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The North Central

CONNECTION MARCH/APRIL 2016

DIGITAL DOCUMENTS

Local firm moves to cloud-based storage GOING GLOBAL

Local timber company enjoys booming sales abroad

DRIVEN TO COMPETE Local golf team works toward a legacy of success


INDUSTRY NEWS

We’re looking for our

Small Business of the Year

S

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!

Small Business

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

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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

Instagram 28%

36% said it reduced in-person visits

LinkedIn 25%

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.

Twitter 23%

Want to weigh in on the numbers? Visit www.HowDoYouBroadband.com and take our quick survey! March/April 2016 | 3


FROM THE CEO

The North Central

CONNECTION MARCH/APRIL 2016

Simplifying rural support

I

n recent columns, I’ve used this space to describe the challenges we and other rural telcos face in providing service. The Universal Service Fund, or USF, is the backbone of our efforts to serve rural America — and that system has long been in need of reform.

The FCC recently threw out its overly complicated plans to reform this system that is so vital to the nation’s communications network. To understand the importance of the USF, let’s look at its history. In 1934, forward-thinking leaders of our country decided it was important for everyone to have access to communications. In creating the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), they also created the USF, which has become one of the major building blocks of our nation’s communications networks. NANCY J. WHITE Those leaders knew that our country would be stronger, safer, Chief Executive Officer more equitable and even more democratic if every citizen — not just city residents — had access to telephone service. They also acknowledged that to make this happen, high-cost rural networks like ours, where there may only be a few customers per mile of line, needed support from more profitable urban networks where hundreds or even thousands of customers are packed into a mile of telephone line. The monthly phone bills for those few rural customers couldn’t and still can’t cover the cost of installation and upkeep of a network. Faced with the idea of providers having to charge rural residents with unreasonable bills to provide the same access their urban counterparts could get for a much lower price, the FCC wisely leveled the playing field by creating the USF and requiring all phone users to pay a small fee each month to support high-cost networks. This system was set up based on phone lines, and the amount of support a rural provider gets is based on the number of telephone lines the telco provides in a high-cost area. While that made sense for decades when landline telephones dominated the communications world, customer habits have changed. Landlines still offer important benefits, but broadband is fast becoming the primary way people communicate. Our industry anticipated this and has been encouraging the FCC to revise the USF system to support rural telcos based on broadband service instead of phone lines. Despite years of advocacy from rural telcos and our national trade group, NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association, the FCC has been painfully slow in modernizing its rules. That is why rural providers like us require customers to have a phone line with their broadband. We can’t provide broadband without a phone line because we would lose the USF support, which would increase what we would have to charge for broadband service as much as four-fold. We are hopeful that some day we will see a more simple, commonsense approach to reforming the USF — an approach that will benefit communities served by rural providers like NCTC. Until then, the hundreds of providers like us across the country will keep working with one voice through NTCA to ensure Washington regulators hear your voice. 

4 | March/April 2016

VOL. 3, NO. 2

The North Central Connection is a bimonthly newsletter published by NCTC, © 2016. It is distributed without charge to all member/owners of the cooperative.

North Central is a member-owned corporation dedicated to delivering advanced telecommunications technology to the people of Northern Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky, including Macon County, Tenn., and Allen County, Ky. NCTC also serves portions of Sumner, Trousdale, Smith and Clay counties in Tenn.

North Central 872 Highway 52 Bypass, East P.O. Box 70 Lafayette, TN 37083 Telephone: 615-666-2151 www.nctc.com BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Glen Hardcastle Chairman of the Board Scottsville Exchange West Randy Harston Vice Chairman of the Board Scottsville Exchange East Jerry N. Kirby Secretary/Treasurer Westmoreland Exchange East Kevin Dickerson Defeated/Pleasant Shade Exchanges Donnie Steen Lafayette Exchange East Jeff Flippin Lafayette Exchange West Jackie Eller Hillsdale/Green Grove Exchanges Calvin Graves Bethpage/Oak Grove Exchanges Chad Owens Red Boiling Springs Exchange Guy Holliman General Counsel Nancy White President/CEO

Produced for North Central by:

On the Cover: Benchmark Title Company owner Russell Brown (right) examines one of the many paper files to be converted to cloud-based storage. See story Page 12.


