Dear Dale: An Off-Season Letter to the Dale Boys Basketball Team

Dear Dale,

You just won a State Championship, so what’s next?

We celebrate. We hug our loved ones. We thank our fans! We thump our chests with pride and live on the high of a beautiful moment of a season which ended better than any before. But it’s been a week. Now what? We have a gold ball, we’ll soon have our rings, and we walk away from the 2021-2022 Dale High School Basketball Season with a smile and a memory of winning we will never forget. But now what?
As athletes with years of eligibility to play, we have two ways to respond moving forward. We can settle for this one championship or we can build upon it. We can create a Dale Dynasty.

But how do we do that?

It reminds me of a famous Samurai Warrior who had won many battles with his army. But even during times of peace, he was still prepared as if he was heading into battle. He would often be found sharpening his swords. Many of the villagers would ask, “Why are you getting ready for battle when we are at peace?”

The warrior would reply, “Just because I’ve won some battles, doesn’t mean I’ve won the war. What it means is I’m capable of winning, but now I must focus on preserving.”

A dynasty isn’t built in a day, but instead, built in the decisions we make everyday.
This season we’ve seen you beat teams of excellent caliber. We’ve seen you battle and put in the work to win it at all this year. By why stop now? Let’s build upon the work we’ve done.

You need the intensity of MJ, the ferocious mindset of Kobe, the swagger of Shaq, the consistency of Steph Curry, the wisdom of Poppovich, and loyalty of Coach K.

Are you willing to prepare this offseason for greatness? Because dynasties aren’t made on game night, they are made in the weight room, in the practice gym, and in those late night and early morning shoot arounds. These are the moments we sharpen our sword, these are the moments we prepare to preserve the Dale Dynasty.

Congrats on winning your 1st Boys Basketball State Championship in Dale School History! Now what? Let’s answer that question this off-season!

Go Pirates!

-Brandon

What a Veteran Shows

There was a Livestock Show taking place where a student was about to show his brand new show pig for the very first time. He was nervous as he waiting patiently in the holding area. When all of a sudden, a small voice came from behind saying, “Don’t worry son. You are going to do great.”

The student turned around and noticed the voice came from an older man wearing a Veteran hat.
The student replied. “Thank you sir. That means a lot. Did you used to show?”

The Veteran looked long and hard at the boy and said, “Yes son, I showed, but not like you think.

I used to show livestock when I was in high school. Then after graduation I showed other things. You see, this is what a Veteran Shows:

I SHOWED my face and raised my hand when the military was looking for volunteers.

I SHOWED up when they sent me to Boot Camp.

I SHOWED my pride for this country when I carried that tattered flag into war.

I SHOWED my passion when we charged into conflict and into a flurry of gunfire.

I SHOWED friendship to my comrades and cried when I saw them hurt in combat.

I SHOWED my tears when I get wounded, but I never gave up hope.

I SHOWED my heart to God through my prayers. Prayers that He would get us home and get us healed.

Then after several tours of duty, I SHOWED back up to my wife and family back home and they were a sight to see!

And today, I SHOWED up to watch you show. You see, son, I’ve learned that even though you are in the show-ring for a time, you never stop showing throughout life.”

The student then shook the Veteran’s hand and said, “Thank you sir. I don’t know what else to say, but thank you.

The Veteran then replied, “Son, no matter how you do today, just remember the Show Must Go On. Win or lose, keep showing the best you have of your attitude, spirit, and actions and you’ll be just fine.”

And with these few spoken words from a kind veteran, a nervous young student transformed into a confident leader not only in the show ring, but in the grand drive of life.

Be sure to thank a Veteran for showing the world the effort, determination, and sacrifice so we can enjoy our freedoms today! I’m so thankful for what a Veteran shows us!

VeteransDay #WhataVeteranShows

What a Veteran Shows written by Brandon Baumgarten

Laugh In The Rain

As many of you know, our daughter Amelia has had her fair share of ups and downs. She has made progress in her retaining food, but still tends to spit up a lot of her food. She also deals with eczema, and cradle cap. No fun for this little girl.

