Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 5

Missouri
RURAL

Volume 73 | SEPTEMBER 2020 | Number 9
EDITORIAL STAFF:
Jim McCarty, editor
jmccarty@ruralmissouri.coop
Paul Newton, managing editor
pnewton@ruralmissouri.coop
Heather Berry, associate editor
hberry@ruralmissouri.coop
Megan Backes, creative director
mbackes@ruralmissouri.coop
Zach Smith, field editor
zsmith@ruralmissouri.coop
Angie Jones-Wheeler, co-op page designer
ADVERTISING:
Mary Davis, production manager
mdavis@ruralmissouri.coop
Editorial:
Rural Missouri
P.O. Box 1645, Jefferson City, MO 65102
573-659-3423
info@ruralmissouri.coop
www.ruralmissouri.coop
Advertising:
mdavis@ruralmissouri.coop
573-659-3400
National Advertising Representative:
American MainStreet Publications;
611 S. Congress St., Suite 504; Austin, TX 78704
573-659-3400
Postmasters: Send address changes to Rural Missouri, P.O. Box 1645, Jefferson City, MO 65102.
Subscribers: Report change of address to your local cooperative. Do not send change of address to
Rural Missouri.
Advertising standards: Advertising published in
Rural Missouri is accepted on the premise that
the merchandise and services offered are accurately described and sold to customers at the advertised price. Rural Missouri and Missouri's electric cooperatives do not endorse any products or
services advertised herein. Advertising that does
not conform to these standards or that is deceptive or misleading is never knowingly accepted by
this publication.
Rural Missouri (ISSN 0164-8578) (USPS 473000) is published monthly by the Association
of Missouri Electric Cooperatives, 2722 E.
McCarty Street, Jefferson City, MO 65101, Caleb
Jones, CEO/executive vice president. Individual
subscription rate: $10 per year or $22 for three
years, taxes and postage included. Group rate for
members of participating RECs $2.22, plus taxes
and postage, paid from equity accruing to the
member. Delivery as specified by subscriber. If not
specified, delivery will be by periodical class mail
at subscriber's expense. Periodical Class postage
paid at Jefferson City, MO, and additional mailing
offices. Copyright 2020, Association of Missouri
Electric Cooperatives. Call for reprint rights.

Circulation of this issue: 569,356

RM | PERSPECTIVES

A magic switch for outages
by Caleb Jones
cjones@amec.coop

I

was up to my knees in cold water
at Bennett Spring State Park when
my cell phoned chimed. Normally I
won't reply to a text message when
the trout are biting, but this time the
message was from a good friend and
the fish weren't cooperating anyway.
My buddy's power was out, and he
thought I might know why. Since I
began working for Missouri's electric
cooperatives three years ago, all of my
friends think that I have this magic
switch in my office that can turn their
lights back on.
It doesn't work that way, of course,
but in this case the manager of his
electric cooperative just happened to
be next to me. He told me there was a
major improvement project underway
and the power would only be off for
a few minutes to protect the safety of
the linemen.
Never letting an opportunity like
this go to waste, I told my friend that I
had my finger on that "magic switch"
and his lights would come on soon.
Sure enough, he texted back that I
must have superpowers because the
power was indeed flowing once again.
Every electric cooperative wants to
provide service that is uninterrupted
24/7. The reality, however, is that
outages will always be a part of living
in rural Missouri. We've seen power
shut off by squirrels, snakes and, yes,
even bass and catfish dropped into a
substation by bald eagles.
One of our managers recently told
me that large infestations of ants are
raising havoc with his equipment. Another said an errant brush hog operator shut off service for many members
when he got too close to a pole.
Across Missouri, electric co-ops
own 130,000 miles of power lines;
if it was all strung out in one line, it
would circle the Earth more than five
times. It's a given that somewhere
along those many miles of line a tree
will fall, a farmer will swing a little too
wide plowing a field or a bolt of lightning will randomly choose a crossarm
for its return to earth. When that

Fly fishing "outages" are tougher to restore
than outages on co-op power lines.
happens, crews spring into action, the
trouble is located and power restored.
Often this can be done at the office,
with an actual "magic switch" that reroutes power from another substation.
Sometimes outages are necessary
because your cooperative is constantly
improving service for their members.
As more and more people move to
rural areas, adding larger homes or
more power-hungry devices to the
lines, your electric cooperative stays
ahead of the growth with equipment
capable of carrying more current.
Other times a powerful storm will
undo all of the progress. That was the
case in August when a storm swept
across the Midwest. Luckily, our
state's repairs were quick and we were
able to send help north to Iowa's electric co-ops knowing they will return
the favor someday.
I was reminded of this when my
son, Max, took up fly fishing. You can
see the results on the photo on this
page. Co-op linemen are much better
sorting out tangled wire after a storm
than I was at getting Max back in the
water.
Jones is the executive vice president
and CEO of the Association of Missouri
Electric Cooperatives.
SEPTEMBER 2020 | RURALMISSOURI.COOP

5


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Rural Missouri - September 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - September 2020

Contents
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - Contents
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 4
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 5
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 6
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 7
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 8
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 9
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 10
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 11
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 12
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 13
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 14
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 15
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 16
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Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 18
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Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 20
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 21
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Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 27
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Rural Missouri - September 2020 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - Cover4
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