Coming soon: A new look for NCTC! NCTC is getting a fresh look. The cooperative is updating its website and logo to better represent the cooperative’s change from a telephone company to a broadband company — which includes telephone, Internet, television, security, cloud storage solutions, hosted VoIP telephone systems and more. “We felt that updating our look is a great opportunity to showcase our changing company and all that we now offer as a broadband company,” says Nancy White, NCTC CEO.

Congratulations, Eddie! Eddie Blankenship, an NCTC central office technician, recently celebrated 30 years with North Central. From all of us at NCTC, thank you for your loyalty and dedication to the cooperative, Eddie!

Years

Help us celebrate our 65th birthday! North Central was born in March 1951. In honor of our 65th birthday, we have a special gift for you. Throughout 2016, place a birthday ad on our local television channel and we’ll share it on our Facebook and Twitter for free. Let’s celebrate our birthdays together, all year long!

NCTC rolls out new hosted VoIP telephone systems for businesses North Central now offers a hosted VoIP telephone system as an alternative to traditional phone service. The hosted VoIP systems are commonly used by businesses to better match their communications needs to the number of employees they have. A hosted system is different from a traditional switched telephone network, which required housing equipment onsite. With a VoIP system, users can place and transmit calls using cloud technology. The system also allows users to monitor and use the system on several devices, including telephones, desktop computers and mobile devices. If a user is logged on to the system, they can see the status of co-workers, see if co-workers are on the phone or online, place calls with a device or computer and use audioconferencing or videoconferencing functions. The biggest benefit is that VoIP allows a business to transition away from the capital expense of maintaining onsite telephone equipment. Instead, a business can focus their investment on simply keeping the system operating without any of the hassle of physical telephone equipment in the office. “It’s a very robust system,” says Chris Carlyle with NCTC. “We’re going top-tier from the beginning, and we feel that it’s going to set us apart from the competition. This will be a huge upgrade from most businesses’ current telephone systems.”

North Central

March/April 2016 | 5


Savannah Knight crushes a shot onto the fairway during Macon County High School’s amazing run during the 2012 TSSAA tournament.

T

he Macon County Golf Course stretches across nine holes, a modest layout compared to the Bear Trace tracks or private courses used by many Class A/AA high school teams. The course extends only about 2,877 yards and a par score is 35. The Bermuda grass is usually brown and dormant by the time high school teams start the playoffs. But this is the place Macon County High School’s golf team calls home. And it’s the course where the golfers learned the championship skills that made school history: the first girls team in any sport to reach a state championship and the first boys team to win a state championship.

LADIES FIRST Kaleigh Chitwood’s summer routine was similar to those of many high school golfers across the Southeast — start at 6:30 a.m. and play all day. During the school year, she had 8 | March/April 2016

Macon County High School golf team broke barriers By David Uchiyama

golf as her final class of the day. “The official end of practice was 5 p.m.,” she says. “But, most of us would stay and play until dark.” The success started coming in district championship tournaments and then region championship tournaments. Those who win a region title head to the state championship. “When I was a freshman, I was part of the first girls team that made it to state,” Chitwood says. “I was able to go all four years.” It started coming together better than ever in the fall of 2012. After a string of victories leading up to the tournament, the Lady Tigers finished runner-up to Signal Mountain. They ended just six strokes behind the Lady Eagles, who won five straight Class A/AA state championships. Chitwood was a senior on that historic squad.

Zack Polston used a putter to line up his shot during the 2012 state tournament. North Central


Kaitlin Cartwright watches intently during a long putt.

The 2015 District Champions have grown both as a group and as golfers, and are poised for a successful 2016 season.

BOYS’ STATE CHAMPIONSHIP

Chelsey Key, a dominant golfer during the 2006 tournament, grabs the TSSAA pin flag.

