Arkansas population http://visitmyarkansas.com/ Sat, 06 Aug 2022 02:50:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://visitmyarkansas.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/icon.png Arkansas population http://visitmyarkansas.com/ 32 32 Help guide future habitat work for Arkansas quail and turkey populations https://visitmyarkansas.com/help-guide-future-habitat-work-for-arkansas-quail-and-turkey-populations/ Fri, 05 Aug 2022 13:30:00 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/help-guide-future-habitat-work-for-arkansas-quail-and-turkey-populations/ Photo courtesy of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Breaking triple-digit temperatures may inspire many outdoor enthusiasts to resume their hiking, biking, and camping adventures, and many hunters’ minds are already centered on the improvements they can make to their location. favorite hunt or on new public land. for fall. If you happen to scare […]]]>
Photo courtesy of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

Breaking triple-digit temperatures may inspire many outdoor enthusiasts to resume their hiking, biking, and camping adventures, and many hunters’ minds are already centered on the improvements they can make to their location. favorite hunt or on new public land. for fall. If you happen to scare a flock of quail or see a turkey during your adventures, the AGFC wants to know.

Both turkey and quail sightings can be entered into the AGFC’s annual Wild Turkey and Quail Population Survey, which is available via the website at www.agfc.com/turkeysurvey or via the AGFC smartphone app. (Download the iPhone app here or Download the Android app here.)

In addition to helping biologists assess the hatch, participation in the survey can guide future habitat work on public and private lands, particularly with surveys of quail response.

Clint Johnson, AGFC Quail program coordinator, said a focus on location accuracy is extremely important when reporting quail coveys and hens with quail chicks.

Jeremy Wood, AGFC Turkey program coordinator, said the data shared in the survey will be generalized across counties or regions. Thus, hunters or other observers providing specific coordinates can submit without fear of revealing their personal access point.

“I’m also a turkey hunter, and I know how quiet it takes to keep a good place a secret,” Wood said. “We only need and share location data at the county level, but the better the specific location information people are willing to provide, the better it can be used to focus our conservation efforts.”

Photo courtesy of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

Wood added that the increased data on turkey information can show biologists possible gaps where good habitat may exist, but the birds haven’t figured out how to make the best use of it.

“The data we have collected so far through the survey is a good start, but only 240 to 250 participants are contributing to the effort, and a good number of them are AGFC employees and d ‘other agencies reporting while working in other capacities,” Wood said. “That’s less than one percent of the current estimates of turkey hunters in Arkansas. If we could get even one percent (more would be better) of our hunters to report the quails and turkeys they see from June to August, that would increase our data dramatically. It only takes a minute or two to report via your phone or computer, and it will make a big difference in our conservation efforts.

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GUEST COLUMN | Arkansas should pay teachers as professionals https://visitmyarkansas.com/guest-column-arkansas-should-pay-teachers-as-professionals/ Thu, 04 Aug 2022 10:09:44 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/guest-column-arkansas-should-pay-teachers-as-professionals/ No matter how hard I try, it’s nearly impossible to make a teenager laugh at my jokes. But there seems to be one that always lands. The perfect moment comes seconds after my students thank me for helping them with a difficult task. My answer: “That’s why I make a lot of money.” It makes […]]]>

No matter how hard I try, it’s nearly impossible to make a teenager laugh at my jokes. But there seems to be one that always lands. The perfect moment comes seconds after my students thank me for helping them with a difficult task. My answer: “That’s why I make a lot of money.” It makes you laugh every time.

As a Grade 11 teacher, I get asked a question every year when students start planning for college: “Mrs. Howard, why did you become a teacher knowing you wouldn’t make a lot of money?” Ask any teacher and they’ll tell you the reason they do this work is because of the students we build relationships with every year. This answer kept me in this career for 16 years. This is why I have always encouraged students to enter the field of education to make their own impact.

But times are changing. It is becoming increasingly difficult to convince promising students that they will be valued if they choose to work in education, especially when Arkansas teachers are the fourth lowest paid in the nation. Enrollment in educator preparation programs in Arkansas has plummeted since 2012, and veteran and licensed educators are leaving the workforce faster than they can be replaced.

But, for the first time in my career, the Legislative Assembly had a real chance to change that. The state of Arkansas ended fiscal year 2022 with a record surplus of $1.62 billion. Gov. Asa Hutchinson has proposed using some of that money to raise teachers’ salaries by $4,000 and raise the minimum wage to $42,000 for the special session beginning Aug. 8. While the state has made small, incremental changes to the state’s minimum teacher salary over the past few years, our public schools still face a crisis like we’ve never experienced before. In the wake of covid-19, our love for students is not enough to keep our families afloat. We want to love this job and be paid like professionals. We deserve it as much as our students deserve to have an engaged and passionate teacher in their classrooms.

Being a teacher requires a high degree of content knowledge, the ability to create and grow inclusive communities among a diverse student population, and ongoing and rigorous professional development. As a teacher, I earn 60 hours of professional development each year – more than is required by most professional fields. In addition to these 60 hours each year, in order to constantly improve my practice, I have worked to obtain a master’s degree, certification to teach English language learners, recognition as a certified teacher by the National Council and completed several scholarships related to teaching and advocacy. Teachers are invested in the success of our students and the development of our own professional practice. We believe that lifelong learners create a better future for all of us. But we can’t do everything at the expense of supporting our families.

We see students as more than learners. We see them as humans. Many of us do this work because we hope for a better future. By teaching empathy, compassion, and inclusivity, we not only prepare a productive workforce; we create a community that values ​​humanity. We care deeply about our students and the future of this state they will inherit. Like our professional development, this job is not easy either. This has an emotional impact on all teachers, which often goes unnoticed. Many of my colleagues have decided that while they believe in the work they do, compromise is not enough. Last year alone, seven of my colleagues in the English department left my school, many of them to seek jobs that would better support their families. Teachers leave because they are not paid for the work they bring to the world. If Arkansas continues to undervalue its teachers, students will suffer the consequences.

Now is the time for our legislators to step up and fund public education, and ensure that our state’s teachers are not among the lowest paid in the country. They have the opportunity to invest a small portion of the $1.62 billion surplus in the education of our children and in the future of this state. Show our children that the quality of their education matters. Their future matters.

If lawmakers let this moment pass, the joke is on us.

