It was my pleasure to interview Skyler and Brittany Smallwood for the cover story. Skyler was raised in Alamo and is currently dealing with kidney failure. He has had to leave his job, be on dialysis three times a week for six hours each time, and transform his health habits in order to qualify for a kidney transplant.
It hasn?t been easy, obviously. But I don?t think they complained a single time in the interview about the difficulty of their situation. Instead, they pointed out the many blessings that have come, including incredible help and support people of this community have given them.
I also had the pleasure of talking with Uvada Wilkin of Jim Wilkin Trucking. She discussed how her husband built a business in Lincoln County, starting with a single truck.
It hasn?t been easy, obviously. But Wilkin was able to build a business that now employs 15 to 18 people and pumps $1.7 million into Lincoln County annually. Many write Lincoln County off as an impossible environment to build a successful business. Jim Wilkin proved that idea wrong and did it through hard work, determination, and putting his employees first.
There are so many good things about Lincoln County that should be preserved. The way people care for one another and the way we put family first are two things that should never change. The great experiences we provide for our kids, through church activities, sports, clubs, and other organizations is active proof of where our priorities are. This truly is a great place to grow up, and it should always stay that way.
So how do we preserve what?s great about our county? One way is for us to stay on the same page through organization and communication. Lincoln County Magazine and its online counterpart at LCCentral.com exist to help achieve that. These publications provide a communication hub for residents, both to receive and contribute information on matters that matter to all of us.
Another important way to keep our county strong is to put ourselves in the driver seat of our economy. I have talked to many in our county who see a need for a solid foundation of business and industry that sustains services and provides good jobs for our people.
And I agree.
There is much I feel can be done on that front. I see possibilities for expanding our agriculture production, which will require us to work with the state to allocate more water for farming and ranching.
I feel if we bring power, sewer, and water lines to our industrial parks, we?ll be able to recruit existing companies and start-ups to locate here, adding quality jobs.
With the demand for gold and other metals and minerals, I think it makes sense to invest in new mining operations. There are also opportunities to produce our own energy.
I am for making our communities more welcoming for visitors who would gladly spend their money here if they knew what we offered; and for inviting those who grew up here to come back and give back.
It?s not about changing who we are. It is about making who we are last for the future. I believe we can do it through good communication, cooperation, innovation, hard work, and a positive, consistent focus on economic success.