Rural Missouri - June 2019 - 5

RM

| PERSPECTIVES

Hope from Hayden
by Caleb Jones | cjones@amec.coop

R

shooting baskets, not the pain he no doubt felt.
These days he's learning to get around on crutches after having one leg amputated. When he fell for
the first time, he didn't give up. Instead he worked
harder. He can't play baseball - yet - but is happy
to keep score for his teammates.
Here is what his mom, Jen, had to say about
Hayden's "faith over fear:"
"I am shocked at how this kid handles any obstacle thrown at him. I've never been more proud to be

his mom. The therapist asked him to walk 10 feet
and he walked 200."
We all know someone like Hayden, who despite
their tender years can unite a community. Across
central Missouri, support was strong on the day
doctors removed Hayden's leg. Gov. Mike Parson's
staff wore blue - Hayden's favorite color - as did
students at Fatima and Blair Oaks high schools,
normally rivals. Cards poured in by the hundreds,
many with photos of groups holding "Hope for
Hayden" signs. Loose Creek welcomed him
home with a sea of blue.
That's just what rural people do when
something bad happens to good people. We
do it because it's the right thing to do. And
in extending a helping hand, we realize good
things can come from bad things, like the
hope those who know Hayden receive from
his struggle.
Around the state, I see electric cooperatives reaching out to those in their communities who need a helping hand. Some do
it through their Operation Round Up programs. Others are more subtle in their support, opening wallets and volunteering at
fundraisers for a sick child or a family that
has lost their home.
However they do it, our electric co-ops
know that being part of a rural community
means more than just keeping the lights on.
We are there to help our co-op family.
Sadly, tragedy is always going to be part
of our earthly existence. It's good to know
though that so too is hope, and the comfort
that comes from being part of a community
that cares. You can learn more about this
remarkable young man at www.facebook.
com/HaydenJBackes.

ecently I returned from a trip to Washington, D.C. along with about 100 of Misouri's
electric cooperative leaders to meet with our
legislators. Our nation's capital is a beautiful place to visit in the spring. But I have to say I
was glad to return home. I just don't get that sense
of community in Washington, D.C. that is always
present in Missouri.
Case in point: On May 8, with the end
of the legislative session just a week away,
I witnessed something unprecedented in
Missouri politics. Both chambers shut
down for an hour and its members crossed
the street from the Capitol to show their
support for a 9-year-old boy from Loose
Creek named Hayden Backes. I've followed
Missouri politics for most of my life, and
what they did is unprecedented, with legislators from both parties coming together
when time and tempers usually are short.
Hayden's father, Dusty, was my chief
of staff when I was a state representative.
He is a member of Three Rivers Electric
Cooperative and one of the most respected
and beloved workers at the Capitol, with
an ever-present smile that belies the tremendous sadness he must feel. In October
2012, Dusty and his wife, Jen, saw their
lives turned upside down when Hayden
was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis.
Like so many others around the state,
their role as parents quickly expanded into
one of caregiver. As I followed their story
through a Facebook page titled "Hope for
Hayden," I learned the reason Dusty can
still smile through his tears.
Hayden, like a lot of kids fighting a host
of dreaded diseases, has truly been an
inspiration. When he awoke from the first
of many surgeries, his first thought was Hayden Backes and his father, Dusty, right, offer inspiration for me and many others.

Jones is the executive vice president and
CEO of the Association of Missouri Electric
Cooperatives.

