Connected MARCH/APRIL 2016
Published for customers of
ROPE ‘N’ RIDE
Students learn life lessons in the arena
FTC first in state to receive gig certification
HOME & FAMILY SHOW
Bring the kids and get inspired with new ideas for home
We’re looking for our
Small Business of the Year
mall businesses are the heart and soul of our communities, and this year we are celebrating National Small Business Week by honoring a local Small Business of the Year. May 1-7 is the week set aside in 2016 to honor America’s small businesses. Since 1963, the president of the United States has proclaimed National Small Business Week to recognize those companies who create so many jobs and provide important products and services. We are proud to support these efforts by delivering the technology small businesses need to stay connected. Through our Small Business of the Year program, we will spotlight those who are ensuring our
communities remain vibrant and continue to grow. To nominate a business for our Small Business of the Year, visit Broadband BuildsBusiness. com and complete the simple online form. Anyone can nominate a business — the owner, an employee or a customer. The deadline for nominations is March 15. Our Small Business of the Year will be featured in this magazine and will receive additional prizes as well. Help us celebrate National Small Business Week and say thank you to those small businesses we depend on every day. Visit BroadbandBuildsBusiness.com and nominate your favorite small business — even if it’s your own!
Help us find our Small Business of the Year! ➤➤ Visit BroadbandBuildsBusiness.com ➤➤ Complete the online nomination form ➤➤ Share the link on Facebook and Twitter ➤➤ Encourage others to nominate their favorite small business
Hurry, the deadline for nominations is March 15!
Did You Know? 2 | March/April 2016
America’s 28 million small businesses create nearly two out of three jobs in our economy. —sba.gov
Rural Connections By Shirley Bloomfield, CEO NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association
Telemedicine and rural health
t the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), held every January in Las Vegas, companies unveil the latest gadgets that are meant to entertain us, make us smarter/faster/healthier and, in general, lead to a happier, more convenient life. NTCA’s Vice President of Policy, Josh Seidemann, attended this year’s show looking for new products that build on the power of broadband. He saw many new offerings that focused on health care, fitness and smart home technology. I am particularly interested in how broadband is enabling the delivery of better health care to rural America. From electronic medical records to remote diagnostic equipment, telemedicine is one of the greatest uses of the rural broadband networks like the one your telecommunications company is building. CES offered plenty of exciting telemedicine news. In addition to many new gadgets coming to market, Josh learned that 20 to 30 percent of medical office visits could be conducted just as effectively through telemedicine. This means that a reliable broadband connection could save countless hours and millions of dollars, particularly in rural areas where travel to medical facilities can often pose a hardship. Plus, 12 states adopted compacts last year to expedite physician licensing for telemedicine, and we look for more to join that effort. Broadband is already improving rural health care, and the future holds great promise for advances in this area.
TELEMEDICINE Patients say connecting with doctors
online improves health care experience
Are you socially connected? Broadband Internet service is often celebrated as a tool for economic development and distance learning. According to a recent report in The American Journal of Managed Care, broadband can also be a key to better health care. The report cites a study by Kaiser Permanente, which revealed that a third of patients with chronic conditions who exchanged secure emails with their doctors said these communications improved their overall health. Nearly half of those surveyed had used email as their first method of contacting doctors for various health issues.
“As more patients gain access to online portal tools associated with electronic health records, emails between patients and providers may shift the way that health care is delivered and also impact efficiency, quality and health outcomes,” says Mary E. Reed, DrPH, staff scientist with the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research and the study’s lead author. Such online tools may also play a role in controlling health care costs. Of those patients who use email and who have higher out-of-pocket medical expenses, 85 percent reported choosing email as their first method of contacting their doctor.