One might think that Amelia would be discouraged and irritable based on her circumstances. But she has been the complete opposite! She smiles at everyone and almost anything. Even her doctors have both commented on her smile despite all the issues she has been going through.

I saw this full circle the other day when I was transporting both of our girls into the car. Amelia was in her car seat in my arm, while I strapped her sister Bella into her car seat inside the vehicle. Then suddenly, a great down pouring of rain started. I hurried quickly to finish strapping Bella in and then picked up Amelia from her car seat on the ground. Then, I heard it. Amelia’s reaction to the rain. You would think cold rain would make a baby upset. Not Amelia. Giggles and laughter came from her as each rain drop fell on her. I quickly moved her into the car and the laughter continued for the next few seconds.

As we took off in the car, I thought of how Amelia responded. We’ve all had rainy days, some of us in different magnitudes than others. Some of us have literally dealt with issues beyond our control or understanding. But we must remember that our Joy is not based on our circumstances, it is based on what the Lord has done for us through Jesus Christ the Son. So, the next time, you are facing a storm in your life, I hope you’ll remember to look to the Lord. I hope you’ll remember to not allow life’s circumstances to rob you of what God has given you. And, I hope you’ll remember to react like Amelia, that no matter your circumstances or storm, there’s always a reason to Laugh in the Rain! #LaughInTheRain #Joy

James 1:2-4 (CSB) Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.

2021-2022 Potential Public Speaking Topics For Students Competing in FFA Speech Contests

2021-2022 Potential Public Speaking Topics For Ag-Ed Student Competing in FFA Speech Contests
Thanks for checking this list out! If you need any help with your public speaking or would like Brandon to come present a public speaking workshop feel free to give him a shout at:
bbaumgarten18@gmail.com.
Best wishes!