GUEST COLUMN

Archery in schools provides fun and focus
by Tricia Burkhardt | info@ruralmissouri.coop

D

akota Ragsdale is proof that anyone can
participate in archery. A junior at Miller
High School, he wasn't supposed to live
past a few months old. He has congenital heart defects and he had to use a feeding tube
for much of his life due to complications from fetal
alcohol syndrome.
Health issues weren't going to get in the way of
Dakota learning how to bow hunt. He loves being
outdoors and was featured turkey hunting on "The
Twin Factor," an outdoor hunting show. In order to
fulfill his dream, his adopted mother, Carrie, says
he was determined to participate in the archery
program that just started at his high school this
year. Plus, this was a non-contact sport in which he
could take part.
"He always arrives early to practice, ready to
start," says Allen Tennis, Dakota's coach. Through
lots of practice, grit and hard work, Dakota received
the Most Improved Archer award and a school letter at the recent school sports banquet. At his first
tournament he shot 118. At the last tournament of
the season, he shot his personal best of 228.
Even though this was Miller High School's first
year in the Missouri National Archery in the Schools

Program (MoNASP), the team qualified for the state says Carrie after watching him perform in archery
tournament in Branson March 22-24. MoNASP is tournaments. She really likes archery because
an affiliate of NASP, which aims at improving edu- Dakota gets to be involved in a sport that includes
cational performance among students in grades everyone, regardless of athletic ability or size. When
4-12. The archery program helps them learn focus, competing, students of all walks of life are together
self-control, discipline, patience and the life lessons on the line with their peers.
Statistics show school archery prorequired to be successful in the classgrams improve participants' attenroom and in life through the critical
dance, increase their confidence,
thinking skills acquired.
improve behavior, increase physical
At the 2019 MoNASP State Tournaactivity and get them outside.
ment, the second largest state archery
Dakota says that archery has helped
tournament in the nation, there were
him make new friends. He thinks more
3,287 competitors for the bullseye
students should give it a try. He can't
and 3-D tournaments with more than
wait for the next season to start.
14,500 spectators. It is sponsored and
The Missouri Conservation Heritage
coordinated by the Missouri DepartFoundation would like to graciously
ment of Conservation and the Missouri
thank Missouri's Electric Cooperatives
Conservation Heritage Foundation. In
for sponsoring the 2019 MoNASP State
the past, several student archers and
Tournament. Their dedication to the
teams from Missouri have won the
Tricia Burkhardt
youth in this state is making long-term
national and world championships.
impacts that are life changing for the
This sport positively affects students
in many ways by giving them purpose and hope. children in Missouri.
Carrie says that after starting archery, Dakota's
Burkhardt is the director of development and
focus has improved, he is more dedicated, and he is
social media for the Missouri Conservation Heritage
better able to control his anxiety.
"To me, it looks like he doesn't have a disability," Foundation.
JUNE 2019 | RURALMISSOURI.COOP

5


http://www.facebook.com/HaydenJBackes http://www.facebook.com/HaydenJBackes http://www.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Rural Missouri - June 2019

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

Contents
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - Intro
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - Contents
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - 4
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - 5
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - 6
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - 7
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - 8
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - 9
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - 10
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - 11
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - 12
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - 13
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - 14
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - 15
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - 16
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - 17
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - 18
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - 19
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - 20
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - 21
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - 22
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - 23
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - 24
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - 25
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - 26
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - 27
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - 28
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - 29
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - 30
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - 31
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - 32
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - 33
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - 34
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - 35
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - 36
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - 37
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - 38
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - 39
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - 40
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - 41
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - 42
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - June 2019 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202007
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202005
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202003
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202001
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201911
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201907
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201906
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201905
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201903
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201902
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201901
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201811
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201808
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201807
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201806
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201805
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201804
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201803
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201802
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201801
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201711
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201710
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201707
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201706
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201705
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201704
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201703
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201702
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201701
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201611
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201610
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201609
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201608
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201606
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201605
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201604
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201603
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201602
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201601
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201511
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201510
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201509
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201508
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201507
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201505
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201504
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201503
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201502
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201501
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201411
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201410
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201409
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201408
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201407
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201406
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201404
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201403
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201402
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201401
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201312
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201311
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201310
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201309
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201308
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201307
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201306
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201305
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201303
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201302
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201301
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201212
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201211
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201210
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201209
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201208
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201207
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201206
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201205
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201204
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201202
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201111
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201110
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201109
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201108
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201107
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201106
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201105
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/videotest
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201101
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201010
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com