There was a time when email was the main way of connecting with others over the Internet. Today there are many sites and apps that allow users to post status updates, share photos, message friends and more. A recent Pew Research Center survey asked Internet users which of the top five social media sites they use. Here are the results:
Percentage of online adults who say they use the following social media platforms Facebook 72% Pinterest 31%
Among patients who had emailed their health care provider: 42% said it reduced phone contacts
36% said it reduced in-person visits
32% said it improved their overall health
No broadband? That’s a bad thing. As broadband impacts more areas of our lives, people are placing greater value on broadband as a necessary service. According to a survey by Pew Research Center, 69 percent of Americans believe that people with no broadband connection are at a major disadvantage in at least one of these five areas: 1) finding out about job opportunities or gaining new career skills; 2) learning about or accessing government services; 3) learning new things that may improve or enrich their lives; 4) getting health information; and 5) keeping up with news and information.
Want to weigh in on the numbers? Visit www.HowDoYouBroadband.com and take our quick survey! March/April 2016 | 3
FROM THE GENERAL MANAGER
Connected MARCH/APRIL 2016
How are you feeling?
our feelings should always be indicators; they should never be dictators. I wish I could give proper credit to the woman who uttered that phrase on the radio, but I cannot. It was merely a snippet that I picked up one day as I was quickly in and out of my car. I have no idea who the person was. Nevertheless, I am indebted to her for reminding me of this important truth. As you know, I am not a psychologist and I haven’t stayed at a Holiday Inn Express in quite a while. However, I intend to explore this concept with you because I’ve recently experienced its significance. It helps to understand at the outset that our feelings are usually very strong indicators of our current emotional state. As you well know, emotions are powerful things. They drive much of what we do even when they shouldn’t. Even though our emotions contribute greatly to the uniqueness of our humanity, they are often an extremely poor basis for critical decision-making. It doesn’t FRED JOHNSON matter how happy I am and how good I may feel about crossing Executive Vice President the river and being on the other side, that is absolutely no reason and General Manager to drive across a bridge that is clearly about to collapse. That may seem so simple a thought, but I bet almost everyone reading this article has, at some point in his or her life, seen someone do something for absolutely no reason other than they “just felt like it.” As a matter of fact, a popular phrase goes like this, “If it feels right … do it.” Bad concept! By way of contrast, life’s most important decisions, whether personal or professional, are usually best made taking into consideration much more than our current feelings. Things like core values and principles that do not change with the seasons provide strong and reliable guidance for well-reasoned decision-making. You don’t need an example, but just to be clear, I will give you one anyway. A strong work ethic that says “I will go to work and do my job regardless of the weather” will usually lead to a much better outcome than an attitude that says “I will show up if it is not raining and I feel like it.” A bit more about emotions. I don’t know about you, but I don’t need to be making critical decisions, especially uniformed ones, when I am really struggling emotionally. A good night’s rest, a bit of study, a little time — whatever is needed — to clear the fog and inspire the spirit usually leads to a better emotional state … and a much better decision. Feelings can give us insight into our current emotional state and thus help us to better evaluate if we really need to be making that call right now versus perhaps a bit later. In short, it is facts, principles and values that should always dictate the decision. Feelings have a much different and often helpful role. But let’s keep them in their proper role. Let them be an indicator but never a dictator.
VOL. 20, NO. 2
Connected is a bimonthly magazine published by Farmers Telecommunications Cooperative, © 2016. It is distributed without charge to all customers of FTC.
FTC is a member-owned corporation dedicated to providing communications technology to the people of Northeast Alabama. The company has more than 15,000 access lines, making it the state’s largest telecommunications cooperative. Farmers Telecommunications Cooperative, Inc. P.O. Box 217 • 144 McCurdy Ave. N. Rainsville, AL 35986 Telephone: 256-638-2144 www.farmerstel.com BOARD OF TRUSTEES Randy Wright, President Flat Rock Exchange Gary Smith, Vice President Fyffe Exchange Danny R. Richey, Secretary Geraldine Exchange Lynn Welden, Treasurer Bryant Exchange Kenneth Gilbert Pisgah Exchange Gregg Griffith Henagar Exchange Randy Tumlin Rainsville Exchange Produced for FTC by:
On the Cover: Ethan Wheeler honed his skills recently during roping practice with his friends. See story Page 12.
