Field Notes: Growing a Brighter Future

Honors horticulture student Olivia Caillouet traveled to Africa last summer to take part in Global Community Development in Mozambique. (Check out our video on the program.) This UA faculty-led service learning program  focuses on New Horizons, a poultry farm on a mission to change lives. Food insecurity is a day-to-day, gnawing reality for many families in Nampula. New Horizons has encouraged workers who raise chicks to supplement their income – and diet – by planting vegetables as cash crops. Olivia’s project looked at total cost of input, yield, and market price to determine which crop is the best bet for area farmers. She’s presenting her findings at the International People Plant Symposium hosted by the International Society of Horticultural Science in Montevideo, Uruguay, Nov. 9-13, 2016.

Student holds carrot.

1. This is the first carrot harvest of the season. This is a small carrot that says so much. A majority of the food consumed is corn and the ability to have other nutrients in the diet could improve the overall health of locals. Diversity is key to many issues regarding land, society, and economics.

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What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been: “Tracking Trump & Hillary” Final Electoral College Predictions

 Can you believe it? It’s finally November 8. Election Day. Finally. Best case scenario? We know who our next President will be later this evening. Worst case? We head into December with all of us searching Wikipedia to figure out the what exactly happens if there’s a 4-4 vote in the Supreme Court on the issue of whether or not to extend a recount in the state of <fill in the blank>. For the collective sanity of our nation, let’s cheer for the former.

As I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago, the focus of our “Tracking Trump & Hillary” class was to figure out which candidate is helping or hurting his/her chances of winning 270 votes in the Electoral College. The campaign has certainly had its ebbs and flows, which we have “tracked” every step of the way since the conventions. In preparation for the first Tuesday following the first Monday of November 2016 (big shoutout to the U.S. for still maintaining a political tradition that dates back to the agrarian society of the 1800s) each student in “Tracking Trump & Hillary” was asked to make a series of predictions, which included the production of an Electoral College map. I was also asked to put my political acumen on the line and do the same. Here’s what we’re thinking will happen: Continue reading

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Clinton Gains Security in Florida


Kelly McKenzie is a Bodenhamer Fellow and senior honors student majoring in electrical engineering and physics from Searcy, Arkansas. She divides her time between solar cell research, the University of Arkansas Women’s Chorus and obsessing about politics. She plans to continue solar cell research in her graduate studies and lead America to a sunny future of solar cells on every home.

Florida is the quintessential battleground state, a highly diverse region that mirrors the diversity of the country. With both a large 50+ and a large minority population, it has a history of incredibly close election results. And as one of the states with the most electoral votes, the candidate chosen by Florida has won nine of the past ten presidential elections. As such, with a FiveThirtyEight tipping-point chance of a whopping 19.9%, it is probably the most important state to follow in this election. Continue reading

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Iowa in the 2016 Election


Spencer Soule is a sophomore honors student at the University of Arkansas, where he is pursuing a double major in political science and history. A native of North Little Rock, Spencer is an active member of the University of Arkansas Young Democrats and has done volunteer work for the Democratic Party of Arkansas. After college Spencer hopes to obtain a law degree and practice criminal law.

Though it may not carry many electoral votes, Iowa is poised to be one of the most unpredictable states in the 2016 election. Continue reading

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Ohio: A Dead Heat, or Clinton’s Race to Lose?


Maxwell Carter is a freshman biomedical engineering/political science major and Bodenhamer Fellow at the University of Arkansas. An avid follower of politics, Carter interned with the Democratic Party of Arkansas in the summer of 2015 and founded a Young Democrats chapter at his high school.

In line with trends of recent elections, Ohio has been one of the most contested and least predictable states in this election cycle. Since June, Clinton and Trump have exchanged the lead in Ohio four times. For an already-behind Trump, a win in Ohio is vital to reach 270. For Clinton, who already has the electoral map stacked in her favor, winning Ohio’s 18 votes would nearly guarantee a national victory. Continue reading

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Pre-Election State Analysis: North Carolina


Baxter Yarbrough is from Morrilton and a sophomore honors student at the University of Arkansas. He is double majoring in political science and psychology with minors in marketing, legal studies, and social work. Yarbrough is involved in the University of Arkansas’s chapters of Beta Theta Pi, Young Democrats, Pi Sigma Alpha, Rotaract, United Campus Ministries and Resident Interhall Congress. After graduation, Yarbrough hopes to attend graduate school and concurrently receive a Juris Doctorate from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law and a Master of Public Service from the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, as part of the two schools’ JD/MPS program.

Whether it was the signing of the highly controversial “Bathroom Bill” by Governor Pat McCrory into law, the fatal shooting of Walter Scott in the spring of 2015, the heavily favored Carolina Panthers losing Super Bowl L, or the recent effects of Hurricane Matthew, North Carolina has certainly been in the news over the past year and a half.  These events aside, North Carolina has once again emerged as an important swing state in the 2016 campaign. I could see either of the two major party candidates winning North Carolina, but I believe that Hillary Clinton will take the state this election. Continue reading

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Nevada: A Possible Split Ticket State


Carter Fox is a junior honors student majoring in history and political science with a minor in legal studies. He is from Tulsa, Oklahoma but is a full-fledged Razorback.  Carter is actively involved in Greek Life as well as C3. After graduating, Carter hopes to attend law school.

Going into the 2016 Presidential election, Nevada was assumed to be a strong candidate for a battleground state for several reasons. Chief among them: Obama’s margin of victory decreased substantially in 2012, changing demographics of the population, and a hotly contested senate race for Harry Reid’s seat. However, with recent polling, it seems more likely that the true battle will be over the Senate seat and not the votes of the Electoral College. Continue reading

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New Hampshire, More Like Blue Hampshire…amiriteeeee?


Summer Stallbaumer is a sophomore honors economics major at the University of Arkansas. She is an opinion writer for The Arkansas Traveler and a member of the Walton Honors Program.

Demographically New Hampshire is much more intriguing than I thought it would be. It’s not that the actual racial makeup of the state is surprising, with an electorate that is 93.9% white Americans. The thing that surprised me about New Hampshire was the fact that more than 30% of voters this year were either not old enough to vote in 2008, or did not live in New Hampshire. Continue reading

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Colorado is With Her


Hannah Ray is a junior honors student majoring in political science, criminal justice and sociology at the University of Arkansas. Originally from Russellville, Hannah has been actively involved in many student organizations on campus, including the Associated Student Government, Alpha Omicron Pi Fraternity, the Pre-Law Society, and Pi Sigma Alpha. After college, Hannah hopes to pursue a law degree and enter the legal field as a corporate attorney.

If you’re still counting on Colorado to remain a swing state in this presidential election, allow me to attempt to soften the blow of Trump’s defeat on November 8th. With Clinton ahead in almost every statewide poll, Colorado has quickly made the transition from being a swing state to leaning towards Hillary. Continue reading

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The Virginian Queen


Darynne Dahlem is logically minded and creatively based. She is a sophomore animal science major and has competed in the Miss America System for three years. This verbal processor loves ice cream and cats and has the ability to quote National Lampoon’s Animal House on a daily basis.

In the last four elections, Virginia has voted for the candidate who has won the Electoral College. However, this state doesn’t necessarily know where its loyalties lie. From 1976 through 2004, Virginia was a red state, but it has shifted over the past two election cycles.  Continue reading

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