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Help guide future work on the habitat of Arkansas quail and turkey populations | KLRT https://visitmyarkansas.com/help-guide-future-work-on-the-habitat-of-arkansas-quail-and-turkey-populations-klrt/ Wed, 03 Aug 2022 19:01:50 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/help-guide-future-work-on-the-habitat-of-arkansas-quail-and-turkey-populations-klrt/ PETIT ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Game and Fish Commission) – Breaking triple-digit temperatures may inspire many outdoor enthusiasts to resume their hiking, biking, and camping adventures, and many hunters’ minds are already centered on the improvements they can make to their favorite hunting spot or looking for a new audience. land for the fall. If you […]]]>

PETIT ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Game and Fish Commission) – Breaking triple-digit temperatures may inspire many outdoor enthusiasts to resume their hiking, biking, and camping adventures, and many hunters’ minds are already centered on the improvements they can make to their favorite hunting spot or looking for a new audience. land for the fall. If you happen to scare a flock of quail or see a turkey during your adventures, the AGFC wants to know.

Both turkey and quail sightings can be entered into the AGFC’s Annual Wild Turkey and Quail Population Survey, which is available via the website at www.agfc.com/turkeysurvey or via the AGFC smartphone app. (Download the iPhone app here or Download the Android app here.)

In addition to helping biologists assess the hatch, participation in the survey can guide future habitat work on public and private lands, particularly with surveys of quail response.

Clint Johnson, AGFC Quail program coordinator, said a focus on location accuracy is extremely important when reporting quail coveys and hens with quail chicks.

“Quail populations are a bit more patchy across the state than turkeys,” Johnson said. “Quail can be found in every county in the state, but some areas have healthier populations than others. We want to identify these patches and focus our habitat efforts to strengthen them. The data will also help us verify any population increases in areas where habitat work has taken place to show us that we are on the right track.

Jeremy Wood, AGFC Turkey program coordinator, said the data shared in the survey will be generalized across counties or regions. Thus, hunters or other observers providing specific coordinates can submit without fear of revealing their personal access point.

“I’m also a turkey hunter, and I know how quiet it takes to keep a good place a secret,” Wood said. “We only need and share location data at the county level, but the better the specific location information people are willing to provide, the better it can be used to focus our conservation efforts.”

Wood added that the increased data on turkey information can show biologists possible gaps where good habitat may exist, but the birds haven’t figured out how to make the best use of it.

“The data we have collected so far through the survey is a good start, but only 240 to 250 participants are contributing to the effort, and a good number of them are AGFC employees and d ‘other agencies reporting while working in other capacities,” Wood said. “That’s less than one percent of the current estimates of turkey hunters in Arkansas. If we could get even one percent (more would be better) of our hunters to report the quails and turkeys they see from June to August, that would increase our data dramatically. It only takes a minute or two to report via your phone or computer, and it will make a big difference in our conservation efforts.

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Arkansas Division of Corrections does not keep records of overdose deaths https://visitmyarkansas.com/arkansas-division-of-corrections-does-not-keep-records-of-overdose-deaths/ Thu, 21 Jul 2022 11:27:39 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/arkansas-division-of-corrections-does-not-keep-records-of-overdose-deaths/ A brief response on December 28, 2021 to a Freedom of Information Act request regarding inmate drug overdoses created more questions than it answered. What happened: “We are not maintaining records responding to your request,” read the email from the Arkansas Department of Corrections public information officer in response to an investigation seeking further opioid- […]]]>

A brief response on December 28, 2021 to a Freedom of Information Act request regarding inmate drug overdoses created more questions than it answered.

What happened: “We are not maintaining records responding to your request,” read the email from the Arkansas Department of Corrections public information officer in response to an investigation seeking further opioid- or fentanyl-related deaths. in state prisons.

  • The reaction raised the question: why not? And that led to a closer look at the kinds of information the Arkansas Division of Corrections (ADC) — part of the Department of Corrections — publicly reports.

Why is this important: Every day, CDA is responsible for over 17,000 inmates and 4,500 staff. So a lack of transparency about deaths should concern any Arkansan.

What they don’t say: Dexter Payne, the division’s director, declined multiple interview requests through his public information officer, Cindy Murphy.

  • A final call Tuesday to Arkansas Department of Corrections Secretary Solomon Graves yielded no results.

The other side: ADC collects and publishes a wealth of information, including annual and monthly reports.

Yes, but: Reports use average prison populations, rather than raw numbers, tend to give positives about training programs and bury less flattering details in number-heavy charts with little context.

State of play: A phone conversation with Murphy on July 15 painted a picture of a department under high turnover, inefficient with its data, and unwilling to take additional action in the interest of informing the public.

  • She said Axios data resided in different silos across the department, personnel changes created knowledge gaps, and “Arkansas’ Freedom of Information law does not require not here [Department of Corrections] to create a document or spreadsheet in response to a request for information.”
Overcrowded prison population

Data: Arkansas Department of Corrections; Graphic: Skye Witley/Axios

State prisons often have more inmates than capacity, according to data analyzed by Axios.

Driving the news: About 1,100 new beds are planned for the Corrections Division, but it may be years before they are available for inmates.

  • In March, lawmakers included $75 million to expand the North Central Calico Rock Unit by nearly 500 beds in the Department of Corrections’ appropriations bill.
  • The department plans to spend more than $4 million to convert a former juvenile detention center into a parole and probation facility for lower-level offenders, adding 150 beds.
  • A planned $8 million, 500-bed facility to be operated by a private contractor in southeast Arkansas was scheduled to open in early 2022, but has yet to begin.

The big picture: State prisons have often been overcrowded by at least 500 inmates for the past five years, and it looks like the problem will get worse before it gets better. Partly as a result of state growth, the prison population is expected to grow 1.4% per year, reaching 19,160 by 2031.

  • By one measure, Arkansas’ incarceration rate is the fifth highest in the world, at 942 per 100,000 people locked up.

  • Inmates also stay longer. The average sentence length in fiscal year 2012 was just under four years. In 2021, it was just over five years.

By the numbers: There were 17,229 people incarcerated in Arkansas state prisons at the start of June.

  • The state’s maximum capacity for fiscal year 2021, which ended June 30, was 15,454.
  • A total of 757 contract beds were available at the start of fiscal year 2021, but an agreement with Bowie County, Texas ended in October 2020, reducing overflow beds to about 400.

Even with reduced total incarceration during the COVID-19 pandemic, the raw number of people incarcerated at the end of each month was higher than the capacity figures provided to Axios.

The other side: The CDA’s 2021 annual report breaks down the capacity of each prison unit, based on its population. The department uses annual average figures which tend to smooth out instantaneous population peaks. The graph illustrates a system that is close to, but not above, capacity.

  • Twice in 2021, the ADC used the Emergency Food Act to release approximately 300 inmates and reduce overcrowding.

The plot: ADC’s public information officer ignored several questions from Axios seeking additional context on the overcrowding.