4 | March/April 2016
FTCtv gives you the ability to watch television wherever you have an Internet connection with FTCtv Everywhere. It’s for FTCtv Expanded Basic subscribers! More than 35 channels are currently available for streaming shows on your computer, tablet or mobile device connected to the Internet.
Signing up is FREE and easy! 1. If you already have a SmartHub account, simply log in to SmartHub and click the “Edit TV Everywhere” link in the left sidebar menu. Follow the prompts to set up a username and password. You’ll have access within 24 hours. 2. Go to farmerstel.com/ftctv-everywhere. 3. Select FTCtv as your provider and use your username and password to watch live programming with any device connected to the Internet. 4. You will then download individual apps, or you may choose to use the links provided on the FTC Web page. 5. Call 256-638-2144 for assistance if needed. You must subscribe to FTCtv in order to access the TV Everywhere programming and subscribe to the package in which that channel is included.
CPNI: Understanding your rights FTC takes great measures to safeguard your personal information Important notice to subscribers regarding your Customer Proprietary Network Information FARMERS TELECOMMUNICATIONS COOPERATIVE, INC. FARMERS TELECOMMUNICATIONS CORPORATION FARMERS CELLULAR TELEPHONE, INC. Farmers Telecommunications Cooperative, Inc. and Farmers Telecommunication Corporation (collectively, “FTC”) want you to understand your rights to restrict the use of, disclosure of and access to your Customer Proprietary Network Information, or CPNI. You have a right and FTC has a duty, under federal law, to protect the confidentiality of your Customer Proprietary Network Information. WHAT IS CPNI? It is the information that FTC obtains that relates to the quantity, technical configuration, type, destination, location, and amount of use of the telecommunications service you subscribe to from FTC. It includes the information that is found in your bills, but it does not include subscriber list information (name, address and telephone number). Farmers Telecommunications Cooperative
Examples of CPNI would be the telephone numbers that you call, the times you call them, the duration of your calls or the amount of your bill. USE OF YOUR CPNI CPNI may be used by FTC to market services that are related to the package of services to which you currently subscribe, when providing inside wiring installation, maintenance and repair services, and when marketing “adjunct to basic” services, such as call blocking, call waiting and caller I.D. CPNI may also be used for the provision of customer premises equipment (“CPE”) and services like call answering and voice mail or messaging, and to protect Company property and prevent fraud. A carrier may use CPNI to bill and collect for the services you receive from FTC. FTC offers additional communications-related services. We seek your approval to access your CPNI so that FTC can provide you with information on new services and products that are tailored to meet your needs or may save you money.
IF YOU APPROVE OF OUR USE OF YOUR CPNI AS DESCRIBED ABOVE, NO ACTION IS NECESSARY ON YOUR PART You have the right to disapprove this use of your CPNI by contacting us in writing at P.O. Box 217, 144 McCurdy Avenue North, Rainsville, Alabama 35986, or by telephone at 256-638-2144 or toll-free at 866- 638-2144, within thirty-three (33) days after this notice is sent to you. Our drop box located at 144 McCurdy Avenue North, Rainsville, Alabama, is accessible twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days per week. If you disapprove our use of your CPNI, you may not receive notice of new services or promotions, but your existing services will not be affected. If you do not notify us of your objection within thirty-three (33) days, we will assume you do not object and will use your CPNI for these purposes. You have the right to notify us at any time to object to the use of this information. Your election will remain valid until you notify us otherwise.
