July 2009

My job rocks

TVA employees are on the job 24/7, keeping the lights on, running the river system, managing TVA lands and supporting TVA’s operations. In this column, you’ll hear from TVA employees who can say, “My job rocks!”

Scotty Farmer

Mechanical Tech, Level III, Bull Run Fossil Plant

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Pipefitter Scotty Farmer gets his machine set up at Bull Run Fossil Plant. Farmer volunteers for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and is on the local fundraising committee.

Scotty Farmer, 35, has been a pipefitter at Bull Run Fossil Plant for three years. He was a contractor at Kingston Fossil Plant for eight years before that.

“I just like the whole idea of taking two metals and making it one and making it look good,” says Farmer. “You gotta take pride in your work.”

After graduating from Central High School in Knoxville, he started out as a mechanic for a trucking company, but he decided to try to get into the Pipefitters Local, No. 102. “I liked welding,” Farmer says.

imageNow he is Pipe Shop Job Steward at Bull Run, co-chair of the Health & Safety Committee, a member of the Behavioral Science Technology Safety Steering Team and on the local fundraising committee for Make-A-Wish, a national foundation dedicated to granting the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Farmer got involved with Make-A-Wish after his younger daughter, Alexis, was born with spina bifida, a condition of the spine that left her paralyzed from the waist down.

“She passed away in 2004, just a few weeks shy of her 7th birthday,” says Farmer. “We had a Barbie Jeep that we’d fixed up for her with hand controls. I called around to doctors and other people asking if they knew of another girl who might like the jeep, and it turned out there was a little girl in Chattanooga who also had spina bifida. Her family came up on Christmas Eve 2005, and the little girl just loved it. It made me feel real good.”

That led Farmer to get involved with Make-A-Wish. “It was the way Alexis always was that inspired me,” he says. “She was always wanting to help people, and she was always thinking of others and never about herself.”

He says he’s been blessed with things he’s gotten in his life. “I’ve got a good job, and in my wish-granting volunteering, I get to meet kids and meet families and get the ball rolling to get their wishes granted.”

For the past three years, Farmer has helped organize “Waltz for Wishes,” the Make-A-Wish East Tennessee Chapter’s annual fundraiser. This year, their big event was April 26 at the Knoxville Marriott. “We had a silent auction and a live auction,” he says. “Several people from TVA helped obtain items for the auction and worked at the event. We raised more than $130,000.”

For more information about Make-A-Wish, go to www.wishetn.org.