The bottom line: The numbers do not reflect overcrowding in county jails where inmates are waiting to be transferred to a public facility.

  • In February, Gov. Asa Hutchinson posted a graph showing that more than 2,200 incarcerated people have been saved in the county system.

Go further:

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NWA’s eclectic startups get a boost https://visitmyarkansas.com/nwas-eclectic-startups-get-a-boost/ Mon, 18 Jul 2022 12:06:34 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/nwas-eclectic-startups-get-a-boost/ Fifteen early-stage NWA startups have been selected for a year-long business accelerator by Entrepreneurship for All Northwest Arkansas (EforAll), which is splitting two cohorts — one English, one Spanish — for its inaugural program. Why is this important: The United States is missing out on more than a million minority-owned businesses due to discrimination, a […]]]>

Fifteen early-stage NWA startups have been selected for a year-long business accelerator by Entrepreneurship for All Northwest Arkansas (EforAll), which is splitting two cohorts — one English, one Spanish — for its inaugural program.

Why is this important: The United States is missing out on more than a million minority-owned businesses due to discrimination, a study finds. EforAll focuses on developing underrepresented and minority entrepreneurs to help bridge this gap.

By the numbers: EforAll’s two cohorts are 88% female homeowners and 80% who identify as Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, or Hispanic.

An entrepreneur is autistic.

  • People with disabilities are the largest minority group in the United States, representing approximately 20% of the population.

Details: The Accelerator Program provides each participant with mentorship, a personalized curriculum, peer support, coworking space, and opportunities to earn seed money.

  • Entrepreneurs will start building their business models this month.

The plot: The cohorts include an eclectic mix of businesses, ranging from a candy maker and tattoo artist to human resources consultants and an all-day breakfast food truck.

And after: EforAll is holding an idea pitch competition in September where entrepreneurs will compete for a cash prize of $1,000.

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Women in Peril: Arkansas in the Post-Roe World https://visitmyarkansas.com/women-in-peril-arkansas-in-the-post-roe-world/ Sat, 16 Jul 2022 10:06:16 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/women-in-peril-arkansas-in-the-post-roe-world/ The news is full of danger signals for women in Arkansas thanks to Arkansas’ punitive abortion ban, one of the nation’s most ruthless on problematic pregnancies. From across the country and Arkansas, come warnings or real cases of harm to women from the US Supreme Court’s decision to end abortion rights and the resulting campaign […]]]>

The news is full of danger signals for women in Arkansas thanks to Arkansas’ punitive abortion ban, one of the nation’s most ruthless on problematic pregnancies.

From across the country and Arkansas, come warnings or real cases of harm to women from the US Supreme Court’s decision to end abortion rights and the resulting campaign for state laws to punish women and those who seek to help them.

In Arizona, an ex-husband is suing an abortion clinic for “wrongful death” in his ex-wife’s abortion. A judge has allowed the man to open an estate for the embryo and the woman remains mired in a lawsuit four years after the abortion. As Pro Publica notes in an article on the case:

Experts said the rare tactic could become more common as anti-abortion groups signaled their desire to further limit reproductive rights in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. , which overruled Roe against Wade. The lawsuit in Arizona and others that may follow could also be an attempt to discourage and intimidate suppliers and harass plaintiffs’ former love partners, experts have said.

And more problems:

This article reports that support groups for low-income women seeking abortions are pulling out for fear of legal harm. Such groups exist in Arkansas. You can be sure that the religious crusaders in the Arkansas legislature are willing to attempt to criminalize these support groups; criminalize women who seek treatment in states where abortion remains legal, and criminalize those who provide women with assistance, whether in money, transportation, or even simple counselling.

In Texas, hospitals refuse medical care for women with high-risk pregnancies for fear of breaking anti-abortion law (which is slightly less strict in Texas than in Arkansas for women with difficult medical conditions). Arkansas allows treatment ONLY to save a mother’s life. Mere damage to health is not enough.

Even ectopic pregnancies are scrutinized. These are fetuses not implanted in the uterus. Without an abortion, the woman dies. Arkansas law provides for an abortion for ectopic pregnancies. But doctors fear aborting such a pregnancy while a fetal heartbeat can still be detected (another prohibition in Arkansas law). The treatment of incomplete miscarriages is also a dilemma for doctors under Arkansas law.

The Arkansas lawmakers who blithely claim that the ectopic pregnancy exception is sound are NOT doctors. Consider this from the Post article.

Many state laws with new abortion restrictions make exceptions for ectopics, but uncertainties can arise if a fetus implants on cesarean section scar tissue on the wall of the uterus or cannot not be located.

Patricia Nahn, another obstetrician-gynecologist at Zeal, said she recently had a patient with signs of an ectopic pregnancy, including abdominal pain. But because this was not a specific case in which an ultrasound showed that the fetus was developing outside the womb, Nahn risked terminating a fetus that was in the womb and violating Wisconsin’s abortion ban.

Pregnancy is a complicated business. Dangerous even. Science and medicine should take precedence over a legislator’s religion or beliefs, just as with cattle deworming. The Arkansas legislature should not practice medicine. And it is malpractice and dishonesty on the part of Attorney General Leslie Rutledge to claim that Arkansas’ cruel law is about protecting women.

In a state with a sky-high maternal mortality rate, the number of deaths in Arkansas will rise. And complications are much more than ectopic pregnancies, but also complicated pregnancies with serious, but not necessarily fatal, health risks.

The Legislature should read the column in today’s Democrat-Gazette by Jill Wieber Lens, a law professor at the University of Arkansas. She writes about how Arkansas’ total abortion ban (barring the wave and I think not a fully protective exception for ectopic pregnancies) will hurt care for ALL pregnant women.

Specifically, the Arkansas Trigger Law limits treatment options for pregnancy loss – at the same time pregnancy losses in Arkansas are likely to increase, also due to the Trigger Law.

…An example is a missed miscarriage, when the baby stops growing but the fetus’ heart is still beating. Medical interventions for these miscarriages are the same medications and procedures used for abortion. These procedures, however, are no longer legal in Arkansas until the fetal heartbeat stops on its own. This can take weeks or even longer. Pregnant Arkansans who experience a missed miscarriage are left with no choice but to wait, which increases physical and emotional trauma.

Similarly, medical treatment will not be available if a woman goes into preterm labor before she is viable (i.e. before the baby is likely to survive outside the womb, usually around 24 weeks of age). pregnancy). If a woman’s waters break at 18 weeks and doctors can’t stop preterm labor, doctors can’t legally do anything as long as the fetal heartbeat continues. Again, pregnant Arkansans will be forced to wait, increasing physical and emotional trauma.