March/April 2016 | 5
FTC receives national recognition as Certified Gig-Capable Provider
ecause of Farmers Telecommunications Cooperative’s commitment to building a world-class broadband network, residents and business of DeKalb and Jackson counties have access to gigabit Internet speeds — among the fastest connections in the country. Recently, FTC was recognized by NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association as a Certified Gig-Capable Provider. NTCA is the premier association representing nearly 900 independent, community-based telecommunications companies that are leading innovation in rural and small-town America. As a Certified Gig-Capable Provider, FTC joins a national campaign to build awareness and industry recognition of community-based telecom providers that have built communications networks capable of delivering Internet speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second, which is 100 times faster than those currently available in many U.S. households. “We have built a network that is providing the platform for tremendous advances in education, job growth, community development, telemedicine and more,” says
8 | March/April 2016
Fred Johnson, FTC’s executive vice president and general manager. “We appreciate the national recognition from NTCA, but we are even more thrilled about the progressive things our members are doing to improve their lives, their companies and their communities through the power of broadband.” FTC is the only telecommunications provider in Alabama to have received certification and one of only a few dozen to be recognized nationally. “I applaud FTC for its commitment to delivering the Internet’s fastest speeds — an accomplishment worthy of much praise considering the unique and challenging circumstances small, community-based telecommunications providers operate under every day in serving some of our country’s most rural and remote communities,” says NTCA Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield. “By building a gigabit-capable network, FTC has not only overcome these challenges, but also shattered conventional benchmarks for broadband speed to enable cutting-edge technologies that drive innovation and promote economic development in their
Geraldine Mayor Chuck Ables spoke of FTC’s dedication at its gig launch in 2015. communities, region and nationwide.” The cooperative launched its gigabit service in February 2015, putting northeast Alabama on the map as an area with the most advanced broadband network available anywhere. This was the result of years of planning and hard work on the part of FTC’s board of trustees, management and employees. FTC made the commitment to build a world-class fiber optic network in 2007, and today approximately 85 percent of all residents within FTC’s coverage area has access to the highest Internet speeds in Alabama.
Farmers Telecommunications Cooperative
Mark your calendar for the 2016 Southern Home and Family Show Start off this spring with fresh ideas for your home
f you’re building a new home or just There will be several door prizes and givethinking about remodeling, plan a visit aways, including a storm shelter from Steel to the 2016 Southern Home and Family Safe Shelters. Show on March 18-20 at the Northeast AlaGigi Butler, founder of the Gigi’s Cupbama Agri-Business Center in cakes franchise, will make Rainsville. an appearance at the Phillip’s “This will have a spring Rentals booth on Saturday and carnival feel,” says Adam BerSunday. ry, president of Excel Events Butler opened the origiGroup. With a KidZone and a nal Gigi’s Cupcakes store in large number of vendors, it’s downtown Nashville and has the perfect way to step into opened almost 100 locations Gigi Butler, spring. You’ll see the newin 23 states. She will also give founder of Gigi’s est and latest products local away free cupcakes for the Cupcakes, businesses have to offer, and first 250 kids on both days. will make appearance. you can also enjoy a day of If you would like to particifamily fun. pate in the event as a vendor, “We want to bring more family entertain- booth spaces are available in different sizes ment to Rainsville so people don’t have to that can match any budget. Last-minute go to bigger cities,” Berry says. vendors are welcome. For more informaThe RTI KidZone will have several tion, call Adam Berry at 256-605-1801. themed inflatables, magicians, face painting Admission is $5 for adults, and children and giveaways. At 15,000 square feet, it’s 12 and under can attend for free. There are the largest KidZone in northeast Alabama. no additional charges for activities at the “Grandparents and parents can bring the event. The Agri-Business Center conceskids and enjoy the weekend,” Berry says. sion stand will be open.
Farmers Telecommunications Cooperative
Southern Home and Family Show Where: Northeast Alabama AgriBusiness Center When: March 18 from 4-8 p.m., March 19 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and March 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission: $5 for adults, children 12 and under are free Sponsored by: FTC, Steel Safe Shelters, Harbin Automotive, Holiday Inn Express and Phillips Rentals FREE cupcakes on Saturday and Sunday to the first 250 children!