North Central

The culture surrounding the Macon County Golf Course also created success for the boys team. “It was five of us that grew up next to the course, and we played all day long from about the time we were 11 years old until we graduated,” says Ian Whittemore. “We did nothing but play golf. We were kind of on our own.” The course is short, with no trees,” says Whittemore, a junior at Cumberland University who started a pipeline from Macon County to the NAIA Division school. “We would bomb it off the tee and have wedges on to the green,” he says. “So we all got really good with our wedges, and that helped our scores.” The boys team won the 2012 Class A/ AA state championship, defeating Alcoa

Photo contributed by Julie Collins.

In 2012, Macon County High School golfers took home the hardware after the boys team won the TSSAA State Tournament and the girls team took second.

Photo contributed by Chaundel Presley.

The experience changed her life. “I didn’t know if I wanted to play golf in college,” Chitwood says. “Then, I heard that some girls golf scholarships go unused.” She earned a scholarship to Cumberland University. MacKenzy Carter was also part of Macon County’s first wave of success. She was the second girl to ever play for the school team. Chelsey Key was the first. But Carter lays claim to being captain on the first girls team to win the district tournament, the region tournament and participate in the state tournament. “In my very first match (nine holes) I shot a 55,” Carter says. “Then by the end of the year, I shot a 35.” The next year, then a senior, Carter became the first girl to finish in the top five of the state tournament with a thirdplace finish. Such success buoyed her to a scholarship at Lipscomb University.

by five strokes. “We wanted to prove that a small-town team that grew up on a small course could prevail,” Whittemore says. “We knew that we had something special that season — five guys who could play. We knew that if we got past our district rival (Lipscomb) that the state championship was going to be ours. The nerves were there, but we knew that we were the best team, and we were there to win it.” Zach Polston joined the all-day sessions on the course and still returns on occasion to help current players. “We like to see other kids succeed, and there is still a lot of talent on the Macon County team,” says Polston, who graduated in 2012. “I tried to leave a pretty good legacy.” 

March/April 2016 | 9


FEATURED BLOGGER

Julie Hill

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

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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


Security in the cloud: Spotlight

Benchmark Title Company seeks to keep sensitive information safer with cloud storage

By Liz Crumbly Editor’s note: This story is part of an ongoing series of articles that will highlight NCTC’s Smart Rural Community award from NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association.

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he popularity of cloud storage means some industries are changing the way they maintain sensitive data, including real estate businesses often responsible for storing sensitive personal information. Benchmark Title Company in Lafayette recently contracted with NCTC to move much of its data to a cloud system. Benchmark owner Russell Brown says the change marks a significant step forward for protection of sensitive material. “We have been in business for over 18 years,” Brown says. “During that time, we have witnessed tremendous growth in technology that allows us to close real estate deals quicker and more conveniently. However, this increase in technology has brought with it the need for better protection of our paper and electronic records.”

SENSITIVE DATA STORAGE The fast connection to businesses like the Benchmark Title Company is one reason North Central’s service area was designated a “Smart Rural Community” by NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association. NTCA developed the Smart Rural Community award as a way to recognize cooperatives that are promoting and using broadband networks to foster innovative economic development, education, health care and government services. A title company’s function in a real estate transaction is to make sure a property’s title is correct and also to issue title insurance that protects owners and lenders. “Think of us as being at a crossroads,” 12 | March/April 2016

Benchmark Title Company owner Russell Brown pulls out one of the company’s many stored paper files. Benchmark, located in Lafayette, recently contracted with North Central to move much of its data to a cloud system, significantly reducing the amount of paper it stores. Brown explains. “We’re the center, so you’ve got the buyer coming from one direction, the seller coming from another direction, the lender coming down another road and the realtor coming down another road. But they all meet here.” This means Benchmark documents contain sensitive data — the buyer’s social security number, for instance. One of the attractive features of a cloud system is that all data is encrypted. “There’s nothing out there floating around in cyberspace that anybody can grab hold of in transit,” Brown says.