In neither situation can a doctor legally perform an abortion. Abortions are legal in Arkansas only if necessary to “save the life of a pregnant woman in the event of a medical emergency.” Medical emergency is defined as “a condition in which the life of a pregnant woman is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness or physical injury”.

But how in danger must his life be? Twenty percent chance of dying? Fifty-one percent chance of dying? Ninety-nine percent chance of dying? Should his life be immediately endangered, or is subsequent known endangerment enough?

Arkansas law does not answer these questions; the courts will eventually have to answer them. Hospital lawyers will now be intimately involved in medical treatment decisions.

Lens also notes the absence of an allowance in the law for fetal anomalies. Indeed, a 2019 Arkansas law encourages women in such cases to carry a pregnancy to term, with palliative and other care to prepare families for the death of a child before or after birth. The legislature, of course, has not provided any resources to provide such care to poor families.

And then there are stillbirths, which occur late in pregnancy. Some 25% of them are preventable, Lens writes. But, again, we are in Darkansas:

Based on 2019 data, the most recent national data available, Arkansas already has the third highest stillbirth rate in the nation. In the short time between 2017 and 2019, Arkansas’ stillbirth rate increased by nearly 28%. Black women in Arkansas are 85% more likely to give birth to a stillborn baby than white women. Studies also show that poor women have a double risk of stillbirth compared to women with economic means.

The effects of Arkansas’ abortion ban are not limited only to those who wish to terminate their pregnancies. The ban will also likely increase pregnancy losses while making the experience of pregnancy loss more difficult.

To quote again Leslie Rutledge on President Biden’s orders to protect access to abortion:

The order flatters President Biden’s base by perpetuating the false narrative that women’s lives are in danger.

And also from Rutledge:

In Arkansas we will always be protect life!

Whose life? Not that of a grown woman. More here on the “blurred line” on what it means to save a life.

The new abortion bans oversimplify the reality of obstetric care, doctors say, placing a binary on what is a continuous spectrum of increasing risk. Pregnancy places enormous stress on a patient’s body, sometimes exacerbating existing health problems such as diabetes or hypertension until they put their lives in danger.

“With a heart patient, when in her pregnancy will she die?” said David Hackney, a specialist in high-risk pregnancies in Ohio. “You don’t want to reach that point, where things are so clear.”

PS: Lens of the UA also wrote a scholarly paper that says efforts to support those experiencing pregnancy loss need not cede the right to abortion. From the summary:

More importantly, this article proposes that acknowledging pregnancy loss in abortion narratives will better position the abortion rights movement in a post-Roe world in which abortion and pregnancy loss are inexorably linked. Without legal access to abortion, women will turn to self-management. But because the complications of self-managed abortion are indistinguishable from miscarriage, the investigation and criminalization of pregnancy loss will increase dramatically as a mechanism for the enforcement of abortion laws. Furthermore, restrictions on abortion also create indirect consequences that undermine the treatment of pregnancy loss. Understanding how these two experiences are related will help normalize and de-stigmatize all pregnancy terminations that do not result in a live birth – abortion, stillbirth, and miscarriage. Finally, we argue that an abortion rights discourse that recognizes the subjective value of the fetus is less alienating and reflects nuanced views on the meaning of pregnancy.

The Arkansas legislature, as a rule, does not discriminate.

PS: None of these piling up horror stories mentions another – the potential loss of drugs useful in the treatment of various diseases – cancer, for example – as they can cause miscarriages. Women across the country are already experiencing this. Or the denial of the sale of contraceptives by those who claim a religious objection (protected by Arkansas law).

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Springs Utilities Seeks Deal to Buy Water Rights From Arkansas Valley Farmers | New https://visitmyarkansas.com/springs-utilities-seeks-deal-to-buy-water-rights-from-arkansas-valley-farmers-new/ Wed, 06 Jul 2022 07:00:00 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/springs-utilities-seeks-deal-to-buy-water-rights-from-arkansas-valley-farmers-new/ Brothers Caleb, left, and Mark Wertz will sell their water rights to Springs Utilities. Courtesy of USC Caleb and Mark Wertz want ensure the success of their farm in the Arkansas Valley while using water responsibly at a time when drought and other factors have sapped resources across the West. Part of this goal led […]]]>






Brothers Caleb, left, and Mark Wertz will sell their water rights to Springs Utilities.




Caleb and Mark Wertz want ensure the success of their farm in the Arkansas Valley while using water responsibly at a time when drought and other factors have sapped resources across the West.

Part of this goal led the brothers to enter into an agreement to sell some of their water rights to Colorado Springs Utilities, which must acquire additional water to serve a growing population.

This deal could be duplicated multiple times if Bent County signs an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) that would allow utilities to enter into agreements to secure access to 15,000 acre feet of water held annually by others. owners of water rights in the county over a period of 10 years. moving average.

The IGA is described as a way for urban and rural water users to work together to ensure an adequate supply for growing crops and for city dwellers.

The IGA, which will be considered by Bent County commissioners in a public hearing on July 12, would allow utilities to purchase water rights from farmers without going through the cumbersome 1041 process. can be costly and unpredictable — named after a state law enacted decades ago that allows county officials to approve or disapprove of multi-county, statewide projects.

“The first water-sharing project to be processed under the IGA, if approved, would be Wertz’s actions,” Utilities spokeswoman Jennifer Jordan said. “However, the Wertz deal is not contingent on IGA approval. These actions would go through the 1041 clearance process … if the IGA is not approved.

If the IGA is approved, the Wertz deal would be the first project approved under it and would allow Colorado Springs Utilities to bypass the 1041 process in future water-sharing agreements in Bent County. too, she said.

In its agreement with the Wertz brothers, Utilities has already taken steps, such as providing funds that allowed the brothers to acquire land and water-efficient center pivot irrigation systems.

“What we’re doing is trying to keep the farms in production,” said Scott Lorenz, senior utility project manager. India in an interview. “There has always been the threat of having large-scale buying and drying operations devastating the local economy. The water contained in the Wertz Farm Agreement will still be there in 100 years.

Caleb Wertz says the deal with Utilities gives him and his brother confidence that their farm can pull through financially.

“Buying land is quite expensive,” he says. “It creates relief for my brother and I, being young farmers.”

Buy-and-dry refers to the acquisition water rights that allow the purchaser to transport water off the land in question for other purposes, essentially drying up the land forever.

The town of Aurora acquired water rights to some 5,000 acres in Otero County in 2003, which drained farmland in “one of the best agricultural areas in the valley,” says Bill Long , a former Bent County commissioner who helped the county negotiate the IGA. with utilities.

