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Dust Bowl program offered Sunday
new slt dust bowl
This photo, taken in 1935, shows a cloud of dust engulfing a Kansas town. Alicia Boor will give a Dust Bowl program Sunday, March 18, at the Barton County Historical Society Museum. - photo by photo courtesy of Barton Co. Historical Society

Cottonwood District Extension Agent Alicia Boor will present a program on the Dust Bowl at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Barton County Historical Society Museum and Village.
The museum will be open from 1-3 p.m. so that the public can view the current exhibits in conjunction with the presentation.
The public is invited and encouraged to attend this free program. The Museum and Village is located just south of the Arkansas River Bridge in Great Bend on U.S. 281.

A timely topic
According to the National Weather Service, we are experiencing the driest year in recorded history. With springtime approaching, the strong Kansas winds have been revving up and are really testing the resolve of many people. Since we have been so dry, and the winds have been blowing so hard, why do we not have the dust storms and black blizzards like they experienced in the dirty ’30s?
Agriculture has evolved and with science and producers have learned a lot about soil and how we should treat it for production, Boor said. We have had many conservation advancements since the ’30s that help ensure as much of the soil as possible stays where it belongs in the fields.
For her program on Sunday, Boor will discuss the practices that helped cause the dust bowl, and what has been done since then to help ensure that it never happens again.

Special exhibits
The Barton County Historical Society Museum is currently showing the exhibit “Agriculture Options on the Central Plains,” on loan from the Coronado Quivira Museum in Lyons. This is a visual representation of what life was like for the first farmers in Kansas and how they made it work. It was created by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
“This will go down at the end of the month,” said Beverly Komarek, executive director of the Barton County museum.
“An interesting thing about this exhibit is it’s bilingual,” Komarek said. Panels with photos and text in English and Spanish describe the early beginnings of Kansas agriculture, starting in the 1860s with the Homestead Act and farming with horses, on to the introduction of tractors, through the Green Revolution where farmers were encouraged to turn to chemical fertilizers, pesticides and hybrid seeds to increase yields, to the advent of central pivot irrigation, no-till farming, and up to the present day of precision farming.
The Barton County Historical Society has put together a companion exhibit on the advance of “Agriculture and Railroads,” said Karen Neuforth research coordinator at the museum.
“This was put together to illustrate the local link between agriculture and the railroads,” Neuforth said.