‘WE DECIDED IT’S TIME’ Benchmark’s decision to move to cloud storage was motivated by several factors, including a new rule from the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau that went into effect this year, says Benchmark Office Manager Sherry Tucker. Compliance with the Bureau’s integrated disclosure rule, according to Brown,

required changes in security measures with an eye toward protecting proprietary information. Two years ago, Benchmark began making other necessary updates, such as new software, email encryption, a new firewall and updated computers, Tucker says.

MULTIPLE BENEFITS The cloud also allows for remote data access, which can be a benefit if the staff is not able to be physically present at the office, Brown says. Also, much of the information that was taking up physical storage space at Benchmark is now in the cloud. “We have a warehouse of files,” Brown says. “We’ve got a file room here that probably had 2,000 or 3,000 files in it. I’ve removed half of those, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg. This is truly a very paper-intensive industry, but we’re trying to get away from that.” 

North Central


A steadily growing industry By Matt Ledger

L

umber sales were once mostly regional, with the wood rarely going too far from the mill, says Brandon Clark, vice president of Clark Lumber Company. That’s how the Red Boiling Springs company started. As times have changed, the familyowned business has adapted and thrived. In 2004, Clark Lumber Company added a kiln to dry wood used for furniture and high-end hardwood flooring. In recent years, 45 to 50 percent of their wood products have been shipped overseas. “The expansion overseas started with a few trading companies here in the U.S.” Clark says. “Then we began searching for companies overseas that were manufacturing the same products as the customers we had here.” “God has blessed us with a natural and renewable resource,” says Hugh Clark, who founded the business. “We’ve got to be good stewards of it for all future generations to come. I feel like our society and our family is doing that.” It’s an approach that’s at the heart of the company. “We’ve learned the business from the ground up,” Brandon says. As a kid he grew up in the woodland hills and valleys, watching as crews logged timber from tracts in the local area.

GROWTH RINGS Hugh’s grandfather, J.J. Clark, built the first saw mill in their family in the 1950s, when a saw mill could produce about 6,000 board feet of lumber daily. Also, Hugh’s wife, Madeline Jones, grew up around saw mills and timber — her father and grandfather operated mills in Macon County. In 1959, four years after marrying North Central

Brandon Clark (right) and his father Hugh Wayne Clark have expanded Clark Lumber Company into an international lumber supplier.

The addition of a board edger with laser light guides was one of several technology upgrades in the mills of ​ Clark Lumber Company. Madeline, Hugh began to learn the family business. Then in 1982, Hugh started Clark Lumber Company in the Willette community of Macon County. Like many industries, even the process of cutting lumber became more productive and lucrative with advances in technology. And another generation of Clarks has taken advantage of the trends. Hugh’s son, Hugh Wayne, followed in his father’s footsteps after completing an agribusiness degree in college. Another new addition in 1987 was the first automated mill, which also made it a safer environment for employees. “No part of

the tree goes to waste,” Hugh Wayne says. “Technology has made it possible to cut waste down to nothing.” Five years later, the original mill was replaced with a second automated unit. In 1996, Clark Lumber Company expanded the operation with the purchase of another mill site in Lafayette. “These advances in the mill allow for a greater consistency of thickness in our lumber,” Brandon says. He joined the company after high school in 2003, quickly learning all aspects of the industry and the various requirements of international clients.

CUTTING-EDGE OPERATIONS The two mills could produce 75,000 board feet per day in 2002, but technology has allowed for continued productivity improvements, increasing current capacity to 200,000 board feet, or 25 truckloads per day. In 2015, products were shipped to 27 of the 50 states and 31 foreign countries. With a global sales presence, having the high-speed Internet services from NCTC is critical, along with the company’s updated website. “The days of mailing purchase orders or using old technology isn’t feasible anymore,” Brandon says. “Now we can correspond and fill orders in a matter of seconds with our clients overseas.”  March/April 2016 | 13


SOUTHERN KITCHENS

Egg-celLent option

A

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.

SAVORY EGGS

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.

HONEY EGGS

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


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North Central Connection March April 2016  
North Central Connection March April 2016