“There’s no more water, and that’s what’s devastating,” he says, noting that earlier water sales in the 1980s and 1990s contributed to this drying up factor.

But because water is considered a property right in Colorado, the owner is free to do whatever they want with those rights. So some farmers and valley officials fear that a hedge fund or other wealthy entity will make offers that are hard to refuse, and that the drying up territory will become wasteland.

Enter Utilities, which wants to share water, not capture water rights for exclusive city use.

The deal, worth millions of dollars to landowners and the county itself, would pay $1,600 per acre-foot to Bent County when water rights are enacted to utilities through of the water tribunal as a single payment. Utilities would then pay an additional $45 per acre-foot when the water is delivered, resulting in potential annual payments to Bent County of $675,000 for 15,000 acre-feet of water.

These payments are in addition to the amount paid to water rights holders. Part of the money given to the county is to be used to hire a manager who would monitor compliance with the IGA.

These 15,000 acres will go a long way toward Utilities’ goal of acquiring 25,000 acres of water from agriculture. Beyond the 25,000 acre feet, Utilities would still need an additional 11,000 acre feet of water by 2072 to serve its customers, Lorenz says.

Utilities currently owns 95,000 acre feet of water and customers currently use approximately 75,000 acre feet annually.

An acre-foot of water equals the amount needed to cover 1 acre of land with one foot of water, an amount that typically serves two to three households per year.

The state water plan provides for the conversion of some of the water used for agriculture for domestic purposes, reducing agriculture’s share of the state’s supply from 86 percent to 80 %.

“It’s all these discussions, how are you going to do this and without devastating a local economy? said Lorenz.

One way is to help farmers convert to flood irrigation, which literally floods cultivated fields with water from a network of ditches.

Lorenz says Utilities hopes to strike similar deals in other counties. “We have a general interest in all counties in the Arkansas River Basin,” he says. “We see more and more that we are connected by water. The fact that we are the largest city in the Arkansas Basin brings a certain responsibility.

Of course, there is also the issue of the Arkansas River Compact between Colorado and Kansas which requires Kansas to receive a certain amount of water from the Arkansas River.

Whether water agreements, including increased center pivots, will impact Colorado’s obligation to Kansas will be determined by the Division of Water Resources and the Water Court, Lorenz said.

“There will be requirements for how we make replacements not just for Kansas, but for all downstream users,” Lorenz says.

Valley Irrigation Company reports on its website that flood irrigation results in only about 50% uptake while the other half is lost through evaporation, runoff, seepage from uncultivated areas, and transpiration through weed leaves. Absorption rates for center pivot irrigation can be as high as 90%.

This means that less water can be used to achieve the same results in crop growth.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that a study of alfalfa production in Montana showed yields almost doubled from 1955 to 2005 after the introduction of center pivots, replacing flood irrigation. .

The USDA also reports that sprinklers can increase the number of acres in production and lengthen the irrigation season.

Disadvantages include less water returned to underground aquifers, lower stream flows in the later part of growing seasons, and higher electricity costs. It’s also possible that the introduction of center pivots, which can irrigate fields that are not level, will result in greater water use as more land is converted to irrigation, according to the USDA.

But the center pivots leave the corners of the fields unirrigated. This is the land for which Utilities would acquire the water rights.

Caleb Wertz, who turned 21 on June 28, and Mark, 26, farm 240 acres of alfalfa and corn 8 km east of Las Animas. Caleb says they will get higher production with fewer acres under center pivots than with flood irrigation.

“Thanks to the agreement with Colorado Springs, this allows the diversification of our agricultural operation and represents many financial difficulties to start farming. This allows for more efficient irrigation,” says Caleb, referring to the conversion to center pivots.

Growing up in a farming family, the brothers wanted their own land, and the utility deal helped them buy those 240 acres. Other family lands are cultivated by their father and two other brothers.

From Bent County’s perspective, “This partnership allows the county to work with a new water user who will essentially be in perpetuity [Springs Utilities]which will be much better than a New York hedge fund, or someone who wants to buy and drain the ground and doesn’t care about the impacts that might hit the county in a negative way,” said Long, chairman of the board of administration of the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy. District, which oversees the Fryingpan-Arkansas Transmountain Diversion Project which provides water via the Pueblo Reservoir.

“It’s a way to sell or rent water to someone who will be there forever.”







IMG_0093[18].jpg

Center pivot systems are more water efficient than flood irrigation methods.




Long says the IGA would cap the acres that can be dewatered by utility water purchases at 3,125 acres, limiting the acreage that would be claimed by utility water sales.

“It’s a way for the city and [Bent] county to share water in a way that benefits both parties,” he said. “We hate to see water leave where it’s currently used, but it’s part of a property right in Colorado. This [the IGA] creates financial incentives for farmers to use their water more efficiently.

It also puts money in the hands of county commissioners, who can use it for economic development or to update record keeping by converting the county’s land management system to GIS. Lorenz says Bent County is one of the few counties in the state without GIS land management, which may impact how the county not only maintains land records but also monitors septic and drip permits. other functions authorized by the county.

The IGA also requires utilities to revegetate reclaimed acres with low-moisture and native plants and “maintain revegetation when complete,” says the IGA.

“After revegetation is certified as established,” the IGA says, these areas must be prohibited from “tillage, plowing or other mechanical means to break up the soil,” and any grazing program must comply with accountability measures.

Weed control is also necessary.

Long does not expect commissioners to vote on July 12, but instead listen to citizen feedback on the IGA. He is not aware of any organized opposition to the IGA, he says.

“Colorado Springs Utilities thought about how they put this together,” Long says. “The reality is in Colorado, it’s a private property right. There could be much worse offers.

Lorenz says Utilities is aware of the high cost of acquiring farmland water. “For us to use our clients’ hard-earned funds, we have to make sure there’s a benefit for us,” he says. “A lot of time has been spent talking to farmers about how you balance these very real needs: a need for water and a need for food.”

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Arkansas Game and Fish Commission applauds accomplishments at final Bennie Westphal meeting https://visitmyarkansas.com/arkansas-game-and-fish-commission-applauds-accomplishments-at-final-bennie-westphal-meeting/ Sat, 02 Jul 2022 11:29:25 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/arkansas-game-and-fish-commission-applauds-accomplishments-at-final-bennie-westphal-meeting/ LITTLE ROCK – Today’s meeting of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission concluded one of the busiest years in recent history, with many accomplishments highlighted in the AGFC Director’s report , Austin Booth. Booth reflected on his first year of leadership and working alongside staff, volunteers and the many other Arkansans who make the efforts […]]]>

LITTLE ROCK – Today’s meeting of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission concluded one of the busiest years in recent history, with many accomplishments highlighted in the AGFC Director’s report , Austin Booth.