  1. COVID-19’s impact on the Agriculture
  2. Robotic Milking & the Dairy Industry
  3. Social Media & Agricultural Awareness
    4. Building our Local Food Supply
    1. The Current Debate of Ag Monopolies
  4. The Processed Food War
  5. Improving Beef Advocacy
  6. Eradicating Invasive Species
  7. Urban Farming: Rooftop Gardening
  8. Protecting Agriculture & Rural Prosperity
  9. Feral Hogs Epidemic
  10. Health Challenges in Rural Oklahoma
  11. Combating the Opioid Crisis
  12. Organic Farming vs. Non-Organic
    15. Agroterroism and the war on food
  13. GMOs vs. Non-GMOs: Educating the public
  14. Lack of Agricultural Literacy in the Public today
  15. Urban Sprawl & the Erosion of Farmland
  16. Combating World Hunger
  17. Emerging Science of Plant-Breeding Technology
  18. U.S. Trade and new Import Laws
    22. FarmBot and the innovation of Robot Farming
  19. Vertical Farming
  20. Challenges facing Agricultural Education
  21. New steps to improve Farm BioSecurity
  22. Animal Welfare vs. Animal Rights
    27. How the legalization of Medical Marijuana could affect dAgriculture
  23. The Evolution of American Agriculture Careers
  24. Hunting, Fishing,& less TV, more agricultural exposure.
  25. Ethanol or No Ethanol?
  26. Solar Energy, Wind Farming, & Other Energy Resources
  27. Local Farmer’s Markets & the need for more food.
  28. SMART Farming: Using the power of apps to do more.
  29. Oklahoma Mesonet & Monitoring the Environment
  30. Improving Modern Aquaculture & Fish Hatcheries
  31. Christmas Tree Farming and the Benefits or Local Ag Production
    37. How Agriculturalists Deal With Drought or Natural Disasters.
  32. Agricultural Easements: How to Legally Save Farmland
  33. Future of Irrigation and Water Supply
  34. Greenhouse Emissions & the Public Debate
  35. Purpose & History of Agricultural Extension and Education programs
  36. Precision Agriculture
  37. The Secretary of Agriculture & the vision for USDA
  38. Community Gardens in Rural & Urban Areas
  39. NAFTA & Global Agriculture
  40. Xenotransplantation: The Industry and the Science
  41. Improving Food quality and production efficiency
  42. Recent Food Changes for Charity laws
  43. Food labeling & consumer information
  44. New American Pork Exports: Argentina and Beyond
  45. E. Coli & Preventing Bacterial Outbreaks in Food
  46. Supporting young/BIPOC farmers
  47. Protecting Food Chain Workers
  48. Starting Tradition/Setting Chapter Standards
  49. Being a Team Player
  50. Horizontal Drilling
  51. Economic Impact of Oklahoma Agriculture
  52. Land-Grant Universities: The past, present, and future role of preparing students for the Ag Industry.
  53. Food Sustainability
    60. Agritourism: Economic, Industrial, and Rural Impact
  54. New Technology in Seed Production
  55. Reducing Foodborne Illnesses
  56. New uses of Biocontrol Fungus
  57. USDA Services for Farmers & Ranchers
  58. The Rising of World Wheat Consumption
  59. Potential Shifting of U.S. Farm Tariffs
  60. Ag Gag Laws
    68. The Battle for Beef: Food Insecurity around the globe
  61. School Lunch Programs & Fighting Food Insecurity during COVID-19
  62. Protecting Agricultural Education, Research, and Literacy Beyond 2020
  63. How to recruit new Ag Teachers into the profession
  64. Smart Growth Policies
  65. California’s Ban On Plastic. What could it lead to?
  66. Addressing today’s skill gap and what is needed in the Ag Industry
  67. Real or Unreal? The possibilities of Lab Grown Fake Meat
  68. Improving Ag Literacy in Urban Areas
  69. Factory Farming vs. Family Farming
  70. How we can articulate the message of Agriculture
  71. Exploring Nutritional Research
  72. Food Identification Among Consumers
  73. The Future of Auctioneering
  74. Drought-Resistant Spinach: Gene-editing in Agriculture
  75. Developing Local Sustainable Food Systems
  76. The Affordable Clean Energy(ACE) Rule’s impact on CO2 emissions
  77. Decreasing the Risks of Food-Borne Illnesses
  78. Defining the Millennial Farmer
  79. What is Warehouse Farming?
  80. Using Drones to Fight Crop Diseases
  81. Chocolate Farming? Why Cocoa Production is at Risk.
    90. The Negative Role of Fake News in Agriculture
  82. Apps in Agriculture? The Revolution of Agriculture Technology
  83. Finding Your Voice: How FFA Helps Students Overcome the Number 1 Fear
  84. Intercropping: The War on Weeds and Pests
  85. The Ogallala Aquifer: Making Every Drop of Water Count
    95. The Importance of Ag in the Classroom and Other Ag Literacy Programs
  86. The Rise of Disruptive Technology and the impact on the Beef Industry
    97. How to Recruit New FFA Members into Your FFA Chapter
  87. How Online Grocery Shopping Could Impact Consumers & Producers
  88. No Wheaties for Me: The Growing Trend of Eating Gluten-Free
    100. Meatless Meat: Could this Alternative Meat
  89. Farming in Outer Space
  90. Maintaining Ag Research Funding
  91. National Farm Broadcasters Association and the future of Ag Communications
  92. Food availability in 2021 and beyond
  93. Building our Rural Electric Infrastructure
    1. The Use of Ivermectin and the Doorway to Clinical Trials
    2. The Supreme Court & California’s Proposition 12 Animal Welfare Law
    3. Can AI Farming Make Agriculture More Sustainable?
    4. Bill Gates and Silicon Valley’s Green Tech Fund
    5. Farm to Fork Agriculture Program
    6. The Government Taxing Your Livestock
    7. McGirt Tribal Case and the Impact on Oklahoma’s Agriculture
    8. The future taxation of the US family farms
    9. How FFA equips leaders to fill a desperate labor force
    10. The Future of Ag Retailing
    11. Farmer’s Markets Going Online!
    12. How Human Trafficking Has Affected Agriculture
    13. Future of Farming and the Border Crisis
    14. What could be the Next Animal Pandemic?
    15. Usage of Digital Tools to Communicate with Plants
    16. Vaccines in your Salad? Edible Vaccines Coming to a Store near a you!
    17. Do indoor plants purify the air?
    18. Farms and Vaccine Requirements
    19. The Taliban and Food Security in Afghanistan
    20. Wheat Exports to Iraq and the Middle East

