I continue to receive lots of positive comments about the job and service that rural electric cooperatives do for their consumer-members.
Always a part of any discussion involving electric cooperatives is the Kansas Country Living magazine and the job they do communicating through this publication with its readership. Some people even compliment yours truly on content and construction of the Presidents’ Pen column. Don’t think for a minute however that my strengths lie in a single subject. My proficiency in mathematics was appreciated by school officials so much that they had me take freshman algebra three times. So that kind of makes me a numbers guy too.
A whole bunch of numbers I recently looked at was in the new Kansas Census. Interestingly enough, the comparisons of the Kansas population in the last decade until now show what we hesitantly dislike admitting. Most counties in the state, especially in the western half, show a significant decline in population. Some with double digit loss percentages. This trend may slow down but I’d be cautious to say it will reverse. What could be the answer to this conundrum? Singer songwriter Bob Dylan wrote “the answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind.” This song comes to mind as I look at many rural areas and communities. I see wind farms and solar projects being developed or already in production in many parts of rural Kansas. These renewable energy projects along with the established base load generation will provide us with reliable energy for years to come. My point is the resourcefulness that our great state has. Whether the numbers are in our people, power supply, or agriculture production, we are fortunate to live in what has been called “the breadbasket of America!”
Just as a reminder, don’t forget to show appreciation to those linemen who go on calls during some very severe weather to repair broken poles and lines so we all can enjoy one of our greatest services.
Terry Hobbs is the board president for Kansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. He is also a member of Western Cooperative Electric’s Board of Trustees in WaKeeney.