March/April 2016 | 9
PLaying Dirt ín the
A Q&A with Julie Hill, a blogger from Greenville, South Carolina, who shares her love and knowledge of gardening with readers.
Check out her blog southernwilddesign.com Q: What do readers find at your blog? JH: Blogs are an extension of who we are, and I am a dirt nerd through and through. I am far more comfortable in dirty clothes creating beautiful settings, observing wildlife and growing food, so the blog contains lots of advice on gardening with nature. You can also find a list of host plants for butterflies and follow along with my newest venture into a cut-flower market garden. Q: Why did you become a blogger and how has it changed your life? JH: Before I moved to South Carolina, I owned a nature center and butterfly farm in Texas and was fortunate to teach thousands of children and adults about gardening and nature. After I moved, I no longer had that outlet, so blogging became a new teaching platform. Q: Is it necessary to condition your garden’s soil before planting? JH: Building good soil is the foundation for all successful gardens. And using compost is one way. It can be worked into the soil or top-dressed any time of the year. Q: What are the earliest plants you should plant? JH: The best time to plant trees and 10 | March/April 2016
shrubs is in the fall, when the soil is warm and plants are starting to direct their energies into growing their root systems. And there are flowering annuals and vegetables that can be planted virtually all year long. Just check the tags. Q: For beginners, can you give suggestions on the easiest flowers and vegetables to grow? JH: Look for those that are native to your area and check with your local extension agency or knowledgeable local nursery for guidance. Be sure to look at the plant tags for growing requirements. I’ve found that some of the easiest to grow include basil, bush beans, cucumbers, carrots and radishes. Q: What are the big trends in gardening right now? JH: There is movement back to our gardening roots as we are coming to understand our role as caretakers of this planet. I’m seeing a rise in the use of native plants that are water-wise and wildlife friendly. People are getting interested in flowers again, particularly pollinatorfriendly perennials. And also, people are growing more of their own food. It is an exciting time to garden. Q: What will visitors find growing in
Other gardening blogs worth reading: nn gardenrant.com A blog filled with gardening ideas, including a section allowing readers to share ideas as well as gardening issues. Rant away.
nn www.smallkitchengarden.net Don’t have much room for a garden? This blog gives you ideas for gardening in a small space, so dig right in.
your garden this season? JH: I have two raised beds for vegetables planted with lots of heirloom tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers and peppers. And I have a couple of large containers on the back deck for herbs. But the most exciting part of my garden this year is the addition of large beds of flowers that will be destined for bouquets.
Join the Pod Party! Podcast popularity is exploding By Melissa Smith
mericans are increasingly turning to podcasts for entertainment and information, with listenership almost doubling in the past few years. There’s a reason these “radio-on-demand” shows are so popular; chances are there’s a podcast on any subject you find interesting. With a broadband connection, it’s easy to download a podcast over Wi-Fi and listen whenever you want.
Podcasts are free to download, and can be found using apps such as iTunes, Stitcher or Pandora. Look for some of these top-rated podcasts to get you started.
“BACK TO WORK” Want to learn the secret to productivity? Writers and entrepreneurs Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin host this show about examining the way you work. Learn more about maximizing your workflow, finding motivation and just getting more done. Your boss will thank you.
“SERIAL” If you’re looking for a mystery that will keep you in suspense week after week, check out Serial. Hosted by Sarah Koenig, this podcast takes listeners through one true story over the course of a season. The host doesn’t know what will happen until shortly before listeners, and the plot unfolds weekly. Be sure to listen to episodes in order, as the story unravels chapter-by-chapter each week.
“AP PLAYOFF PULSE” There’s no shortage in podcasts for the
fanatics out there. Get your fix on the latest in recruiting and analysis of college and professional sports. The AP Playoff Pulse discusses the latest news in the college football world. Also, subscribe to CBS Sports Radio for all things college sports related, but you can most certainly get your March Madness fix here. Baseball fans will enjoy Baseball Tonight with Buster Olney. This non-television variation of the popular ESPN show is full of guests. They’re mostly ESPN personalities, but other writers and sports knowit-alls make their way onto the show occasionally to engage listeners with facts and talk about the news. It’s the next great American pastime.
