Welcome to The Land Show, our weekly podcast where we discuss anything and everything related to land and investing in land. From farming to hunting, fun seasonal events to wild game recipes, we have a little something for everyone.
The first segment of this week’s edition is transcribed below, or click here to listen to the entire show online or subscribe to the podcast.
Announcer: It’s time for a new edition of The Land Show with Dave and Johnny. On the show today with the guys William Crawford. He’s the program director for the University of Montevallo’s Outdoor Scholars Program; Beth Hornsby with Hornsby Farm; Randall Upchurch with your farmland report; Bryan Watts with your Timber Talk segment, and of course the wild man himself Tim Baker with your Wildlife Update. So sit on back, relax and enjoy a new edition of The Land Show with Dave and Johnny.
Dave Milton: Hi everybody, welcome to The Land Show with Dave and Johnny. It’s a beautiful Saturday morning here in Montgomery Alabama and I’m proud to be with my cohost and good friend Johnny B. Goode. Johnny B., how you doing today?
Jonathan Goode: I’m good, brother, good to be in the studio with you.
Dave Milton: Yeah man, well what you been up to? We haven’t seen each other much this past week. What you been up to?
Jonathan Goode: Just driving up and down the road, showing a lot of property, and having a lot time to reflect. I just got something political in my craw. There’s been a lot going on this past week in politics in the state of Alabama and around the country, and I just gotta get a word out to our politicians. We try not to do this on the show too much; this is 2019 – can we not do any better than daylight savings time? This is crazy. You know, the older – I’m 40 –
Dave Milton: Were you late for church?
Jonathan Goode: No I wasn’t, but the older I get, the harder it is for me to adjust to this. You know there are 48 states in the country that observe daylight savings time; Arizona and Hawaii don’t. What’s the deal with Alabama? Can we not get on that?
Dave Milton: I don’t know man, I’m not smart enough to get my mind around it. But I do like it, even though I pay the price on that one Sunday morning I’m slee in church. I like it, I like the long days, I’m happy we got the long days, I love to get home –
Jonathan Goode: It’s the same amount of time in every day, that’s the problem.
Dave Milton: It is the same amount, but they shift it, everything’s shifted forward –
Jonathan Goode: This is how I know it’s messed up, because on Monday morning I got up, I had to go show some land real early, and my roosters weren’t even up yet. I left out of the house, I went in and fed all the animals, and woke up the roosters. And that’s not natural –
Dave Milton: So that’s why you don’t like it, you’re an earlier riser than I am.
Jonathan Goode: It makes it man. But anyway —
Dave Milton: You’re rising when it’s dark.
Jonathan Goode: Any politician that comes on this show from now on, I’m going to ask them “What’s your stance on daylight savings time?” And I think that’s going to have a big — gas tax, no gas tax, we’re going to talk daylight savings time if they come in here Dave.
Dave Milton: Well look, I hear yeah and I partially agree with you but I do like the long days, I do like getting home to the farm and still having time to get around and do some things, and sometimes my wife has a few little farm chores for me, sometimes I can sneak out and do a little fishing late in the evening.
Jonathan Goode: Right
William Crawford with University of Montevallo’s Outdoor Scholars Program
Dave Milton: But speaking of fishing, I am so excited today, we’ve got our first guest, an old friend of the show, a friend of mine who works at my alma mater, the University of Montevallo, he’s the program director and assistant to the President and probably got five other titles that I’m forgetting here, Mr. William Crawford with University of Montevallo’s President’s Outdoor Scholars Program. William, how you doing today?
William Crawford: I’m doing great.
Dave Milton: Man I’m just so happy that you came in to see us today. So many good things going on with the program there at the University of Montevallo, such a unique program, and we’ve tried to be involved from the beginning. For our listeners that may not be familiar – and I know a lot are – tell us about the genesis of the President’s Outdoor Scholars Program, how you got involved, and where we are today.
William Crawford: The President’s Outdoor Scholars Program has been around now for four years. It was an idea and a vision of our University President Dr. John Stewart who is an avid outdoorsman to start a program that was designed to educate young people in career opportunities through the outdoor industry, but yet also keeping them connected in the outdoors while they’re in college, and man has this program boomed since the beginning. We started with eight students and now at 45, and it just keeps growing and the national attention that we’re receiving is unbelievable. Just last week Field & Stream, one of the oldest outdoor publications, put out an article “Top Ten Universities for the Outdoorsman,” so hunters and anglers, and Montevallo and the Outdoor Scholars Program ranked inside the Top Ten there.
