“Welcome to Tradio, You’re on the Air…”

About a year ago, I joined a rotation of Extension folks in southeast Montana who record a weekly radio spot, which airs on Miles City and Forsyth stations.  We have enough people so that each of us only comes up in the rotation every 2 months or so.  Each spot is 3 minutes and airs on Friday mornings during a break in the Tradio program.  For those of you unfamiliar with Tradio, it’s basically a call-in garage sale, where people trade their unwanted crap to one another. 
Here’s a text version of a typical call:
DJ: Welcome to Tradio, you’re on the air….
Caller: Yeah….uh…… hi. I got 3 parakeets, a couple of Charlie Russell prints, and uh……oh yeah! Three shelves of Louis L’Amour paperbacks. Anyone interested can call me at 555-1578. If I’m not at home, leave a message. I’ll call you back, I promise.
DJ: Okay, that was 555-1978. Thanks for calling.
Caller: No, wait! I said 555-1578.
DJ: Oh, sorry, 555-1578.
Now, this isn’t how all the calls go, but they are my favorite kind – the ones with a crazy combination of goods on offer and a caller who can’t remember what they have for sale.
But back to the Extension radio spots. My topics have ranged from cow body condition scoring to grass tetany to pinkeye – I try to base my spot on what types of potential problems or events might be happening on ranches at the time.  Because of my crazy travel and my type of luck, I’ve had some adventures getting my spots called in.  Here are my top 4 favorites, in no particular order:
·         I’ve called in from my pickup, pulled over on the side of the road where there was that one good mile of cell phone reception on top of the hill.
·         I’ve called in from the airport in Washington, DC, with flight announcements blaring in the background, all while being distracted by a Kobe Bryant wannabe flying around the corner into my “quiet” hallway, shooting balled-up paper at the garbage can…he missed. Repeatedly.
·         I’ve called in at 6 o’clock in the morning, the day the spot needed to air, on my way to the airport for a vacation trip to New Mexico because I forgot until just that moment.
·         I’ve called in from my office on what I thought was a regular day, forgetting that it was during Tradio. The technician said, “Hello, would you like to be on the air for Tradio?”  I said, “Oh no, I was just calling to record the Extension PSA for Friday, I can just call back later.”  She said, “Don’t worry, we can do that right now, just hang on a second.”  The next thing I heard was the DJ, saying “Welcome to Tradio, you’re on the air…” 
I thought about starting my spiel, but I didn’t want to take away from someone’s parakeet-selling time.
Stay tuned, my “winter run” begins tomorrow, January 7, with Cow Capital Beef Day in Miles City, and there’s bound to be escapades to report.

Disclaimer: This is not a recent photo. Note the presence of green grass.

Road Trips of Epic Proportions

January is one of my busiest travel months. Makes sense, right? Ranchers have more “free time” in the winter to attend meetings and educational programs.  As a result, I get to hone my bad-road driving skills each year.  The winter program season actually kicks off in Miles City on Friday, which is a treat for me! But then the travel reality sets in next week, when I’ll be a speaker on the Southeastern Montana Winter Ag Series. Jordan, Circle, Broadus, Ekalaka, Baker, Wibaux, Terry, and Forsyth:  8 communities in 5 days and around 950 miles…but I get to sleep in my own bed every night!
Other destinations for programs this month include my hometown of Ennis, Roundup, Fort Benton, Helmville, Hall, and Helena.  Wow, quite the alliteration there at the end!  I’ll stop there; I wouldn’t want to overwhelm my readers with my February schedule.

I did a quick search for a map of Montana, to provide a reference to find all these fabulous locations.  Except that Helmville and Hall weren’t included …I guess if you’re curious, you’ll have to pull out an atlas, or I might recommend my favorite travel planning resource: Google Maps (http://maps.google.com)!

Instead, here’s a wintry picture to get you in the spirit!

“Still I drive these horses through the rain and snow, This high speed rodeo is all I know, I’m an asphalt cowboy, Born to run underneath the stars” —Asphalt Cowboy, Jason Aldean

2011: The Year of the Asphalt Cowgirl

Hello and welcome to my blog, “Escapades of an Asphalt Cowgirl”!  I’ve been watching a whole lotta ESPN, and they have declared 2011 as “The Year of the Quarterback”.  I much prefer the way “The Year of the Asphalt Cowgirl” rolls off one’s tongue, so I hereby christen it as such. 

Allow me to introduce myself…my name is Rachel and I travel. Alot. Mostly for my job.  Hence the Asphalt Cowgirl nickname. I’ve been told more than once that I should write a book about my travels, so I’m starting a blog. Sometimes I don’t take direction very well…

I work for Montana State University as an Extension Beef Cattle Specialist, and spend quite a bit of time on the road, conducting educational programs about beef cattle for adults and youth.  This blog will showcase some of those adventures, or escapades, if you will.

Here in eastern Montana, we rang in the New Year accompanied by temperatures well below zero.  I’m posting this picture of cows and green grass at my family’s ranch last August in protest, and as a sad reminder it’ll be awhile before we see that kind of day again.

Stay tuned for new escapades during the new year!

“Now our windshield’s a painting that hangs in our room, It changes each mile like the radio tune…” —Rodeo Moon, Chris Ledoux