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Eye-Opening Experience

Farmers GM joins lineworker brotherhood for competition

Mark Stubbs, general manager at Farmers Electric Cooperative, ventured far afield last October when he temporarily became a lineman, teaming up with two of the best in the state to compete at the International Lineman’s Rodeo in Kansas.

“I learned some things that I did not know,” Stubbs says.

David McDowell and Danny Moss, who together have won the senior division five times at the Texas Lineman’s Rodeo, needed somebody 50 or older for the international competition. They took a chance on Stubbs, their boss. Stubbs took a chance that his 30 years behind a desk wouldn’t belie his fitness for the rigors of line work.

Starting in late August, Stubbs rose at 5:30 a.m. many mornings to practice with McDowell and Moss, whose task was to turn Stubbs into a serviceable groundman for the timed competition. Stubbs’ job was to hoist tools and equipment up to the other two on the pole.

“It really is a brotherhood,” Stubbs says. “I was honored to get a glimpse into that.”

The trio finished in sixth place out of 11 teams in Kansas, and Stubbs already is talking about improving on that this year.