Jonathan Goode: That’s awesome.
Dave Milton: Wow what an honor.
William Crawford: Some very big companies, some very big research institutions that have been involved in wildlife research for many years, and for little old Montevallo to be just in its fourth year to get that kind of recognition, that lets you know people are really paying attention to what’s going on on our campus.
Jonathan Goode: Well that’s really cool. And I know you have a connection to west Alabama – we both from that area or went to school there – and if you’d have told me five years ago that University of Montevallo was the place in Alabama that was getting all the publicity for the outdoors, I have conversations frequently now with friends who – you know I have a son, we’re thinking three or four years down the road for when he goes to college – I have friends that are talking about their kids wanting to go to Montevallo for the Outdoor Scholars Program. I mean that is a cool thing to have people looking forward to being a part of that.
William Crawford: It really is. You’re correct, through social media, I’ve been following since this article released, and watching alums say “I’d have never thought Montevallo would have had this,” and it’s a great way for them to be excited about something new and fresh on their campus, and all the great things that have been going on. Something else that’s very interesting with this national attention, just last year we were able to land probably one of our biggest recruits ever in Mason Waddell, Michael Waddell’s son, and those of – the people that are very involved in the hunting industry, they know the name Michael Waddell, and if it’s good enough for his son to go off to school there you know it’s good enough for just about anybody.
Dave Milton: And you know this dovetails with so much many other things that are going on on campus there. There’s such a synergy with – we’re talking about the fishing team – and there’s a synergy there with the fishing team, there’s a synergy there with the business school, you know with developing a degree emphasis that relates to the program. Talk a bit about some of the other things that are being pulled in along with the program.
William Crawford: Absolutely. The sport of bass fishing is growing leaps and bounds from the high school circuits to even the college circuits, and you know the fishing team has been around for quite some time now at Montevallo, it started back in 2005 by Clint Davis, who now fishes in the Elite Series through Bass Masters. They had a lot of early success, but when that core group graduated it kind of went away. They still had a team, but the success just wasn’t there. So once we started the Outdoor Scholars Program, Dr. Stewart asked me, “Hey can you pump some life into this fishing team, I think we could do some big things.” Last year we finished ranked tenth in the country; right now we’re sitting at twelve, with a few tournaments to go, so the guys are having a lot of success, and I believe right now we have one of the best college anglers in the country in Justin Barnes on our team. Him and his partner Adam Carroll were ranked number one in the country back in September when they released the team standings. We’ve got a great group of guys in that, and we’ve got 23 members on our team. We’ve got a great recruiting class for this next year coming up, we’ve signed two high school All-Americans, a couple state champions. It’s crazy to see where we’re getting some of these kids from, out of state, we have six different states represented through our program now. So, it’s not just here in Alabama anymore.
Jonathan Goode: Well you guys are blowing up, and Dave and I are fortunate, we’ve had the opportunity to be around your students and getting to spend some time with Grant and Garrett Beavers and Hannah and Porter James – I mean you’ve just got some really quality students. One of my fraternity brothers, Bradley Martin’s, he’s a student, his step – one of my fraternity brother’s stepsons is now a part of your program and it’s just really cool – I mean you’ve got some great kids involved in the program and I think this is really setting them up for a potential great career opportunities in the future.
William Crawford: It is. These students are introduced to so many people through the outdoor industry and their time through our program, whether it’s through our guest speaker series, whether it’s different conferences and conventions that we take them to throughout the course of the year, and as I tell a recruit that comes in, you have all the opportunity in the world to be successful through our program and through the people that you meet, but it’s what you take from that, and how dedicated and driven that you’re gonna be. It’s like that old saying, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. It goes the same for these students and what they’re doing through our program.
Dave Milton: William, for parents and grandparents and potential students listening, take us through exactly what the program entails throughout the year, how you get started, application process, and then what you’ll be doing through the program, and then talk about the lodge also.
