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Linemen compete in rodeo

LEFT: Representing Walton EMC at the 2023 Georgia Linemen’s Rodeo are, from left, Phillip Mork, Steven Favinger, Cody Jarrett, Adam Simmons (coach), Mason Tolbert, Nate Howell, Ryan Garner and Caleb Tallant. INSET: Walton EMC journeyman linemen David Abbott and Adam Simmons, both kneeling, provide last-minute suggestions to help apprentice Nate Howell prepare to compete in a skills event.

Seven Walton EMC apprentice linemen put their mental and physical electric utility work skills to the test during the 2023 Georgia Lineman’s Rodeo held May 6 in Fort Valley.

Professionals representing electric co-ops and municipal electric systems from across the state competed in a series of events involving traditional lineman skills and tasks. The competition provides a continuing education opportunity with a focus on safety and training, said Adam Simmons, Walton EMC journeyman lineman and crew leader, who coached the Walton EMC team.

This year, 126 apprentice linemen competed in four events. Linemen must complete a five-year apprenticeship to earn the journeyman lineman designation.

Apprentice Mason Tolbert was Walton EMC’s highest finisher, ranking 17th overall.

2023 Georgia Lineman Rodeo