On this episode of the Post Podcast Hays Chamber president and CEO Sarah Wasinger shares information about Tuesday's Ag Appreciation event along with Kim Goodnight, regional manager of Local Government and Community Affairs for ITC Great Plains.

 

Transcript:

 

Sarah Wasinger  
We do. He's kind of famous around these parts. It's the one and only Kim Goodnight and he works at ITC. And we were visiting this morning, and he is a man of many titles. So I might just let him kind of cover all of them.

Kim Goodnight  
Originally, I was hired as a regional manager, local government Community Affairs. And because we have such a large footprint, I mean, Kansas and Oklahoma. So it made sense that I took on additional responsibilities. And so I'm also manager of stakeholder relations and manager of customer and business solutions. So yeah, I've I'm used to wearing many hats though, Sarah, because my background was, I was a farmer for 38 years. And the same time I was county commissioner out there in Orange County, and also owned a car lot. So there you go, I mean, juggling Well, many balls,

Sarah Wasinger  
You've had, like five life already right?

Kim Goodnight  
Makes for a very diverse background.

Sarah Wasinger  
So James, I don't know if you remember or not. But we hosted ITC a couple of weeks ago for a chamber chat at our office. And yeah, I've had a lot of great information about the company. So one thing I think we would be remiss is to talk about what you guys actually do for energy and power and the regions that you serve.

Kim Goodnight  
Well ITC Great Plains builds, owns and operates high voltage transmission. And so when I'm doing like a three-minute elevator speech and trying to make sure somebody understands what we do, I say, We're the long-distance extension cord that allows these renewables and other generation forces to be put into the nation's grid. I mean, oftentimes, the generation source is nowhere near where you might have an interconnection and, and what that does when we build a high voltage line, it's something that the Southwest power pools is deemed to be important for the area. Right here in Ellis County, we have a postrock substation, it's a 345 kilovolt substation, so at high voltages, and that comes in connects spiritual Kansas, to post rock and then postrock, the line goes on up towards Nebraska. So it's almost at 225 mile 345 kilovolt line. And right now I can tell you that when you see either the wind generation going on out out there or, or whether it's gas generation, where you got to have the infrastructure in place to build support all of those. And out in western Kansas, where you see some wind generation popping up in places you did not see that, because there's a high voltage line or an interconnection at that point.

Sarah Wasinger  
So James, I don't know if you've been paying much attention between Hays and Ellis, but they have been doing some unique work along Highway 40. And they actually have the crew who will be hanging and suspended from the helicopters. And so I've my husband and I have driven that road several times and have seen this random helicopter and I'm like, Oh my gosh, how does one get into that line of work? And Eric shared with us a few weeks ago that it's the short straw. You draw the short straw for that?

Kim Goodnight  
Yeah, well, we are currently one of our capital project is installing fiber. Instead of installing that below ground, we're installing it on our 345 structures. And so a helicopter is up there flying. You've got a guy flying it a guy out there in the basket. And I've gotten a few calls from people that say okay, we just want to know who's making more money, the guy flying the helicopter or the guy outside in the basket. I think the guy in the basket, probably doing a little bit better. I think hope so it's a it's a dangerous job. And safety is our number one concern for all of these. So when the wind gets a little bit high, which happens often out here, you know, 20 miles an hour 2025 is not uncommon. We quit, quit flying that helicopter 25. But anyway, we can go four miles at a stretch with this with this fiber, and then they have to drop it down a pole and do a splice and then they can go on other four miles. And I think that's important to mention because where we have to access our right away, we're very cognizant of the landowners and the crops and different things that are going on when we do have to access that pole. And so whether it's damages that we pay due to the crops or making sure communication with the landowner, are is upfront. So that's important to us.

Sarah Wasinger  
So, James, we are so excited, because as we've been talking, ag appreciation.

James Bell  
 Yes, Ag Appreciation Day. 

Sarah Wasinger  
And one thing that ITC has been just so generous with their time and efforts. And capital is just by supporting our local chamber and a lot of our different events, especially ag appreciation and obviously, with Kim's background, and that kind of speaks to the heart of, you know, the farmers that he was just talking about and how they work together. So, Kim, do you want to talk a little bit about what you guys love the most about ag appreciation.

Kim Goodnight  
One thing about as I mentioned before, because we have our transmission lines and poles crossing across private property, and landowners are very important to us to be able to make sure that we return that ground back to its original condition after our construction, whether it's gates that we need to install because we do have to access that easement every now and then. But they can continue to operate that ground like it's third, you know, we need I think it's 150 feet right away through there. But if it's through pasture ground or whatever, you know, the cattle continue to graze. And so it's important for us to have that connection with ag producers.