William Crawford: Absolutely. The program basically starts with an application, we have an online application that can be found on our website, which is outdoorscholars.montevallo.edu. Once they start that and fill that out and submit it, it goes directly to myself and that kind of gets the ball rolling with everything. What’s great about this program, we have an awesome scholarship fund that’s set up through it, so just about all of our students receive some type of scholarship. So not only do you get to go to school and learn about the outdoor industry, but you’re getting paid to do it. That’s really cool. The year starts off with guest speakers, we bring in about 15 different guest speakers through the course of the year that talk about various aspects of the outdoor industry. It could be someone like you guys, who are in the land and timber businesses, it could be somebody that is a professional angler, a product researcher, an outdoor writer, and the list goes on and on and on of what it could be. These students learn so much from that. They’re typically very quiet and reserved when these speakers come in, and you wonder are they really getting anything out of it. But when you start talking to them through the course of the year you can tell that they really paid attention to what was going on. We also do conservation projects, community service projects pertaining to the outdoors. One of the neat things is we have our own outdoor playground there in Montevallo, about five minutes from campus we have 190 acres that we do different projects on, and get the students out in the outdoors. So that’s really cool to have that close to campus, not to mention the 26 acre lake that we do things on there on campus, so there’s a lot that goes on with that And probably the most important and fun aspect for the students are the different hunting and fishing trips that we go on with the students.
Dave Milton: Market research.
William Crawford: That’s right, that’s right. Outdoor experience classes is what we like to call it. We’ve been to Venice, Louisiana to redfish, and duck hunt, and we’ve had deer hunts across the southeast, and we just finished up with a quail hunt down at Great Southern Outdoors last week. We’ve got a couple turkey hunts coming up. So it’s always a good time to get out –
Dave Milton: And the award winners every year have gone down to the Bahamas right?
William Crawford: We’ve been to the Bahamas the last three years –
Dave Milton: For a fishing trip, for the kids that won an award, right?
William Crawford: Absolutely. Dr. Stewart, that’s been his big gift I guess you would say to the top students in the program is to head to the Bahamas and go blue marlin fishing for the week and that’s always a great experience. This year we’re going to do something a little different. We haven’t released yet where we’re going or what we’re going to be doing –
Jonathan Goode: Nobody listens to this show, go ahead.
William Crawford: Maybe off air. It’s an exciting time right now. We’ve got some really really good students, not only through our program but in the classroom as well.
Dave Milton: Talk about the degree, that’s one thing I was really excited about talking to my friends with kids getting ready to go to college, talk about that, about the degree.
William Crawford: We have so many different components that the students can go into, and it just depends on what their interest is. You know the very first question I ever ask a student is “What’s your dream job?” Regardless of how you would get there or what it may be. So once they tell me that, I make a mental note and I try to do everything we can and place them into the programs that we have to make them be successful but a lot of our students are just going through our general business majors. The outdoor industry is no different than any other industry in the business world. They have to have people that run the business side of things, the marketing side. You’re even seeing a lot of things shifting towards the digital age in the industry, where people are having to create video content, edit that content, or for short videos like on YouTube or housed on their websites, or even social media. We have students that are in MassComm, we have environmental studies majors, we have biology majors. What I’m starting to see a lot of now in the high schools and middle schools are outdoor curriculum programs, so we even have some education majors going that direction. What I like to say is that it’s not a cookie-cutter type program, it’s not a one-size-fits all, it’s hey what do you want to do and let’s find a way to get you there.
Dave Milton: But you could get a business degree with an emphasis in outdoor marketing, is that how it works?
William Crawford: Correct. And actually we’ve even talked about adding some new programs here in the near future. We’ve talked about maybe a forestry or something like that to add to the mix. And so we’re kinda surveying the lands and seeing what’s out there and what would be beneficial for our students and our programs. So, a lot of growth in that area, and who knows where we may be in five years with all of this? And one big aspect to the program that’s new – and next time you guys are up in Montevallo you need to com check it out – is the lodge.
Dave Milton: Yeah.
William Crawford: We’ve been dreaming about this for the last couple years, and we finally made it happen, and this lodge that we have on campus now is a great hang out space for students, whether it’s in between classes, whether it’s after classes or even at night; it’s kind of like a fraternity house for the outdoor kids. It’s been great. You walk in and you feel like you’re at somebody’s hunting or fishing camp, and so it gives them that mindset that they’re always thinking about the outdoors, even when they’re off at school. As I tell people, I don’t think you can go to any other college campus and find this.
