Rural Missouri - January 2014 - (Page 5)

Hart to Heart Looking out for you in Jefferson City O by Barry Hart bhart@amec.coop 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 people. 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 and representatives. This eternal vigilance is vital to our jobs of providing affordable 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 of respect." Barry Hart 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 areas. Rest assured, we will look after your interests in Jefferson City. Hart is the executive vice president of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives. Guest Column An investment in Missouri's future B by Tim Wolfe info@ruralmissouri.coop 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, nurses, pharmacists 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 every county. 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 responders. "When you add it all up, the effect that the University of Missouri has on communities in every corner of our state is massive." Tim Wolfe JANUARY 2014 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 food supply. 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 Missouri system. 5 http://www.action.coop

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - January 2014

Rural Missouri - January 2014
Contents
Comments
Columns
Healing on horses
Gut instinct
Out of the Way Eats
Outdoors
For the birds
Missouri Snapshots
Hearth and Home
The company behind the meter
Around Missouri
Marketplace
Neighbors
Just4Kids

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