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Respecting Snakes, And Each Other

  Jeff Hohman is pretty well booked for the next several months. His lectures and demonstrations about reptiles, bats, and wildflowers are hugely popular with eastern Kentucky schools, garden clubs, and other groups. The live snakes he brings get an especially big reaction from students-some retreat to a corner, some hover five feet from the action, most want to have one wrapped around their neck.

  Hohman heads the natural resources and environmental communications department at East Kentucky Power Cooperative. Based in Winchester, East Kentucky supplies the power that 17 local distribution cooperatives provide for more than 425,000 homes and businesses in the eastern part of the state.

  The presentations began about a year ago, and now require four full-time and part-time people to meet all the interest.

East Kentucky CEO Roy Palk says Hohman’s presentations are an effective way to let people know about the work by co-ops to preserve the Kentucky environment.

  Palk specifically mentions East Kentucky’s 1998 Corporate Citizen of the Year award from the Nature Conservancy as an example of how “good business practices can benefit utilities, the economy, and the environment. It’s necessary to our future that we get that message across.”

  For his part, Hohman says he hopes to show that, “Animals have value. Even the ones we fear. You don’t want to harm them just because you don’t understand them. That might even be a lesson that can carry over to how they feel about each other. Maybe that’s a stretch, but we are bringing a positive message, a message of community, a message of respect.”

  If you’re interested in booking one of Hohman’s presentations, contact your local electric cooperative.

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