Rural Missouri - November 2012 - (Page 5)

Hart to Heart Thoughts and thanks in November N by Barry Hart bhart@amec.coop ovember is one of my favorites times of year. It’s a time when my thoughts turn to family visits, trips to the woods and the many things in my life for which I am thankful. Every time I venture outside in the fall, I can see the beauty of God’s creation in the changing colors of our trees in contrast to the pastures turning green again. I’m reminded that were it not for the pioneers of the Conservation Federation of Missouri, the Department of Conservation and other rural Missouri leaders, there would be far fewer trees in the woods, and most likely no deer or turkey to hunt, or trout or bass to catch. I’m thankful that group formed 75 years ago to restore Missouri’s overharvested trees and restock its wildlife. They are the reason my son will again do battle with that gobbler that eluded him this spring, and I will be able to try and fool that trout into taking one of my flies and giving me a fight. I appreciate all the federation has done for Missouri, especially in recent months when they’ve helped us continue providing reliable power without harming sensitive environmental areas. These types of alliances — whether from conservation groups, the ag industry or state government — are a great blessing for our state and they help make my job a lot easier. I’m thankful Missouri has quality sports teams that focus the attention of the nation on us. Once again, I witnessed a late-season surge by the Cardinals, and my only disappointment is that the Royals weren’t destined for a rematch of the 1985 World Series. I’m sure every time David Freese or formal Royal Carlos Beltran comes up to bat, or Chris Carpenter delivers a strike, or Yadier Molina throws out a base runner, it will result in more tourism dollars flowing into Missouri. Every time the Kansas City Chiefs, St. Louis Rams and Mizzou Tigers play, each game pumps millions into our economy. There are two important holidays this month — Veterans Day and Thanksgiving. Veterans Day reminds me to be thankful for those who put themselves in harm’s way so the rest of us can enjoy the freedom and quality of life only possible in the United States. On this Veteran’s Day, let’s take the time to attend a veteran’s celebration. Or better yet, make an effort to thank them in person. When I think of all the veterans have done for us, I also am reminded of another group that works in dangerous situations so we can all benefit: the line workers at your local electric cooperative. Whenever a storm strikes, I know they are ready to spring into action whether it’s wind, snow, ice or flooding that causes the problem. Every day in the workplace when they install service to new co-op members or maintain the electric “Every time I venture outside in the fall, I can see the beauty of God’s creation in the changing colors of our trees in contrast to the pastures turning green again.” Barry Hart system you own, they put themselves in harm’s way. Let’s all take the time to say thank you for their service when we see them in the community. On Thanksgiving, I hope to be surrounded by family at my sister Pam’s house that will include my 93-yearold mom, Catherine. But in the middle of all the hubbub, I will stop long enough to count my blessings. Top among them will be family, faith, friends and living in a free country. I’ll also send out a silent word of thanks for the pioneers of the rural electric movement who brought so much to the people of our state. Recently, the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives held its 75th annual meeting, and part of the agenda reflected on their achievements. I am fortunate to have met many of these pioneers, and I share their vision of improving life for rural people. As they grew older, they passed the torch on to new leaders who would carry it forward. My hope is we will continue to carry it and that it will burn brighter for the benefit of all electric cooperative members. Here’s hoping you and your families all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, a successful harvest and lots of luck in the deer woods! Hart is the executive vice president of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives. Guest Column Membership makes a difference ur great conservation president, Theodore Roosevelt, said, “The wildlife and its habitat cannot speak, so we must and we will.” For 77 years, the Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM) has been speaking up as “the voice for Missouri outdoors.” Through CFM, we private citizens created state agencies, then secured and defended their authority and their funding. Along the way, we have completely transformed our state’s forests, fisheries, wildlife, soils, water and air from the leavings of the Great Depression and Dust Bowl Days to our present landscape of prosperity and opportunity for all. About the same time our ancestors were starting CFM, the same incredible Missourians were organizing rural electric cooperatives. The first electric co-op power lines in our state were run in my home county of Lewis in 1937. To this very day, the Lewis County Rural Electric Cooperative provides clean, safe, affordable power to my farm near Fairmont. This land has been in my family’s care for generations. For decades, O by Dave Murphy info@ruralmissouri.coop we have relied with confidence on our cooperative’s excellent, capable and consistent service. Over the past few years, the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperative’s CEO Barry Hart and I have become acquainted, got to know each other well and have begun to develop a broad, effective partnership. AMEC is a membership organization, as is CFM. Our members expect excellent leadership, effective action and consistent performance. Our members recognize that the best way to get what they want is by active participation in our solid networks. Through AMEC and CFM, we ordinary citizens accomplish extraordinary things every day. Who knew, when we began our efforts more than 75 years ago, where we would be today? Our great successes have far surpassed the temporary effects of the bumps in the road along our way. The magic of electric lights penetrating the utter darkness at the end of the line at our farm certainly rivals that of the lighting of the big Christmas Tree outside the White House. The power we need, when we need it, to serve whatever our purpose might be has “Our wise, conservative, steady investment in the outdoors has brought real wealth to all Missourians.” Dave Murphy NOVEMBER 2012 become so certainly available that we too often take it for granted. That is effective service! In the same light, the magic of the roaring gobble of a mature wild turkey tom in springtime has returned to every Missouri county, thanks to our collective efforts. Some species of wildlife now occur in great abundance in Missouri where once they were almost wiped out. Our wise, conservative, steady investment in the outdoors has brought real wealth to all Missourians. Each year, the economic impact of hunting, fishing, wildlife watching and forestry brings more than $11.5 billion to Missouri, more than all professional sports combined. This is a real benefit to every citizen. Nearly 100,000 jobs in the private sector are made possible through this outdoors “industry.” If we have learned anything during the past 75 years, the incredible stories of AMEC and CFM have taught us that membership makes a difference. Generations yet to come will thank us for what we do today. Murphy heads the Conservation Federation of Missouri. 5

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - November 2012

Rural Missouri - November 2012
Contents
Comments
Columns
Doing away with the ‘old scrub bull’
Cooperation among co-ops
Addicted to duck calls
Outdoors
Out of the Way Eats
Redefining rustic
Best of rural Missouri
Hearth and Home
Sleep like the grain
Marketplace
Around Missouri
Neighbors
Just4Kids

Rural Missouri - November 2012

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