09:11 AM

Perspective: Practice, Persistence and Teamwork

Like many folks, I’m a big fan of college football. It’s one of my favorite pastimes. Ask me what I’m doing on most Saturdays in the fall and it’s usually something related to watching football – whether on a screen or in the stands.

OK, so I know we’re still several months away from the start of football season. But, as I write this, both players and coaches are getting ready for next season’s games. Right now, there’s practice, persistence and teamwork underway to prepare everyone for competition.

The same thing is going on at Jackson EMC right now. Our “sport” is a little different, but it’s equally exciting. On our training fields, we’re getting ready for the Georgia Lineman’s Rodeo — an annual event that brings together the best linemen in the state to compete in events based on traditional linemen skills. In recent years, some of our linemen have won top team and individual honors at the Georgia Lineman’s Rodeo. Last fall, two journeyman lineman teams from Jackson EMC won some of the highest awards at the International Lineman’s Rodeo, held in October.

It’s an honor to support these talented and skilled professionals as they compete among their peers. A rodeo is a great way for linemen to learn from each other, including those from other electric cooperatives. There’s a strong sense of camaraderie when linemen hear about the experiences of others and learn from each other.

Just as I enjoy seeing a football player evolve from their freshman to senior season, it’s rewarding to watch our apprentices grow their skills as linemen through their participation in rodeo. Many of our experienced journeymen linemen and foremen, who serve as rodeo coaches for the younger competitors, are also accomplished rodeo participants. Working together in the competitive rodeo environment makes them better prepared for the challenges they face every day on the job. The emphasis on safety, skills and teamwork at rodeo are vital to the real-life work of linemen.

You know what’s also special about lineman’s rodeo? The strong sense of family. Jackson EMC linemen are joined by their families for an exciting competition. You’ll see spouses and kids cheering for their favorite lineman, all while sharing in fellowship with other lineman families. Most of the year, these families make tremendous sacrifices to support their loved one’s career. At rodeo, they see them put their talent in action – and cheer them on.

The truth is, the linemen who work so hard to restore power any time of the year are always a shining light for the community. At rodeo, they get an opportunity to shine a little brighter.

Have a story about the extraordinary work of a lineman? Share it with me at [email protected].