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The 28th reason we love West Texas: Because we would be hungry, naked, and sober without West Texas agriculture

West Texas is known for the four major crops: corn, cotton, grain sorghum and peanuts

I can’t properly relate how much I appreciate our farmers and everyone working in the agricultural industry in West Texas. I not only appreciate the hard -- and I mean hard -- work, but also what it brings to our local economy in a local, national and global market. Plus, I love driving or walking past a cotton or maize field (or any other field for that matter) and seeing it grow and produce its yield. My own father was a farmer and would travel to West Texas every fall to help the cotton farmers in the area, so when I say I really appreciate farmers, I mean it. We have all seen that sign that reads “Without farmers, you would be hungry, naked, and sober.” That sentiment is very real in West Texas and that is reason no. 28 why we love West Texas.

If you ever doubted the importance of farming and agriculture in West Texas, go check out the Bayer Museum of Agriculture in Lubbock. I promise it is well worth a visit. Fantastic displays showcase the equipment used by farmers over the years. One of the most remarkable exhibits is the 20th-century tool shop, with hundreds upon hundreds of small tools mounted on the walls with a touch screen that allows you to find out what each tool was used for. Other displays include a room dedicated to more than 700 toy tractors, a well and drilling exhibit, and a seed showcase. If you have young children, they will enjoy the Cotton Harvesting Simulator that shakes, rattles, and makes you feel like you are driving the machine through a cotton field.

Likewise, the Ranching and Heritage Center at Texas Tech will give you an insight on the area through the years. The NRHC features almost fifty authentic ranch buildings dating from the late 18th to the mid-20th century. These structures include a railroad depot, homesteads, barn, blacksmith shop, schoolhouse, windmills and other historic structures. One views the exhibits through a self-guided walking tour. It is free to the public. Every year around mid-December, they host an event called “Candlelight at the Ranch, where luminaries line the trails and guests step into a living Texas Christmas card. Each building is decorated according to the time period, and it is one of the few times guests are allowed to step inside each building.

If appreciating farmers from downtown is more your style: visit a farmer’s market. While Lubbock’s Downtown Farmer’s Market is only a summer event it is well worth the visit. I have been to many, many farmer’s markets, but this is by far my favorite. With approximately four dozen vendors, you have access to the finest local produce and the most amazing homemade desserts. Every hipster’s dream, right? Not only are you getting the best quality food for yourself, but you are also encouraging locally grown produce and supporting local growers. The best part of Lubbock’s Downtown Farmer’s market is its location. You can shop the farmer’s market all morning and then head to the bar afterwards… not that I’ve ever done that before. I’m just saying it’s an option.

Speaking of no. 28, did you hear the news? Texas Tech’s right-handed pitcher no. 28 Taylor Floyd signed with the Milwaukee Brewers earlier this month. His contract is for $139,700. Floyd was drafted in the 10th round with the 313th pick earlier in the summer. In his junior season, he was one of the more reliable relievers for the Red Raiders. He pitched in 57.1 innings and posted a 2.51 ERA, which was the lowest of pitchers who threw more than 17 innings, according to Tech Athletics. Floyd’s also posted a 5-3 record at the mound and struck 88 batters outs.