Like OU & Texas, We All Need a Realignment

If you’ve been keeping up with college athletics or any local news for that matter, you’ll notice that conference realignment is back and college football is certainly changing. Within the last week, we’ve seen evolving news that the Big 12 Conference is experiencing a major shift, with the exit of the Oklahoma Sooners & the Texas Longhorns to the SEC Conference. Lots of money and lots of fans are moving to the SEC along with those teams. As an OSU Cowboy, I wonder what will happened to my team, although I’m pretty excited about the future, albeit uncertain.
Amongst the drama of OU & Texas, everyone has an opinion on the issue, and here’s mine:

WE ALL NEED A REALIGNMENT.

If you look up the definition of a conference realignment, you’ll find phrase which says, “extensive changes made to best fit a school in that particular athletic season.”

So I’ll say again: “WE ALL NEED A REALIGNMENT.”
No, I’m talking about college football. I’m talking about our life with the Lord!

Every person on this planet was born into the S.I.N. Conference. A popular conference attractive to the world, but deadly to the soul.

Only through this realignment that Jesus can give us, can we align ourselves out of SIN and into the Victory He has for us.

Spiritual Realignment is an extensive change of the heart, a transfer of my heart to the King of Kings. Through this transfer, I choose to realign to His will, His leading, and His ways.

But here’s the thing: our flesh doesn’t want to leave the S.I.N. Conference. We are often comfortable in the cesspool of sin, when our souls are crying out to be near the Lord.

We must choose to realign in this life. We must exit the conference of SIN and choose to be where Jesus is.

Additionally, Many Christians today need a realignment of their spiritual walk. We need Christ Followers who will Walk with a Mission, rather than folks who simply sit on their salvation status. Perhaps you have felt God leading you to volunteer in your church ministry. Perhaps you feel a call to ministry. Maybe you feel the tug of God to make a move for Him, or maybe you’ve realized you need a rekindled burden to reach lost souls for the Kingdom.

Pray tonight, that God would give you a REALIGNMENT. Not like OU or Texas. Not to play college football. No, ask God to give you a REALIGNMENT to the ETERNAL ASSIGNMENT He has for YOU! Because no matter which team is in which conference, and no matter who wins on the scoreboard, at the end of the day, Jesus has already Won it All, question is, “which side will we be on?” Choose Jesus. Choose Realignment. Choose His Assignment. And then, watch the extensive change of your heart, your world, and your eternity take place! #ConferenceRealignment #OSU #OU #Big12 #currentevents #NCAA #JesusAlwaysWins #YesToHisWill #GoPokes #texaslonghorns #SEC #collegefootball

May the FOURTH Be With You!

Today I was told by someone, “May the Fourth be with you?” I laughed as I knew what the reference was to—-Star Wars. I’ve never been into the movie series much, but I do honestly hope the Fourth is with you today. I’m not talking about a Star Wars reference or some Yoda expression. I’m talking about the Fourth!

There was a time when 3 men were cast into a giant fiery furnace for not bowing down to a King. They refused to bow down to anyone other than their Heavenly King. Their refusal led to removal from the King and sent into a burning fire. But even as the very people who cast them into the fire died due to the excessive heat, they went in and soon were accompanied by a FOURTH Man!

They remained in the fire unscathed. They didn’t even smell like smoke. They should have been killed in the fire, but the FOURTH was with them!

The King who sentenced them abruptly stood up and said, “Didn’t I cast 3 men into the Fire? Well now, I see 4, and one looks like the Son of God!”

The Fourth is the Son of God! He shows up in the fire. He is present in your need. He is even withstanding the flames of the enemy for you and His presence always brings about a reaction, even from those who may try to persecute you!

Remember this: God will never lead you through something that He can’t bring you out of!

So it’s May the 4th and I pray today and every day of your life this simple prayer:

“MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU!”