“SPARKLE STORIES” Tired of reading “Goodnight, Moon” over and over to your children before bed? Children’s stories often stand the test of time, being passed down from generation to generation. But, if you’re ready for something different and original, check out Sparkle Stories. They’re original high-quality audio stories written just for children that always include a life lesson.
With a subscription, you get access to over 800 stories, but if you would like to try it out first, a free podcast is offered weekly.
“KID FRIDAY” Kids today can use a lot of technology better than some adults. This video podcast, which can also be listened to without video, is dedicated to all things tech. Hosted by teenagers Hannah, Zoe, Dave and Winston (the poodle), your kids will enjoy listening to people their own age talk about the newest websites and apps.
“STUFF YOU MISSED IN HISTORY CLASS” Let’s face it, history class isn’t interesting to everyone. This podcast covers interesting facts that are nowhere to be found in textbooks. Hosted by two journalists who really love random facts about history, Tracy V. Wilson and Holly Frey unveil all the cool stuff we never knew. Did you know hippos almost became one of the common meats we eat in America? You’ll be the most interesting person at the lunch table with this new knowledge as a conversation starter. March/April 2016 | 11
By Melissa Smith
Teens turn teamwork into wins
Teams practice their roping skills at the Northeast Alabama Agri-Business Center on Tuesday evenings, as well as different roping arenas throughout the area.
hey call me Hoss,” 11-year-old Eli Samples says with a grin as he leans against his horse, Gray.
He has been roping for two years, but he’s been riding horses since he was a toddler. He placed second in the Tennessee Valley Ropers Association (TVRA) roping competition last summer, his first competition. The Plainview fifth-grader began roping because he wanted to be like his dad, Eric Samples. And he says, “It’s better than being on the Xbox.” For the Samples family, roping runs in their blood. His older brother, Easton, also ropes. The older Samples brother, a freshman at Plainview, has competed in 56 competitions in the last year, and he
12 | March/April 2016
placed in 46 of them. His nickname is “Stud.” The Sampleses practice three days each week as part of a group from DeKalb and Jackson counties. The group uses different roping arenas around the area, hauling their own horse trailers, and taking turns turning out the cattle and roping them in the large pen. Team roping is a strategic, intense sport. One rider, the header, tries to rope the steer around the horns, controlling and turning the animal’s head. The second rider, the heeler, then tries to rope the animal’s hind feet. The fastest time wins, and there are penalties for only roping one hind leg and for leaving too early. In competition, the partners must always be aware of each other and have open
communication. “There are four brains working together: two kids and two horses against the one steer. You have to learn to trust your partner,” Stuart Mitchell says. “You build relationships. It’s the only sport where you aren’t rooting against each other; you’re competing against the steer. People are happy for one another when they do well.” Mitchell, a retired teacher and coach, began an elective team roping class during his time at Plainview High School. Mitchell, a former football player at Auburn, began roping when he was 24 after he met some guys from South Alabama. Having always wanted to rope — just never having the time — he was hooked and now shares that love of roping with others. “The older guys helped us when Farmers Telecommunications Cooperative
Rayne Starkey says he has “literally” been roping since he was a baby.
From left: Alec Edmonds, Easton Samples, Eli Samples, Rayne Starkey, Jake Wells and Ethan Wheeler all gather together a few days every week to practice roping. we were young, so I guess it’s like payback,” Mitchell says. Through roping, kids learn responsibility. They feed their animals, take care of veterinarian bills and manage their money for entry fees and travel. They also learn one of the most valuable lessons in life: teamwork.
Eli “Hoss” Samples,11, has been roping for two years.