Sarah Wasinger  
Well, very good. So James, I know that we've been talking a lot about how this event is not possible without all of our great sponsors but tickets can still be picked up today. Really they can be okay, we got a few hours we do so at the moment starts at five o'clock tonight. So we did do a lot of calling around yesterday with our sponsors just to make sure we can tell people as of yesterday, this is still who has tickets. So Carrico Implement, Equity Bank, Golden Bell Bank, High Plains Farm Credit, KSU Ag and Research Center, Nex-tech and Western Beverage is sharing that they will deliver tickets to the car if you call 625-3712 when you get there, but all of these locations should still have tickets. And we just want to say thank you to our farmers and ranchers obviously they have such a big impact not only economically, but just on the quality of life and Ellis counties. So, um, they'll get a meal tonight, the first 200 families will actually receive goodie bags from our sponsors, and Marlis and I counted yesterday, we are right at I think 100 prizes that are going to be given away the farmers. So we think that it's going to be a great evening, a lot of fun. So again, there's a chance for some rain tonight, which means farmers can take the night off,

James Bell  
In case you had nothing else to do.

Sarah Wasinger  
That's right. And then of course we want to give one more final shout-out to all of our barn racer sponsors for being so instrumental in our planning process. And those businesses include Astra bank Kericho implement commerce bank, equity bank, Golden Bell bank guitarist Christina Mexicana and trio chophouse Hays med High Plains Farm Credit insurance planning and ag pro crop insurance, ITC and x tech. So, again, come join us this evening, have a great night and our team is going to be spending a lot of time out of the office today. So if for any reason you go to the chamber office, looking for tickets, you may or may not find people there and a friendly reminder, we don't have tickets at the office. So those locations we shared would be the places people can go for those tickets. 

James Bell  
Very cool. So yeah, if you're still wanting to get a ticket, make sure to hit one of those businesses today. And I love that Western Beverage is out there hand-delivering them.

Sarah Wasinger  
Some curb service for ya.

James Bell  
Absolutely. Now, before we move on into kind of the rest of this stuff for today, this event next year is going to change a little bit right?

Sarah Wasinger  
It is, so we are shifting it to January 13 in 2022. We've gotten a lot of great feedback from our farmers and ranchers. September you know, believe it or not, the weather's still nice. They're doing a lot of things like drilling, working cattle planting and getting ready for fall harvest. So we think that January is going to be a lot better and less things going on for them. We hope that at that point in time, they're not quite cabined yet just because that might be a little early, but whether at that point in time will be the only thing that we're hopefully fighting against. So we've heard you, we care about you. We want to make sure that it's convenient for you to come and no you didn't get amnesia when you start hearing us talk about this again in December in January. 

James Bell  
Very cool. Now we got to talk about this you had your quarter three business showcase. I didn't did Oh gosh, what was it last Friday you get some winners on that right? 

Sarah Wasinger  
We do. So, we did a Facebook Live drawing with our premier sponsor premier Business Management yesterday, and Wendy Armbruster. She's famously known as Dustin's Armbrusters' wife around here. But she went ahead and drew five lucky winners, Kelly Hines, Monica Goetz, Marie Froelich, Natasha Cecil and Savannah Pfeifer. So we wanted to congratulate those folks, and anybody who did participate in the business showcase this last go around, please be sure to keep your eyes peeled on our Facebook page, because we'll be trying to tag and share a lot of the differences in storage rights that are participating businesses had, including the chamber drawing for chamber checks, which will be held tomorrow via Facebook Live.

James Bell  
Cool, lots of winners, lots of good stuff there. And I'm sure everybody had a great time, just get down in the community and, and you're gonna do another one of these here. Pretty soon I'm assuming quarter force coming up. Or maybe we're in quarter four, I don't know that's that's your world,

Sarah Wasinger  
We have two more sponsors are participating businesses that can still go if they want to. So we've got eight of the 10 spots filled. If they want to go ahead and get in the chamber newsletter that will go out on October 4, we are shifting the release date for that newsletter just because Friday, people are going to be busy at Oktoberfest. And we know they're probably not going to be paying a lot of attention to email, but they can get in touch with us at the chamber office to get added to that list. And then that will start October 29. And we'll run that a full three weeks. 

James Bell  
Very good. And I'm sure we'll be talking about that more in upcoming segments, but Sarah before we run out of time. We've got just about a minute left here. You've got some regular events coming on this week. I think the first one, we've talked about this already this Ark Park presentation. How cool is this?

Sarah Wasinger  
So excited. It's such a huge project for our community. And it is beautiful. People have been using it so much every evening, but it'll be at 4 p.m. Tomorrow, we did have a previous communication that went out that said 4:30, so please be sure to know that it will start promptly at four. And then we have a ribbon-cutting and joint brick presentation with our friends at DHDC on Thursday, and that'll be at Farmers Insurance Chelsea Proel agency at 4:30. And then of course, it wouldn't be homecoming week unless we weren't on fhsu campus. So we'll be celebrating our chamber chat and a ribbon-cutting at 9 a.m. at the FHSU Fischli-Wills Center for Student Success. So a lot going on. And just wanted to tell people that we hope you come join us tonight for a great evening. And, again, thank him for everything that you ITC do to support our chamber and our community.

Kim Goodnight  
Thank you very much. I think it's important to surround yourself with good people and be involved with the chamber here in Hays. It is very important to us.

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