Booth reflected on his first year of leadership and working alongside staff, volunteers and the many other Arkansans who make the efforts of the AGFC possible.

“2022 has been quite a year for the agency,” Booth said, highlighting some of the agency’s accomplishments, including the launch of the Jim Hinkle Spring River Hatchery renovation, the completion of the Mercer Bayou renovation , the completion of a major project on the South Greentree Reservoir. in the Lake Henry Gray Hurricane Wildlife Management Area, modernizing the marine fuel tax agreement with the ArDOT, and opening up major firing ranges at Jonesboro and Warren.

“2022 has been great for us,” Booth said. “Next month we will be presenting an annual report that will summarize all of this for the people we serve, and we will also announce a strategic plan for the next five years.”

The meeting also concluded the term of outgoing Commissioner Bennie Westphal of Fort Smith. Westphal was appointed in December 2020 to complete the term of Commissioner Joe Morgan, who died after serving five years on the Commission.

Although his time on the Commission has been cut short, Westphal has been instrumental in many decisions over the past 18 months, including the selection of the Director of AGFC Booth and many major accomplishments highlighted in the speech. of Booth. He also continued to maintain a relationship with PRADCO Outdoor Brands and the Commission, particularly with the Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center in Fort Smith and the fishing tournaments that take place on Wells Lake.

“If there’s a soothing voice among all seven of us, it’s Bennie,” said commissioner Bobby Martin of Rogers. “We are grateful, Bennie, to have been able to be part of your chapter by writing a legacy and now we have a friend for life.”

In today’s trade actions, the Commission approved the removal of the regulation that prohibits shooting a radio-collared bear during open hunting seasons in Arkansas. With the recently approved bear season in Bear Zones 3 and 4 and the ensuing crowd-funded black bear population research project in southern Arkansas, the regulation was lifted to give more precise results on bear population dynamics at the start of hunting seasons.

Director Booth applauded the effort of biologists and AGFC staff who are now undertaking to monitor the bear population and promote hunting as a viable tool for managing bear populations.

“This morning, Myron Means, AGFC Large Carnivore Program Coordinator, is with AGFC State Wildlife Veterinarian Dr. (Jenn) Ballard in southern Arkansas trapping bears and equipping them with new GPS collars to unlock a whole new level of black bear research,” Booth said. “We are thrilled to acquire these necklaces because we did so with our partners Robbie Kroger from Blood Origins and a crowdfunding effort with matches from Cabela’s Foundation and Legends Ranch.”

The Commission also elected Commissioner Martin as Commission Chair and Commissioner Stan Jones of Walnut Ridge as Commission Vice-Chair for the 2023 fiscal year.

In other cases, the Commission:

Heard by Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation President Deke Whitbeck who briefed the Commission on the recent Tin Cup Golf Tournament, the unveiling of the Arkansas State Duck Stamp and the Fishing Tournament at the Commissioners Cup Youth Bass as well as the upcoming outdoor Arkansas Hall of Fame Banquet.

Heard from Bruce Stanton with PRADCO Outdoor Brands, a Fort Smith-based outdoor brand that has partnered with the AGFC on many local events.

Approval of a bylaw allowing unlimited harvesting of fish from Big Lake in Mississippi County. The lake is drawn by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for renovation and construction needs, and the AGFC wants to allow anglers to enjoy the resource by keeping as many fish from the lake as they want before it goes down. be drained.

Approved two clarifications to codes governing minimum draw weights on archery equipment and camping permit requirements in wildlife management areas.

Approved a cooperative research agreement with the University of Arkansas Research Unit to coordinate research projects with the AGFC and many other government agencies to conduct field research to maintain the wildlife and fisheries management up to date with the latest scientific advances.

Approved the Black River WMA Restoration Fund budget for the agency’s fiscal year 2023 of $1,257,383;

Approved the agency’s fiscal year 2023 Gas Lease Funds budget of $100,000;

Approved a budget carry forward of $4,600,644.64 from the Stability and Strengthening Fund to the budget for fiscal year 2023;

Approved the agency’s fiscal year 2023 operating funds budget of $117,386,070;

Awarded to retired Wildlife Officer Captain Shad Pearce his service sidearm for 25 years of service with the AGFC; and

Approved the removal of expired and obsolete inventory with a total original cost of $11,880 and a current net book value of $0.

A video of the meeting is available at https://www.youtube.com/user/ArkansasGameandFish.

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Ayden Owens-Delerme named finalist for The Bowerman https://visitmyarkansas.com/ayden-owens-delerme-named-finalist-for-the-bowerman/ Tue, 28 Jun 2022 22:38:45 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/ayden-owens-delerme-named-finalist-for-the-bowerman/ NEW ORLEANS – Junior Razorback Ayden Owens-Delerme was named one of three finalists for The Bowerman Award on Tuesday by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association along with Trey Cunningham of Florida State and Randolph Ross, Jr. of North Carolina A&T. “Honestly, I was kind of expecting that after the […]]]>

NEW ORLEANS – Junior Razorback Ayden Owens-Delerme was named one of three finalists for The Bowerman Award on Tuesday by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association along with Trey Cunningham of Florida State and Randolph Ross, Jr. of North Carolina A&T.

“Honestly, I was kind of expecting that after the indoor and outdoor seasons that I hosted,” Owens-Delerme said. “I was on the watch list for most of the year, and I was hoping to be in the top three. Being out there with Trey and Randolph is some pretty elite company. I’m pretty excited about it.

All three finalists for the 2022 Men’s Bowerman Award, college athletics’ highest individual honor, have won NCAA titles in both indoor and outdoor seasons in their respective events. Owens-Delerme won the indoor heptathlon and outdoor decathlon, Cunningham won the 60m hurdles and 110m hurdles, and Ross won the 400m titles.

“I’m so happy for Ayden and all the hard work he’s put in,” Arkansas men’s head coach Chris Bucknam said. “We’ve seen him compete all year and we’ve seen some outstanding effort and competition. He was very successful and we are really happy for him.

“What a great opportunity to be named to the top three finalist list of the top college track and field athletes in the country. I’m proud of him and Coach Geopfert and the hard work he put in as well. These two really have great synergy. Now let’s make this Bowerman win!”

Owens-Delerme is the second Bowerman finalist in the men’s Razorback program, joining 2016 finalist and winner Jarrion Lawson.

