Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 5

RM

| PERSPECTIVES

Welcome back legislators
by Caleb Jones | cjones@amec.coop

D

owntown Jefferson City is bustling this
time of year as Missouri's legislators pack
their bags and return for the 100th Legislative Session. It's an exciting time in the
state capital. When I was a state representative it
felt a lot like the first day of school.
You haven't seen your buddies since the end-ofsession gavel came down in May. Old friends take
time to renew acquaintances and catch up on the
latest news about families. Newcomers excitedly
share their ideas for legislation as they make new
friends. There's a sense of optimism that for the
best never leaves even during the contentious debate that is to come.
If December is for family, as I mentioned last
month, January for our lawmakers is a time to leave
the home life behind for the greater good of all Missourians. For some, the months leading up to the
election in November were a time spent fighting for
a seat in the House or Senate. Now comes the time
to make good on those campaign promises.
When I left for the Capitol I knew my wife, Lindsey, would miss me. I also knew she understood the
work going on there was important.
It's easy for us to bash politicians, especially
those whose philosophy is not our own. It's much
harder to know the sacrifice they make for the rest
of us. Not only are they leaving behind their family
and friends, many are also setting aside jobs in order to make a difference.
Missouri is lucky to have a citizen legislature.

Our forefathers created a legislature that would include everyone from the communities that make
up this great state. Anyone from single parents,
farmers, ranchers, car dealers, real estate agents
and bankers have the ability to serve in our legislature and have done so over the years.
If there's one thing they have in common, it is a
deep and sincere love of the communities they were
elected to represent. This "Concern for Community" is shared by the state's electric cooperatives and
is one of the driving forces for all they do.
When I came to Jefferson City as a freshman
legislator, the first lesson I learned came from a
veteran lawmaker from Columbia, Chris Kelly. He
pulled me aside to tell me: "You are a better legislator when you stop worrying about the next election
and start focusing on your district."
Those are words I never forgot. I also learned
that even though legislation designed to fix a problem in a district far from mine had no impact on my
own district, it deserved my vote. You have to look
at the big picture and do what is best for Missouri.
Those elected to represent us in Jefferson City have
to consider what makes Missouri a better place in
which to live.
For that, they deserve our prayers, thanks and
appreciation for doing what is a tough job. At the
end of the day, every person there is trying to make
a difference for the people back home. Let's give
them our support.
Jones is executive vice president of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives.

GUEST COLUMN

Electric upgrades and First Day Hikes
by Ben Ellis | info@ruralmissouri.coop

W

hile the number of Missourians and our
guests camping in our state parks continues to increase, the clamor for more
camping sites with electrical service
also grows. In the last 10 years, the use of sites that
provide electricity has increased 12 percent, from
70 percent to 82 percent. And while campsites with
electricity represent 72 percent of all campsites,
rentals for sites with electricity account for 82 percent of nights sold.
Providing power for RVs or fifth-wheel campers
with two, three or sometimes four slides-outs also
requires upgrading the amperage offered in some of
our campsites. To meet these challenges, Missouri
State Parks is focusing on expanding the number
of sites that provide electricity, upgrading all electric sites with both 30- and 50-amp receptacles and
adding electricity to some underutilizing basic sites
to meet the increasing demand.
To underwrite the upgrades, Missouri State
Parks has instituted a $2 rate increase for campsites with electricity. For arrivals beginning May 1,
2019, campers will see the $2 per night increase
for all on-season campsites with electricity. Basic
campsite rates will remain at $13 per night, and
offseason rates will remain the same.

One of Missouri State Park's goals is to provide
campers the most enjoyable experience possible.
By upgrading campsites across the state, Missouri
State Parks is hoping to continue to improve the
camping experience. During this time
of progress and improvement, campers should experience minimal, if any,
inconvenience.
Stay overnight in a Missouri state
park, and keep making memories!
If you don't want to wait until camping season to enjoy our state parks,
join our staff on New Year's Day in
America's State Parks First Day Hikes.
There is no greater way to start off the
year than with a hike in one of Missouri's great state parks. Our state
parks and historic sites will offer a
Ben
wide range of hikes from half a mile to
4 miles on all kinds of trails. Of the 30
locations where hikes are planned, here are a few
that may whet your appetite:
If you are looking for birds or history, come to
Lewis and Clark State Park in northwest Missouri
for a hike along the Gosling Lake Trail. This is a
great place to find a large number of native and
migratory birds such as bald eagles, ducks, swans,
geese and other birds and waterfowl. Start off your

hike while learning about the epic journey up the
Missouri River of 1804 at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Plaza.
Prairie State Park sits on the southwest Missouri
border and is home to our bison herd.
Trek through the prairie grasses on
one of the many trails this park has
to offer. Which trail you ask? It all
depends on where the bison feel like
grazing that day. Hope for warmer
weather than last year! In 2018, prairie hikers persevered and completed
their hike during the 9 degree, bitterly
cold weather.
You can mix a little mine history
with a walk in the woods starting at
Missouri Mines Trailhead and walking on the bike trail across the dam.
Ellis
St. Joe State Park and Missouri Mines
State Historic Site are partnering for
the Number 9 Hills hike. Learn about the old Number 9 mine shaft and explore the Number 9 Hills on
this hike.
For additional information on all of Missouri
State Parks' First Day Hikes and camping, check
out mostateparks.com/events.
Ellis is director of Missouri State Parks.
JANUARY 2019 | RURALMISSOURI.COOP

5


http://www.mostateparks.com/events http://www.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Rural Missouri - January 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - January 2019

Contents
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - Intro
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - Contents
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 4
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 5
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 6
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 7
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 8
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 9
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 10
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 11
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 12
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Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 14
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 15
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 16
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 17
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 18
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 19
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 20
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 21
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Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 23
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 24
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 25
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 26
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 27
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 28
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 29
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 30
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 31
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Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 33
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Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 35
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 36
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 37
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 38
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - Cover4
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