A FAMILY AFFAIR
ROPING IN THE WINS Rodeo is not a sanctioned high school sport in Alabama, so the teams have to compete in other states. Jake Wells and Alec Edmondson finished second in the team roping competition at the Georgia High School Rodeo Finals, which earned them a spot to compete at the 67th Annual National High School Finals Rodeo (NHSFR) in Rock Springs, Wyoming, last summer. But, even though the duo didn’t win at the NHSFR, they remain optimistic about competing again. “This year, we’re going to go back and try to get it,” says Alec, a senior at Plainview. Competing in roping is a full-time job, and unlike other sports, a person’s size isn’t important in roping. “You have to be athletic and have an athletic mind,” Mitchell says. The boys compete almost every weekend, and sometimes in more than one rodeo per weekend. “I’ve been in more competitions than you can count on a bunch of hands,” Jake says, tightening the saddle he won at a recent rodeo on his horse, Tarzan. Farmers Telecommunications Cooperative
Rayne Starkey, also a Pisgah senior, has roped since he was a baby. “Literally,” he adds with a smile. The competitiveness is his favorite part of the sport. Starkey and Wheeler have been roping together since they were 3 years old.
In rodeo, winners are rewarded with saddles, belt buckles and, most importantly, big money. Wells says the most he has ever won in a competition is $10,000. But, in most cases, that money is spent to continue financing what they love to do — roping. “This is not like other sports,” Mitchell says. “If you don’t win, you don’t get paid.” And, since it is not a high school sport, they can make money if they win. Traveling to so many competitions has allowed the boys to see many different places and make new friends. “I’ve competed in Oklahoma, Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama,” says Ethan Wheeler, a senior at Pisgah.
All the guys agree on one thing: They couldn’t do what they do and have the success they do without the support from their families. “My parents are very supportive. They are always backing me,” Ethan says. While the support from family is nice, it’s also very nice to be noticed by universities. Young ropers can be awarded college scholarships for the sport. In fact, Wells and Edmondson have considered pursuing college degrees as members of a college rodeo team. The guys also get support from members in the community like Mike Sweat, who runs the Northeast Alabama AgriBusiness Center. He opens the doors every Tuesday night for the boys to come practice, and that gesture means a lot to them. Roping is a skill that is developed over time, and it can certainly be dangerous. A hand tangled in a rope attached to a running steer is responsible for a common injury. “I would like to thank the Lord for watching over us and keeping us safe. It’s possible to get hurt,” Edmondson says. “There’s a lot of stuff that can go wrong, but luckily we still have all our fingers.”
March/April 2016 | 13
s Mother Nature ushers in the warm weather of spring, deviled eggs are hatching on tables throughout the South. Everyone has their favorite recipe — some like them sweetened with a little bit of pickle relish, while others prefer a more savory filling. Whatever the preference, no one is chicken about going back for seconds. Or thirds. Rarely is there a deviled egg left to be had on the platter. Faith Price and her husband, Jeff, are owners of Shady Grove Farm in Lancing, Tennessee, an 80-acre spread along the Cumberland Plateau in Morgan County. Among the livestock raised on the farm are laying hens that produce eggs sold at nearby Dixie Lee Farmer’s Market, as well as to those who stop by the farm to buy a dozen of the day’s collection. Raising chickens is a full-time job that keeps the Prices busy. “It’s not difficult, but it takes a commitment,” Faith says. “We have a portable coop that we move throughout the farm to help with debugging and to fertilize our fields. So our birds don’t just give us eggs, they are employees as they do work for us.” But the best part is the product they produce — eggs. “We sell out very quickly, whether it is at the farm or at the market,” she says. Whenever there are enough left over for the family, Faith says deviled eggs are a favorite. “They’re a cool, refreshing side dish that hits the spot,” she adds. Deviled eggs are a beloved American dish. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 1 billion eggs are typically sold in the week leading up to Easter. And while there is no official data that says deviled eggs are the most popular of all egg dishes, Google Trends research and social media conversation analytics point to that conclusion, says Kristin
14 | March/April 2016
Faith Price cooks up a Southern favorite on the Tennessee farm she shares with her husband, Jeff.
