteworthy interest in conserving the Ogallala Aquifer.

US Army Corps of Engineers

High Plains Public Radio will be re-airing the past year's episodes of Our Turn At This Earth beginning Nov. 22, 2018.

New episodes will be airing after the new year, so stay tuned!  

“He thought he knew what he was going to see, but now that his horse stood on the summit, he couldn’t believe. He couldn’t believe that flat could be so flat or that distance ran so far or that the sky lifted so dizzy-deep or that the world stood so empty. He thought he never had seen the world before.

Our Turn At This Earth: The Soil Detective

Sep 12, 2019
JOHN DEERE'S THE FURROW MAGAZINE. COPYRIGHT (C) 2018 DEERE & COMPANY. ALL WORLDWIDE RIGHTS RESERVED.

High Plains Public Radio will be re-airing the past year's episodes of Our Turn At This Earth beginning Nov. 22, 2018.

New episodes will be airing after the new year, so stay tuned!  

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been talking a lot about regenerative farming techniques. “But could they work where I’m from?” I kept wondering.

Public Domain

High Plains Public Radio will be re-airing the past year's episodes of Our Turn At This Earth beginning Nov. 22, 2018.

New episodes will be airing after the new year, so stay tuned!

When it came time to plant a new windbreak on my family’s farm back in the 1980s, my father wanted just junipers or elms, while I wanted both of those, plus lilacs, Russian olives and plums, not in rows, but all mixed together randomly, like in a real forest.

Our Turn At This Earth: Old Fools in The Wilderness

Aug 29, 2019
Julene Bair

High Plains Public Radio will be re-airing the past year's episodes of Our Turn At This Earth beginning Nov. 22, 2018.

In the meantime, Julene Bair is working on a whole new set of episodes, so stay tuned!

Julene Bair

High Plains Public Radio will be re-airing the past year's episodes of Our Turn At This Earth beginning Nov. 22, 2018.

In the meantime, Julene Bair is working on a whole new set of episodes, so stay tuned!

Julene Bair

High Plains Public Radio will be re-airing the past year's episodes of Our Turn At This Earth beginning Nov. 22, 2018.

In the meantime, Julene Bair is working on a whole new set of episodes, so stay tuned!

“This farming has gotten so industrialized and out of hand,” Gabe Brown said.

Our Turn At This Earth: The Missing Loop

Aug 8, 2019
JULENE BAIR

High Plains Public Radio will be re-airing the past year's episodes of Our Turn At This Earth beginning Nov. 22, 2018.

In the meantime, Julene Bair is working on a whole new set of episodes, so stay tuned!

By lucky coincidence, my visit this May to the North Dakota farm of the remarkable soil health advocate Gabe Brown corresponded with a study being led by two other remarkable men. One of them was Abe Collins, who has spent most of his life raising cattle and sheep.

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High Plains Public Radio will be re-airing the past year's episodes of Our Turn At This Earth beginning Nov. 22, 2018.

In the meantime, Julene Bair is working on a whole new set of episodes, so stay tuned!

That’s the question I first asked myself some months ago when I began learning about the Soil Health movement. I’d seen a video of Ray Archuleta, the agronomist who spearheaded the movement, demonstrating how non-tilled versus conventionally farmed soils absorb water.

Our Turn At This Earth: A Soil Health Tour

Jul 11, 2019
Julene Bair

High Plains Public Radio will be re-airing the past year's episodes of Our Turn At This Earth beginning Nov. 22, 2018.

In the meantime, Julene Bair is working on a whole new set of episodes, so stay tuned!

Gabe threw a drain spade into the bed of his pickup and invited me to hop in the passenger seat. I’d arrived at his North Dakota farm earlier that morning and was getting a crash course in the art and science of regenerative agriculture from one of its foremost practitioners.

Our Turn At This Earth: A Visit With Gabe Brown

Jun 27, 2019
USDA NATIONAL RESOURCE CONSERVATION SERVICES

High Plains Public Radio will be re-airing the past year's episodes of Our Turn At This Earth beginning Nov. 22, 2018.

In the meantime, Julene Bair is working on a whole new set of episodes, so stay tuned!

Our Turn At This Earth: Dream Women

Jun 20, 2019
Public Domain

High Plains Public Radio will be re-airing the past year's episodes of Our Turn At This Earth beginning Nov. 22, 2018.

