Arkansas Trucking Association

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Up Front- Gone Fishin'

DSCF7709 smallShannon Newton
President, ATA

It’s summertime. Time for beach vacations, pool days, theme parks and spending quality time doing things you enjoy with the people who make it enjoyable. 

In trucking, summer activities include a fast-paced produce season when those who haul fruits and vegetables have tight timelines for delivering watermelons and peaches to shelves in time for picnics and barbecues. While kids gather ‘round the campfire telling spooky stories before heading back to their bunks, bellies full of marshmallow, we are telling our own stories. It’s an essential part of what we do all year round, but the audiences vary from season to season.

I was recently invited to speak to a group of interns spending their summer working for the office of U.S. Sen. John Boozman in Washington D.C.  While it might not be immediately obvious why the leader of the trucking association back in Arkansas would invest time and effort into a small group of college students spending their summer in D.C., I eagerly hung my “Gone Fishin’” sign (or rather I set my out-of-office email responder), and boarded a plane to the Beltway.

These engagements are all fishing expeditions of sorts.  Typically speaking to civic or community groups, we try to define or redefine the way that people think about trucking.  We hope to catch people’s interest by telling the story of the challenges we overcome to make the American way of life possible.

Gathered around the board room, the summer interns didn’t appear particularly different than a collection of college students that you might find at a coffee shop or campus book store.  However, Congressional internships are competitive and generally filled by some of the brightest, most ambitious and politically inclined students. For that reason, I couldn’t help but wonder who these young people might become.

Likely, they will go on to staff members of Congress, work in business, and be engaged, if not influential, members of our communities.  The opportunity to shape the way they think about the trucking industry, our employees, our contribution to the standard of living they enjoy, is one to seize!  Set the hook!

Any time you represent trucking, to the seats of power or a kindergarten classroom, you are in that boat on the lake with me, swapping stories about our life in this industry. 

I’m metaphorically asking you to put on your khaki bucket hat, pick up your tackle box and join me out on the water.  Drop your hook, help us cast a wide net like commercial fisherman, covering as much area as possible without too much effort. We can all drop nets and share our experiences in trucking that have made us love it.

To join me talking about trucking this summer, you don’t need to be especially skilled or eloquent. You just need to show up to the lake and be honest. The catch of the day may be advocates to tomorrow’s leaders.

Contact Us

Arkansas Trucking Association
PO Box 3476 (72203)
1401 West Capitol Ave.
Suite 185
Little Rock, AR 72201

(501) 372-3462 | Phone
(501) 376-1810 | Fax

Our Mission

  • PROTECT the collective interests of trucking companies in the political and regulatory arenas.
  • PROMOTE the dynamics of trucking so that people have a better understanding of the link between America's primary freight delivery system and the standard of living they enjoy.
  • SERVE our members to help them to grow their business and their profits
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