Jay Conner, Central Office Technician

Who REALLY watches the MOST TV? We would say Jay Conner.  Each work day is different for Jay. He may be changing out a satellite receiver and provisioning new feeds out through our video encoders to set top boxes.  Maybe he’ll be working on analog or digital cable TV channel delivery.You may find him working on setting up voice and data services as well. Sometimes he can be found maintaining one of our 40+ roadside remote facilities or pulling generators to those sites when the power is out. Other times he’s working on dedicated data facilities for businesses or troubleshooting customer troubles on any of the above. Technology is always changing so it is a constant challenge to keep up but Jay has the background and experience to keep things running smoothly.  In fact, the challenge is what keeps things interesting and gives Jay satisfaction. He is happy to deliver these state of the art services to our friends and neighbors right here in Southwest Virginia.

What is your favorite thing to do on your off time?

My wife Mouse and I have been going on more mini vacations. We enjoy short hikes and beach trips to lighthouses, ziplining, and just about anything airborne. We are young enough to still do these things but old enough to realize that will not always be the case.

What is a little known fact about you?

5JFarm is named for our 5 “J”s. Jay, Janet (yes that’s Mouse’s first name), and our children, Joshua, Jacob, and Julianne. It was a way for us to honor the memory of our oldest son’s life and make him a part of our farm. He had always loved going to petting zoos in Texas and so after my retirement from the Air Force, we returned to our hometown of Floyd and opened our farm to visitors so that all children, including those with special needs, could enjoy the animals that he so loved. It was our way of giving back to our community.

How do you use your Volunteer Time Off?

I have volunteered for several years with VA Cooperative Extension’s Ag Day, the Floyd County Livestock Fair, and Jill’s Buddy Camp, a camp for children with special needs.

What is your favorite thing about your home?

Enjoying our barnyard animals and getting up early to see the beautiful sunrises over the mountains from the hilltop cabin that we built.

What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done for fun?

Skydiving was probably the craziest, but it was a real thrill. Can’t wait to do it again. We also did paragliding, where you literally jump off a mountain side and glide into the sky. Again, crazy, but what a thrill!

Tell us about something on your bucket list. Why do you want to do that?

Hang Gliding. We had that planned for early this summer, but it has now been postponed. A family trip as a child to Kitty Hawk led to a fascination with the Wright Brothers and flying like a bird.

What was the last show you binge-watched? 

The Pandemic docu-series on Netflix. It was filmed last year and focuses on the lives of several doctors and scientists and their efforts to prevent widespread death from what they predicted as an inevitable health crisis. It really added perspective to our current situation.

Have you ever disliked something and then changed your mind?

Beets. Maybe I didn’t give them a chance before. I like them now.

What do you remember most about your first job?

I worked for a strawberry u-pick farm back in the ’70s. The folks who owned it “weren’t from around here”, but that was what made them interesting. I learned about organic farming, solar energy, and recycling. I wasn’t raised that way but those things really had an influence on my life.

Tell us about a pet peeve you have.

People not following the rules. 20 years of USAF service probably had an influence on that. I don’t understand people who think they are entitled to take advantage of others.

What makes you feel most alive?

My Grandchildren. You have to be really alive to try to keep up with them!

What is the secret to a good life?

A great help mate to share life’s experiences with and to appreciate each day that God gives you and to live it to its fullest. You don’t get a chance to do those days over, and I hate it when I feel like I have wasted one.