Rural Electric Cooperative

Electric Co-op Lineman Compete in Regional Event


Testing his skills against more than 150 linemen from six states, Craig Botetourt Electric Cooperative (CBEC) apprentice lineman Josh Ouellette competed in the 14th Annual Gaff-n-Go Lineman’s Rodeo, held Saturday, June 4 at Meadow Event Park in Doswell, Va.  Ouellette placed especially well in the Cross Arm Relocation event.


Mack McCaleb, supervisor of field services for CBEC, also served as a volunteer judge for this year’s competition.


Named for the spike linemen attach to their boots when climbing electric utility poles, the Gaff-n-Go Rodeo is organized by the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives (VMDAEC).


The only competition of its type in the Mid-Atlantic region, the Gaff-n-Go Lineman’s Rodeo offers professional linemen the opportunity to demonstrate their technical skills as they perform a variety of designated electric line-work tasks. Their performances are timed and scored, with safe work practices the most important factor in judging.


“The Gaff-n-Go Lineman’s Rodeo promotes safety and teamwork,” notes Shawn Hildebrand, CBEC’s CEO.  “The job our linemen do to ‘keep the lights on’ for our members is a dangerous one. We’re thrilled that one of our apprentice did well in this year’s competition, finishing 18 out of 78 participants.”


Craig-Botetourt Electric Cooperative, headquartered in New Castle, Va., is a not-for-profit energy provider that serves over 7,100 homes, farms and businesses in the Virginia counties of Alleghany, Botetourt, Craig, Giles, Montgomery and Roanoke and in Monroe County, West Virginia. For more information, go to