Fan voting for The Bowerman begins Tuesday at 3 p.m. (CT) and ends Thursday at 1 p.m. (CT) at the following link: http://www.ustfccca.org/the-bowerman/the-bowerman-fan-vote

The season compiled by Owens-Delerme was simply exceptional. From how he won the NCAA Indoor title in the heptathlon, to breaking the collegiate record in the decathlon, and winning the NCAA Outdoor decathlon title, it all combined for a spectacular display of his talents.

Additionally, Owens-Delerme participated in the Razorbacks’ relays. Indoors, he shared 45.46 on the third leg of an Arkansas school record 3:03.18 in the 4 x 400 relay. Outdoors, Owens-Delerme ran the third leg of the SEC silver medalist 4 x 100 relay (39.24), which advanced to the NCAA West preliminary rounds. He provided a 45.9 lead in the 4 x 400 as the Razorbacks clocked a season-best 3:03.95 to advance to the NCAA championships.

“Ayden had a fantastic year and showed what a great competitor he is,” Arkansas associate head coach Travis Geopfert said. “He did it in all types of settings, where he had to come from behind or when he had the lead after day one.

“Ayden was also a team player for us, running on relays and competing in individual events at conference meets. Obviously, he is a complete athlete and he has proven throughout the year that he can be a great competitor in any situation.

Across six events of the NCAA Heptathlon, Owens-Delerme was in fourth place with 5,241 points, edging out leader Kyle Garland of Georgia by 152 points with the 1,000m race remaining to complete the event.

Responding with a career-best four seconds of 2:31.55 for 970 points in the 1,000m, Owens-Delerme scored enough to win the heptathlon by 11 points with a final tally of 6,211 points from 6,200 in Garland.

Owens-Delerme, who was in fifth place after day one of the NCAA heptathlon, produced three career-best scores on day two and generated the fifth-best performance on the all-time collegiate roster.

With his career-best 6,272 set in January, Owens-Delerme became just the second person to have a pair of top-five all-time college list performances as he joined Ashton Eaton. from Oregon.

Breaking the collegiate wind-legal decathlon record while winning the Mt. SAC relays, Owens-Delerme generated the highest college decathlon marks in the 100m (10.27) and 400m (46.12) first day.

Needing another strong performance in the final event to achieve a milestone, Owens-Delerme covered the 1,500m in a career-best 4:13.17 to generate a record 8,528 points for bettering the previous collegiate record of 8,484 set by Georgian Karel Tilga in 2021. Owen-Delerme’s previous best time in the 1,500 m was 4:23.57 as of 2021.

“One, it’s not easy to win the NCAA indoor and outdoor titles, and two, that’s how he did it,” Bucknam added. “The fact that he came so far behind in the 1,000m, it was a phenomenal performance.

“I’ve been in athletics for 40 years as a coach and this effort has to be at the top of my list. This testifies to its character and competitiveness. Then away, competing head-to-head with Garland, he equaled the meet record held by Ashton Eaton. It was a phenomenal year. »

During the NCAA decathlon, Owens-Delerme led the field in the 100m (10.41) then capped day one with another college best decathlon of 46.10 in the 400m to retain the lead from day one with a score of 4,490 points out of 4,441 for Garland and 4,435 by Leo Neugebauer of Texas.

Leading the decathlon after every event on Day 2 except the pole vault, Owens-Delerme was in a more comfortable position going into the final event. As the overall leader, with just 11 points over Neugebauer and 37 over Garland, Owens-Delerme clocked 4:29.54 in the 1,500m to secure victory.

His total of 8,457 points tied the meet record set by Eaton and was equal to the No. 8 performance on the all-time collegiate list. The top three scores were the best ever in NCAA history as Neugebauer finished second with 8,362 points, number 8 on the all-time collegiate list, with Garland third at 8,333.

“I think Ayden had a couple of defining moments,” Geopfert noted. “One was the dramatic finish to come from behind and really dig deep for an NCAA heptathlon title. It was one of the most dramatic I can remember in NCAA history.

“Then his consistent performance in the NCAA Decathlon from start to finish. He did a great job and was in a unique situation where he didn’t need to go to the pit in the 1,500m, but he showed he could do it both ways.

Owens-Delerme’s next attempt is to compete in the decathlon, representing Puerto Rico, at the World Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon next month.

“My mom’s family is from Puerto Rico,” Owens-Delerme noted. “I’ve been going there every summer, as often as I can, since I was little. So I always had a strong bond.

“My grandparents came straight from Puerto Rice and proudly carried the flag, the culture and the heritage. They instilled that in me and wanted me to wear it. They passed away recently, so I wanted to dedicate them my career. I felt that my impact could be greater if I represented a small country.

With a population of over 3 million in Puerto Rico, the fan vote could have a distinct advantage for Owens-Delerme.

“That’s the thing about Puerto Rico, when it comes to a successful athlete representing them at this level, they embrace them wholeheartedly,” Owens-Delerme said. “It will mean a lot to put those colors back on for the first time since 2018 and fight for a medal. I know that my whole country will support and support me.

Bowerman voting process

Bowerman voters will receive ballots listing each of the finalists and will be asked to rank them by first, second and third choice. First place votes will receive three points, second place will receive two, and third place will receive one point. The finalist with the highest point total will be declared the winner.

Bowerman’s voters consist of:

  • Bowerman’s Advisory Board
  • Select media personnel, statisticians and college administrators
  • Past winners of The Bowerman
  • The public online vote will constitute a collective vote (the ranking of the choices will be done in order of the total of the individual votes)
  • The online vote of the members of the USTFCCCA will constitute a collective vote (the ranking of the choices will be done in order of the total number of individual votes)

Online fan voting opened on Tuesday, June 28 at 3:00 p.m. CT.

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More Boys Club | Arkansas Business News https://visitmyarkansas.com/more-boys-club-arkansas-business-news/ Mon, 27 Jun 2022 05:00:00 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/more-boys-club-arkansas-business-news/ We were unable to send the item. Sophie Ozier, 28, became the first female general manager of the Arkansas Travelers at a time when women are advancing in the male-dominated industry of professional baseball. Miami Marlins general manager Kim Ng became the first woman to hold the position in Major League Baseball when she was […]]]>

We were unable to send the item.

Sophie Ozier, 28, became the first female general manager of the Arkansas Travelers at a time when women are advancing in the male-dominated industry of professional baseball.

Miami Marlins general manager Kim Ng became the first woman to hold the position in Major League Baseball when she was hired in November. Another trailblazer was Tampa Tarpons field manager Rachel Balkovec, who was signed to the MLB team and Single-A affiliate of the New York Yankees in January. And a few minor league and independent teams had women as GMs for years before the two made national headlines.

These women, along with Ozier, are exceptions to the rule in professional baseball and professional sports in general.