Glory to His Name! #maythe4thbewithyou #JesusSaves #HeIsWithYou

Fire on the Front Row

I had a dream last night. Some may question the dream, but I can tell you vividly this is what I saw.

My family and I received a letter in the mail that all churches in America were to start meeting together, regardless of denomination. Baptists, Assemblies of God, Nazarene, and every other denomination were coming together as one. Also stated in this letter was the fact, that we would be joined by people fleeing from other countries to America in hopes of religious freedom.

When we got to the mega church filled with all these people, we saw each American church denomination represented. The worship music had begun and I watched our American churches. Some sang in worship with very little volume. Some with very little joy, with very little victory. Some even yawned in fatigue from standing. Others were sitting down sleeping in the seats in the midst of worship. Then the worship leader cried out, “Does anyone love Jesus?”

Crickets and yawns from many of the American crowd.

But then I heard the loudest voice, “WE DO!! Oh I how we love Jesus!!” I looked to where the voice was coming from. It was from the front row, where a line of people were praising God with everything within them. They yelled, they jumped, they wept, and they cried, “Oh Jesus, we are free! Oh Jesus, we are free!”

In the dream, I saw one of the front rowers stand up and say, “In our country, worshipping Jesus is illegal. But now we are in America, we are finally free to worship Him!”

Their fire was admirable. Their desire to worship was convicting to my heart. Their passion was what we needed

Could it be that this unreal dream reveals a very real truth?

Could it be that since we live in our country where there is a church on every corner, we have become desensitized to the moving of God’s heart?

Could it be that we have basked in so many blessings, that we have heard the Gospel so many times, that instead of having an outcry for God, we instead see crickets from many congregations?

Some of you will read this and keep scrolling. Others may be convicted like myself. After all, I do believe one day, every person will stand before God, and I dream that He will be able to look at all of our lives, and see some front row Christians who have a passionate outcry for Him, instead of a congregation that’s filled with crickets from the crowd! Ask God to fill with you a burden for lost souls, a renewed freedom to worship, an outcry in your heart, and a spark for His Kingdom!

Whether you agree with this post or not, don’t mind me. I’m just dreaming.

JustDreaming #LetTheRedeemedSaySo #MoveOurHearts #GodBePraised

“Let the redeemed of the LORD proclaim that he has redeemed them from the power of the foe!” -Psalms 107:2 (CSB)

Why Every Christian Should Want to be Like ORU’s Basketball Team

The word “Underdog” is defined as a competitor thought to have no chance of winning a fight or contest.

Many folks including myself can relate to that word-underdog. And right now, there’s a basketball team that was seeded #15 in the NCAA Basketball Tournament and is now competing in the Sweet 16. Underdog, that’s the word they’ve been called by many of the media too.

I remember when I was a boy riding in the car with my parents in Tulsa, we would drive by that college that’s now in the Sweet 16. It’s name is Oral Roberts University. I always thought the buildings looked cool and the prayer tower was powerful as the fire was burning at the top of it. I wanted my faith to be like that flame. But what struck me the most, was seeing the giant statue of the Praying Hands at the front of the college. It was a statement. Prayer, that’s another thing underdogs can identify with. We know what it’s like to live on one.

In fact, if you’ve followed the news this week, you’ll notice that many of the media think this ORU Basketball team has been living on a prayer and also due to their upholding of Christian beliefs, many in the media have asked the team be banned from the rest of the tournament. What a platform the Oral Roberts Men’s Basketball Team now has to not only hold fast to their prayers, but to show the world why standing up for their faith in God speaks louder than a statue.

It’s no secret the world has been moving to usher in the Cancel Culture. We shun people for not fitting in a certain societal agenda. We have cancelled everything from cartoon characters, food labels, books, toy figures, sports teams, and more! And now the world is trying to cancel a basketball team for standing for biblical truth. Oh Help us Lord!

But as we’ve sparred over cancelling Dr. Seuss, Mr. Potato Head, and whatever comes next, we’ve allowed filthy shows to fill our TV screens. We’ve allowed profanity to consume our vocabulary. We’ve allowed our phones to be irreplaceable and our church attendance to be utterly dismal. We’ve allowed our Texting Plan to be Unlimited, but our Prayer Plan to be Limited. We’ve allowed ourselves to follow what makes us happy, instead following the Only One who can make us Holy!