Perfect hard-boiled eggs Livermore, director of marketing communications for the American Egg Board. “Maybe it’s because deviled eggs are such a versatile dish,” she says. “They are the perfect addition to any party or meal.” “Deviled eggs go with just about any dinner, whether it is a roast and potato meal or a simple hot dog and beans meal,” Faith says. “We would eat them every week if we could keep eggs in stock for ourselves.” Food Editor Anne P. Braly is a native of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Prior to pursuing a freelance career, she spent 21 years as food editor and feature writer at a regional newspaper.
Here’s a quick and easy method for hard boiling eggs. For easier peeling, use eggs that are seven to 10 days old. • Place eggs in a saucepan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Add cold water to cover eggs by 1 inch. Heat over high heat just to boiling. Remove from burner. Cover pan. • Let eggs stand in hot water about 12 minutes for large eggs (9 minutes for medium eggs, 15 minutes for extra large). • Drain immediately. Then, cool completely under cold running water or in bowl of ice water before making deviled eggs. — American Egg Board
Here are several of the Prices’ favorite fillings that go beyond tradition. They’re not just for Easter anymore.
TRADITIONAL DEVILED EGGS
1 dozen eggs, peeled, cut in half, yolks removed 1/4 to 1/2 cup mayo 1 teaspoon yellow mustard 2 teaspoons pickle relish 1 teaspoon pickle juice 1/2 teaspoon honey Salt and pepper, to taste Paprika for sprinkling on top Mash egg yolks with ingredients except paprika. Fill egg whites with yolk mixture and sprinkle with paprika. Chill until ready to serve.
1 dozen eggs, peeled, cut in half, yolks removed 1/4 to 1/2 cup Miracle Whip 1 teaspoon yellow mustard 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce Salt and pepper, to taste Smoked paprika for sprinkling on top Mash egg yolks with ingredients except paprika. Fill egg whites with yolk mixture and sprinkle with paprika. Chill until ready to serve.
SOUTHWESTERN DEVILED EGGS
1 1 2 1
dozen eggs, peeled, cut in half, yolks removed large avocado teaspoons lime juice teaspoon cilantro Salt and pepper, to taste Paprika for sprinkling on top
Mash egg yolks with ingredients except paprika. Fill egg whites with yolk mixture and sprinkle with paprika. Chill until ready to serve.
1 dozen eggs, peeled, cut in half, yolks removed 6 tablespoons plain yogurt
Faith Price describes this versatile treat as “a cool, refreshing side dish that hits the spot.”
What the devil? Deviled refers to any foods that have been prepared with hot and spicy ingredients, such as cayenne and curry, two spices often used to make deviled eggs. Deviled dishes were very popular throughout the 19th and into the 20th centuries, especially for seafood preparations and some appetizers. — The Encyclopedia of American Food & Drink
2 2 1
teaspoons Dijon mustard teaspoons finely chopped onion tablespoon honey Salt and pepper, to taste Paprika for sprinkling on top
Mash egg yolks with ingredients except paprika. Fill egg whites with yolk mixture. Chill until ready to serve.
SWEET BACON DEVILED EGGS
1 dozen eggs, peeled, cut in half, yolks removed
1 pound bacon, cooked and diced into small pieces 1/2 to 1 cup Miracle Whip 1 teaspoon parsley 1 tablespoon sugar 1 teaspoon chives Salt and pepper, to taste Paprika for sprinkling on top Mash egg yolks with ingredients except paprika. Fill egg whites with yolk mixture and sprinkle with paprika. Chill until ready to serve. March/April 2016 | 15
Presort STD US Postage PAID Permit #21 Freeport OH
P.O. Box 217 â€˘ 144 McCurdy Ave. N. Rainsville, AL 35986
ECTED LIFE NN O
y t i r u Sec I TY
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ECTED LIFE NN O
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