Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Mettings missed, made, and yet to come

Aside from beginning our spring silage harvest and dealing with unexpected power outages and storm damage, this week will go in the books as a pretty busy one on account of some important meetings that have been scheduled.

I had to miss the first one due to the aforementioned storm problems. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) holds an annual town hall meeting in all the state's counties and was in Vernon this past Monday afternoon. I had planned on attending but we got so far behind on work that day I wasn't able to shake loose quick enough to clean up and head to town. I had planned to ask him his view on the Uniform Trucking Bill (S639), but I suppose I'll have to do that through his office since I missed the personal opportunity.

Yesterday after work I had a very interesting meeting with a researcher working in connection to Alabama's rural broadband development efforts. Going into it I knew that I was one of twenty-something interviewees (from all across the state and from different business sectors) that would be asked to talk about how broadband connection would have an impact on my business and local economy. What I expected was a lot of standard Q&A, but it was much different that that. Dr. Gillis presented it basically as three different conversations. The first was based upon my current day goals for the future but assumed we were talking in the year 2020 and I was reflecting on how those goals had been accomplished on my farm, in my industry, and within the local & state economies. This was by far the longest part of the interview. The next conversation was similar but was based upon my current worries as I again "looked back" in 2o2o and opined all the negatives that we had been effected by in ten years time. My thoughts as to how the availability of high-speed communication technology impacted both the optomistic and pessimistic view of the future reality were intertwined through both conversations. Lastly, we talked about the real current day and near-term issues that would steer the future towards either my positive or negative outlook.

I hope that my nearly three hour session with Dr. Gillis will ultimately help my fellow farmers and rural residents of Alabama to get reliable, affordable high-speed communications. But if not, at least I will have benefited from the visioning process I went through. While goal setting isn't all that unfamiliar to me, I had never approached it from the standpoint of being in the future looking back on why my goals were or were not accomplished. It gave me a very interesting, very different perspective and I would encourage folks to give that exercise a try!

Lastly, dad and I will be attending a meeting on Friday morning with State Representative William Thigpen and several other dairy farmers from a three-county area to discuss a dairy industry stabilization bill we would like to see intruduced in the Alabama Legislature. I'll blog more info about the proposal and the meeting in the days to come.

Have a great day everyone, and help a dairy farmer out...make sure you, your family, and your co-workers all get their three servings of milk, cheese, or yougurt today. Not only will it help us out here on the farm, but it'll provide you with some power-packed tasty nutrition!


Brian Donohue said...

Hello, I host a video blog up here in NJ and we did a show on this topic yesterday. feel free to link or embed or just enjoy.

Michelle heim said...

Hi Will -
RidgeviewTel developed a website and toll free number for those that need affordable high speed Internet. This isn't a sales pitch, but rather a request. The more people that sign up at or call 866-922-9622 and submit their location, the better the chance that some of the stimulus funds will come to your area as the demand will be documented and mapped. We want to help, but need to know where the people are that want it.