But the industry has done a better job recently of showcasing women behind the scenes as well as female athletes, and seeing other women get the type of position she’s in was inspiring, Ozier said.

To be clear, she didn’t aspire to be a GM. The central Illinois native just wanted to work in baseball, period.

Ozier, who has been on the Travs staff for five years, was named chief executive in November. The Travs are also on track to have one of their best seasons this year, she said.

As general manager, Ozier manages the business side of things, not the team itself. Players are selected and paid by the Seattle Mariners, and Ozier is not responsible for hiring coaching staff.

What she does is oversee ticket sales, group tickets, equipment orders, vendor set-ups, Dickey-Stephens Park maintenance and much more during the season. Basically, it’s his job to make sure home game days go smoothly.

One of her goals as general manager is to attract more young families to attend games. A success: the launch of a $3 entry and a beer evening. In July, the park hosts a free baseball clinic for children.

Once, Ozier had a nightmare where the park ran out of hot dog buns. She shared this with friends, who made fun of her for it, she said.

But running out of hot dog buns at a baseball game would be disastrous, she said. “Putting out fires is a big part of my job,” Ozier said. “And just like knowing the right people. That way, if something falls through the cracks, you have friends you can call who can hopefully help you out.

During the offseason, she makes sure everything is prepared for the players to arrive for the season. She manages team transport and hotel stays. And she orders equipment, picnic tables and even grass.

And she faces many of the same challenges any business decision maker faces in 2022: continuous supply chain backups, hiring amid persistent labor shortages, and a tight budget. after 2020, when revenues plummeted due to shutdowns needed to stop the spread of COVID-19.

It’s a good thing that Ozier likes to be challenged.

One of the few

Although she describes herself as a baseball fan, she doesn’t think it’s a requirement to enjoy the fruits of her and her team’s labor. “What I’ve always liked about baseball is that I don’t think you have to be a baseball fan to enjoy going to a baseball game. I don’t think you have to be a sports fan. I think it’s baseball specific,” Ozier said. “I think football, most people are going to watch the game. Basketball, most people are going to watch the game. Baseball is 60-40. Like maybe 60% of people come to watch the game, but 40% just come to have a beer, have a corndog or hang out with their friends.

Ozier has a full-time staff of 17 at her disposal, which she says is small for a Double-A team operation. Double-A is the level from which most players on MLB teams are directly drafted. In fact, one player was called up to the majors this month, she said. “It’s really cool to see things like this happen.”

She said being the first woman to hold the post of chief executive added pressure to her already very demanding job. Ozier is well aware that she is one of a small number of women making decisions in the industry.

She is the only woman, and quite possibly the only person under 30, to participate in monthly calls with the other eight Texas League general managers.

But Ozier said she tried not to pressure herself too much, figuring there was a good reason she was trusted to run the show. “That being said, I understand the intricacies that go into being a woman in sports or trying to get into this industry. I’m one of those people when I decide to do something, I’m not going to I can’t stop doing it until I fail miserably, when I know other women aren’t like that.

“And so it’s very easy for people to leave the industry if they’re defeated or, you know, if someone makes a comment like, ‘oh, really, do you want to work in baseball? “”

The most upsetting thing Ozier said she heard time and time again was that she only pursued her career to be closer to attractive athletes. Something else that bothers her is that she is questioned about her knowledge of baseball.

“You have to understand the sport of baseball and how it works [to be a GM]. … But really, it’s just about managing people and having a good business head on your shoulders.

As she rose through the ranks, “I just felt like I had to constantly prove myself, maybe more than a man should have. I had to show that I was actually a die-hard baseball fan. I actually knew how it worked, which is not how it should be for a qualified person who has the right people skills or the right technical skills to be able to do this job.

To Travs’ credit, she said: ‘I’ve been pretty lucky here. I’ve never been treated like the office girl.

Ozier said improving female retention is the next step the industry needs to take. It is difficult for women with children to work the endless and long hours required by a job like hers. She doesn’t have any children yet, but wants to have some one day. Ozier is also engaged.

Fortunately, she sees this reality changing. “I think the responsibility of women to be primary caretakers is changing,” she said.

Ozier is doing her part by adjusting Travs staff’s work schedules as she can. For example, it installed staggered shift start times on game days so its employees could spend some of those weekend mornings with their kids.

No excuses

Her advice to other women in the industry is not to make excuses, not to be discouraged because they might be mistreated by some.

They shouldn’t let that stop them from working hard to achieve their career goals, Ozier said.

“I am one of those people who feeds me a lot of people who doubt me. It was probably the former athlete in me. … I’m probably my most competitive when people doubt me,” she said. “And so it kind of worked to my advantage in that area.”

Ozier also advises women entering the industry to never stop learning from the people around them.

The people around Ozier, by the way, aren’t from Arkansas. Like her, most Travs staff come from elsewhere.

“Arkansas has been very, very good to me,” Ozier said. “I still don’t understand the obsession with the Arkansas Razorbacks. … The first time I saw people calling the Hogs, I was like ‘what’s going on? This is the craziest thing I’ve ever seen,” she joked.

Ozier grew up in a small town, Cerro Gordo, in central Illinois, which has a population of about 1,500. She graduated from high school in a class of about 38 students.

It was a place where children did a bit of everything. The daughter of a Cardinals fan who once played in a competitive men’s league, Ozier played softball, which fueled her enthusiasm for baseball.

Her father loved watching the Cardinals play on television and his involvement in softball made him want to better understand his cousin, baseball, so she watched those games with him.

“It just became a thing with me and my dad, just something we could do. That’s kind of how my dad and I bonded,” Ozier said.

When she started thinking about her career, her mother suggested she do something she loved. “I grew up playing Cardinals games. And I never realized that there were people putting this production together and making it possible,” Ozier said. “And so I was like, yeah, that looks really fun.”

After high school, she sought out a bigger city and went to a small liberal arts college: Webster University in St. Louis.

“I made a lot of people laugh. “Professional sports? Good luck with that,” Ozier said.

Despite her classmates’ incredulous reaction to her career aspirations, she began landing internships.

Ozier’s first big break was an internship at Fox Sports Midwest, which broadcasts games for the Cardinals, St. Louis Blues and Saint Louis University women’s basketball team.

She also interned with the St. Louis Blue ice hockey team and the River City Rascals, a now-defunct professional baseball team based in O’Fallon, Missouri.

Ozier earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations in 2016, but didn’t get a job in sports as planned until January 2017, when she joined the Travs as a corporate event planner. She progressed to Director of Group Sales and Promotions, Assistant Director and finally General Manager.

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