I’ve shed a few tears as I’ve written this tonight, because I am convicted too. I’ve realized that we are all just like the ORU Men’s Basketball Team: an underdog, who has no chance of winning in the world’s eyes. But what makes the underdog successful isn’t what stats are in the books, or how many jump shots ORU can make. ORU can win the entire tournament and still lose eternity. Instead, the only way the underdog can win, is through Jesus Christ alone. Because even the world thought Jesus had no chance of winning, but then 3 days later, He won it all!!!

We should all want to be like the ORU Basketball Team! I hope that as this “Cancel Culture” steps closer to us, that the world will see our strong faith, our rising flame for God, and our praying hands, and because of what they see, they will say, “Let’s ban them.” I want my faith to be so big, that the world wants me banned. Because they can ban you on social media, they can ban you from sports, they can ban you from competing in an NCAA Tournament, but brother and sister, they cannot ban your faith! Keep your faith alive in Jesus’s Name, no matter what! Even though the Sweet 16 is sure sweet, it cannot compare to the sweetness of knowing Jesus and getting the chance to honor Him! Thank the Lord He doesn’t give up on Underdogs! Go Golden Eagles! Stand firm in your faith. Through that, you are bringing home more than a title, you are bringing glory to God’s Name! Praise the Lord! #ORU #GoldenEagles #NCAA #Underdogs #PrayingHands 🙏

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”

-John 15:18-19 (NIV)

Agriculture, the Joy and the Job

While shopping at Atwood’s Farm & Ranch Store this week to get some last minute supplies before the snow storm started. While I was there and I saw a high school student pushing a cart filled to the max with sacks of livestock feed. I overheard one customer surprised at how much the student was buying and said, “That’s an awful lot of food. Looks like you are feeding an army!”

The student said, “Yes sir. My animals aren’t going to feed themselves during this storm.”

The customer replied, “I’m just glad I don’t own any livestock or have to feed them in this weather. I feel sorry for you.”

The student said, “Don’t feel sorry for me sir. Sometimes it’s a job, other days it’s a joy. This week it will just be a job.”

As I heard this conversation, I was impressed with the attitude of the high school student, but also reminded of what our producers go through. Such commitment to their job and to their industry. No one likes the thought of feeding their livestock in these freezing temperatures, but there’s no such thing as a “Snow Day” in agriculture. Therefore, the work must go on.

Prayers to all of our Farmers and Ranchers who are facing the elements this week to take care of their livestock. They are feeding an army, because they are feeding me and you. And I have to agree with that student, the role of a farmer is not always a joy, in fact this week especially, I’m sure for all of our farmers and ranchers, feeding the world is a job. But one, that never gets a “Snow Day”. Thanks to all who keeping the Ag industry going! #okwx #snowklahoma #oklahomaweather #NoSnowDay #agriculture #okffa #OK4H #ag #farmlife #aglife #leadership #Passion #OkAg

7 Alternatives to Eating Black Eyed Peas This New Year

Saw people in Walmart loading up with cans of Black Eyed Peas. Asked one, “Why are you buying so many?” Man replied, “Well, you gotta believe in something.”

People want change so much they are turning to a vegetable for good luck! But if we really desire change in 2021; we must return to God!

1. So instead of consuming Black Eyed Peas, start consuming the Word of God.

2. Repent of your sins and return to God.

3. Pray for God to burden your heart for lost souls.

4. Immerse yourself in the Truth of God and get ahold of His identity for you.

5. Make Church attendance and involvement a non-negotiable habit.

6. Target those who don’t know Jesus with your witness and testimony.

7. Create Spiritual Goals for yourself and your family.

In times of despair, the world will go to great links to find hope. But the One who we need most went an even greater link to demonstrate His love for us by dying on a cross. His name is Jesus and He is the Change we need in 2021. Not Black Eyed Peas. After all, according to the Walmart Customer, we gotta believe in something. 😉 #NewYearsEve2021