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Heroes on Display

Annual lineworker rodeo celebrates 20th anniversary

May 2024

by Jim Robertson, Staff Writer

What started out as a small competition for bragging rights has turned into the largest regional event of its kind in the U.S. Since 2003, co-op and other utility lineworkers have come together each spring to compete in the Gaff-n-Go Lineworker Rodeo. Celebrating its 20th anniversary in showcasing the skills and hard work of utility lineworkers, the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives is excited to welcome long-time supporter Altec as its new title sponsor for the event.

This is not your ordinary rodeo. Journeyman teams and individual apprentices from electric cooperatives, investor-owned utilities, municipal utilities, contractors and the U.S. Army will demonstrate their skills and knowledge while competing for professional recognition. Last year, more than 200 lineworkers from seven states competed in a variety of traditional tasks of the trade. That number is expected to be close to 300 this year.

“Altec is thrilled to be entrusted with the title sponsorship for the Gaff-n-Go Rodeo,” says Luke Mansfield, Altec account manager for Virginia. “It is remarkable to see how this event has grown over the past 20 years under the leadership of the VMDAEC. We look forward to supporting this premier event for years to come, and ensuring it continues to be one of the finest lineworker rodeos in the country.”

Join us at this free family-friendly event to watch these highly skilled professionals demonstrate real-life scenarios they face on the job, including a simulated rescue of an injured worker at the top of a 40-foot pole. Friday afternoon will feature a hot-line demonstration by Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative followed by live music from the Drew Pace Band.

“Working 40 feet above the ground on a course of utility poles, these professionals will be judged on whether a variety of tasks are performed according to safe and efficient work practices, as well as the time it takes them to complete each,” says Brian Mosier, president and CEO of the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives.

Top performers from the Gaff-n-Go Rodeo will move on to compete at the 40th annual International Lineman’s Rodeo in October in Kansas City, Mo.

Parking and admission are free with local food trucks on site.

Visit gaff-n-go.com for more details, a complete schedule of events and to download the free Gaff-n-Go app. Come support your electric cooperative lineworkers, visit exhibitor displays, enjoy the interactive kids area and learn more about powerful careers.

For more information, visit gaff-n-go.com.

Come support your electric cooperative lineworkers at the Gaff-n-Go on May 17-18, 2024, at Meadow Event Park in Doswell, Va.