Of all the things we take for granted in modern society,
One thing that’s very important is our electricity.
Electric power cools our homes, provides light for reading,
And powers the appliances which modern homes are needing.
But in the previous century, times were hard and sour.
Most rural homes were without electric power.
Investor-owned companies provided power in the city,
But out here in the countryside, the picture wasn’t pretty.
Homes out here were far apart. Cost was high to build a line.
The cost of providing service made big companies decline.
Then cooperatives were formed, as farm families came together,
To provide electric service, in spite of distance and of weather.
When electric power reached the rural parts of our nation,
It was truly part of an important transformation.
It would dramatically change the rural daily life,
And eased the labor burden upon the farmer and his wife.
It’s hard to imagine life without it, in those days bygone.
I give thanks for electric co-ops that keep the power on.
For when electric power reached the oldtime home on the range,
You might say that it was an electrifying change.
In 2003 then Kansas Gov. Bill Graves officially proclaimed Ron Wilson to be a Poet Lariat (not laureate) in Kansas, the same year he won first place at the Kansas Cowboy Symposium in Dodge City. Wilson also serves as director of the Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development at Kansas State University.