In the meantime, Julene Bair is working on a whole new set of episodes, so stay tuned!  

Our Turn At This Earth: Finding The Right Words

Jun 13, 2019
CREATIVE COMMONS CC0

High Plains Public Radio will be re-airing the past year's episodes of Our Turn At This Earth beginning Nov. 22, 2018.

In the meantime, Julene Bair is working on a whole new set of episodes, so stay tuned!

It’s happened many times. There I’ll be driving innocently down a western Kansas road, and a stretch of buffalo grass will reach out and grab me, almost pulling me into the ditch. Often, I’ve had to stop the car and get out, as I did one February afternoon a few years ago.

Our Turn At This Earth: Nature Fix

Jun 6, 2019

High Plains Public Radio will be re-airing the past year's episodes of Our Turn At This Earth beginning Nov. 22, 2018.

In the meantime, Julene Bair is working on a whole new set of episodes, so stay tuned!

Back in my late 20s, after my marriage had ended, I just couldn’t stand being in the city. I fled to the Mojave Desert every chance I got, because in the wilderness, with no people for miles upon miles, I felt less alone. That sounded crazy whenever I said it out loud, so I seldom did.

Our Turn At This Earth: Taking Notice

May 30, 2019
Julene Bair

High Plains Public Radio will be re-airing the past year's episodes of Our Turn At This Earth beginning Nov. 22, 2018.

In the meantime, Julene Bair is working on a whole new set of episodes, so stay tuned!

Today, rather than share my observations of the High Plains, I devised an exercise to encourage you to explore yours. I hope you enjoy it and that it brings you some insight into your relationship with the land.

Our Turn At This Earth: The Exploratory Impulse

May 23, 2019
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High Plains Public Radio will be re-airing the past year's episodes of Our Turn At This Earth beginning Nov. 22, 2018.

In the meantime, Julene Bair is working on a whole new set of episodes, so stay tuned!

Our Turn At This Earth: Well-Developed And Settled

May 16, 2019
NANCY MORILL NANCYM@IINET.COM / RITTENHOUSENEEDLEPOINT.COM

High Plains Public Radio will be re-airing the past year's episodes of Our Turn At This Earth beginning Nov. 22, 2018.

In the meantime, Julene Bair is working on a whole new set of episodes, so stay tuned!

“We saw it go from raw prairie to a well-developed, settled condition.” That is how one settler’s descendant, writing in a family history volume, describes the transformation of Sherman County, Kansas. Of course, not everyone would agree with the cultural outlook embedded in that statement.

Our Turn At This Earth: High On Spring

May 9, 2019
CREATIVE COMMONS CCO

High Plains Public Radio will be re-airing the past year's episodes of Our Turn At This Earth beginning Nov. 22, 2018.

In the meantime, Julene Bair is working on a whole new set of episodes, so stay tuned!

Our Turn At This Earth: After Sand Creek

May 2, 2019
ALAN HUTCHINS

High Plains Public Radio will be re-airing the past year's episodes of Our Turn At This Earth beginning Nov. 22, 2018.

In the meantime, Julene Bair is working on a whole new set of episodes, so stay tuned!

Our Turn At This Earth: Indelible Infamy

Apr 25, 2019
WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

High Plains Public Radio will be re-airing the past year's episodes of Our Turn At This Earth beginning Nov. 22, 2018.

In the meantime, Julene Bair is working on a whole new set of episodes, so stay tuned!

“(It) was the worst blow ever struck at any tribe in the whole plains region, and this blow fell upon friendly Indians.”

WYOHISTORY.ORG

High Plains Public Radio will be re-airing the past year's episodes of Our Turn At This Earth beginning Nov. 22, 2018.

In the meantime, Julene Bair is working on a whole new set of episodes, so stay tuned!

I’m not sure why this never dawned on me when I was a kid, but not until well into my adulthood did I put two and two together and realize that Cheyenne County, just north of our Kansas farm, was—duh!—named after the tribe that used to live there.

Wikimedia

High Plains Public Radio will be re-airing the past year's episodes of Our Turn At This Earth beginning Nov. 22, 2018.

In the meantime, Julene Bair is working on a whole new set of episodes, so stay tuned!

My cousin Mark Jones ranches in eastern Colorado on what was once the headwaters of the Arickaree, a tributary to the Republican River. Mark calls it the Ricaree.

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