Jonathan Goode: I’m still trying to figure out how to be a mentor – not necessarily paid, but just a mentor to this program. One of the things that I’ve been impressed with is the Outdoor Scholars TV. I mean you guys have done a fantastic job putting some content on YouTube; tell us about that.
William Crawford: Yeah absolutely. Two summers ago I was sitting and thinking how can we better tell our story of the Outdoor Scholars Program. It’s kind of complicated and complex unless you really have the time to sit down and dig into it. I was like “With all these trips and activities and speakers and things that we have, why don’t we start documenting this?” I mean we took pictures and stuff for websites and social media, but let’s start filming. So I went in and asked the students one day, I said I need four or five students to volunteer their time to learn about film and production. And none of these students had ever done anything like this before. And we had a couple volunteers, and so we started putting this piece together that we call Outdoor Scholars TV. And basically all it is in a day in the life of our program and our students. It follows them around from the Bahamas to the deer hunts to the quail hunts to the fishing trips to the fishing tournaments. And so we put Season One together and released it last summer. We have ten episodes, they’re roughly about eight to ten minutes long, and we’ve had a lot of great positive feedback from that. It can be found on our YouTube channel, just search Outdoor Scholars TV, also on Instagram TV, that’s something new that came out several months ago that we’re putting it on.
Jonathan Goode: Dave are you on Instagram TV?
Dave Milton: I have no idea. You’ll have to ask the ladies at the office. But I might be. But if I am, I’m not aware of it.
William Crawford: But we got such great feedback, we’ve already been filming for Season Two and we’ll release again this summer, and so we’re excited about it. What’s really cool is that the guys that volunteered to film and get into this project – their skills have gotten so much better, from Season One to what’s going to be Season Two, and some of them have even changed their majors to do and go into that side of the industry. So it’s been really good for them.
Jonathan Goode: Well listen I really appreciate you coming in today, especially with this being opening weekend of turkey season. I know it’s a major commitment for you to be here and I hope you’re — I’m assuming you’re going to be getting out in the wild woods and doing some turkey hunting here soon.
William Crawford: Absolutely. I’ve got some birds pinpointed and I can’t wait to get the time to go out and chase ’em down. But not only this weekend is opening day of turkey season, the Bassmaster Classic is going on up in Knoxville, Tennessee so it’s going to be running back and forth and I know a lot of our guys are going up there for that, so it’s definitely a fun-filled weekend for the outdoors.
Jonathan Goode: For sure. Well if someone wants to get more information about the Outdoor Scholars Program at the University of Montevallo, how do they do that?
William Crawford: You can go online, you can either just Google search Outdoor Scholars Program or visit us on our website, outdoorscholars.montevallo.edu or we’re on all the major social media outlets, just search Outdoor Scholars Program.
Jonathan Goode: Well its been a pleasure to have you in. Last thing, ya’lls new logo for the Outdoor Scholars Program, I really like it. It is a cool outdoor logo, and we’ll put that on our Facebook page so folks can see it. William Crawford, we really appreciate you being in with us today.
William Crawford: It’s always a fun time to come in and visit with you guys.
Jonathan Goode: Dave, I know that makes your heart proud to hear all that good stuff going on at the University of Montevallo.
Dave Milton: It does, man, and I’m going to send this out to a bunch of my old buddies from Montevallo. If any of ya’ll are listening, you’re probably not, but if you are, you’ve got kids, what a draw. I know I’ve got some young people that I’ve sent this to that I know that are teenagers – I wish this had come along when my kids were teenagers – they’re all college and beyond now. We had an outdoor scholars program back when – well actually it was an outdoor program. There were no scholarship –
Jonathan Goode: Well where did the scholars come in?
Dave Milton: No it was kind of open hunting back then. There was a lot of gas wells and I didn’t – and there was no trespassing signs, and we just didn’t know much and nobody said anything, so I’ll just leave it at that. But we did a lot of hunting and fishing around Montevallo when I was there. It’s a great school, tremendous and I want to give Dr. Stewart personally – this was his vision, and William has implemented along William’s vision – and this is a tremendous tremendous thing not only for the University of Montevallo, but for the state of Alabama.
Jonathan Goode: For sure, for sure. Well, ya’ll stay with us, we’re gonna to take a quick break, we’ll hear from some of our sponsors back for more with The Land Show with Dave and Johnny.