Rural Missouri - January 2014 - (Page 5)
Hart to Heart
Looking out for you in Jefferson City
by Barry Hart
n Jan. 8, those of us who
live in Jefferson City will
welcome state legislators
back for the second session
of the 97th General Assembly. As they
have done since the beginning of
Missouri's statehood, lawmakers will
gather to debate and vote up or down
many pieces of legislation.
Taking an active role in the process
will be the legislative team from the
Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives. One of the most important
duties of this statewide association is
to watch out for the interests of you
and your electric cooperative in the
halls of the state Capitol.
If this year is like previous years,
hundreds of bills will be filed. You can
bet our team will keep an eye on any
of these that have the potential to
impact electric cooperatives and rural
Our efforts in the legislative arena
start long before the opening gavel
falls, however. With term limits in
force, it's vital for anyone with a stake
in developing state policy to get to
know their legislators early and visit
with them often.
Starting soon after the last session
ends, we are attending fundraisers,
taking part in hearings and doing our
best to meet the everchanging list of senators
This eternal vigilance
is vital to our jobs of
and reliable electricity.
Today's laws are often
complex, and it would
be easy to unintentionally enact a law that
could cripple our cause.
Already, several bills
that were pre-filed have
caught our attention.
These deal with changes
to Missouri's net-metering law, pole
attachments, renewable energy, tree
trimming, the Missouri One Call system and utility taxes.
One of the topics we will be discussing with legislators
at our State Legislative
Conference in February
is our campaign to educate members on what
is at stake as the Environmental Protection
Agency considers new
regulations that could
make it impossible to
generate with coal.
At annual meetings
this summer and fall, at
town hall meetings held
around the state and
through personal con-
"When we call on lawmakers at our state
Capitol, our legislative team enjoys a great deal
tacts we've made with them, many
senators and representatives have
voiced their support for our position
that coal has to be part of the U.S.
energy picture. Quite a few have gladly signed cards that will be used to
send email messages to EPA, or done it
themselves at www.action.coop.
When we call on lawmakers at
our state Capitol, our legislative team
enjoys a great deal of respect. That's
because elected officials always know
where we stand on the issues. They
know our position has been crafted
through a Legislative Committee composed of electric cooperative managers
and directors from around the state.
They recognize that our mission
starts at the grassroots and includes
the input of member-owners at the
end of the line. They understand that
electric cooperatives are uniquely
positioned to help with any effort to
improve the quality of life in rural
Rest assured, we will look after your
interests in Jefferson City.
Hart is the executive vice president of
the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives.
An investment in Missouri's future
by Tim Wolfe
ruce Trammel has been a
farmer all his life. When the
Kingston resident suffered a
severe brain injury four years
ago that made his balance and mobility a challenge, the probability of him
continuing in his livelihood appeared
slim. But through the AgriAbility program offered by the local University
of Missouri Extension office, Bruce
was connected with Odie, a yellow
Labrador retriever trained for farmspecific tasks such as retrieving tools
and opening gates. Today, Bruce has
regained his independence.
Tracy and Clarence Ray of Dixon
are the parents of CJ, a young boy
diagnosed with autism. CJ has difficulty riding in a car for long periods of time, so the 90-minute drive
to Columbia to visit the Thompson
Center can be overwhelming for him.
Thanks to the Missouri Telehealth
Network, the Ray family can drive to
nearby Richland and connect with
specialists anytime through video
imaging and conferencing.
These are merely two examples of
the countless ways the University of
Missouri system touches residents.
The four-campus system includes the
University of Missouri-Columbia,
University of Missouri-Kansas City,
Missouri University of Science and
Technology in Rolla and the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
With more than 75,000 students,
we educate nearly half of all undergraduates at public four-year institutions in the state, as well as the
majority of graduate and professional
school students. We are
your doctors, dentists,
and medical researchers. In addition to our
pharmacy and dental
schools, more Missouri
doctors receive their
medical degrees from
one of our campuses
than any other university, and our nursing
school alumni are in
We also deliver
health care to the
underserved through the Missouri
Telehealth Network. This network
delivers health care through the use
of telecommunications, and with 200
locations in 56 Missouri counties,
patients can have a live, real-time
interaction with a University of Missouri health specialist.
With experts working in all Missouri counties, every
year more than a million Missourians turn
to University of Missouri Extension to gain
knowledge, from earning a high school diploma to law enforcement
training. MU Extension
drew more than 2.1
million contacts during
2012, including 14,814
enrollments in Extension training programs
for firefighters and first
"When you add it all up, the effect that the
University of Missouri has on communities in
every corner of our state is massive."
Our 19 agricultural experiment
stations, covering more than 14,000
acres, are increasing our understanding of the best farming practices to
ensure the safety and bounty of our
We are your animal care providers,
offering the only doctor of veterinary
medicine degree in the state. Each
year, our Veterinary Medical Teaching
Hospital cares for about 17,000 hospitalized animals.
We connect schools, delivering
technology to rural Missouri through
the Missouri Research and Education
Network, or MOREnet. MOREnet provides Internet connectivity, video conferencing, network security and training to nearly 800 Missouri schools,
public libraries, health care organizations and local governments.
When you add it all up, the effect
that the University of Missouri has on
communities in every corner of our
state is massive. Our influence reaches
every person in our state on a regular basis, and we are a driving force
in Missouri's economic health and
well-being. The University of Missouri
proves every day that an investment
in higher education is an investment
in Missouri's future.
Wolfe is president of the University of
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - January 2014
Rural Missouri - January 2014
Healing on horses
Out of the Way Eats
For the birds
Hearth and Home
The company behind the meter
Rural Missouri - January 2014
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