The Southern Plains Conference is returning the Panhandle next week, bringing together industry leaders and members of the community. This year’s theme is “Shaping a Sense of Place.”
"We're very unique to the rest of the world,” said Wes Reeves of Xcel Energy.
The conference gathers industry leaders and the public together to celebrate that unique quality of the region, involving an appreciation of the big sky and open prairie, awareness of heritage and historical identities, a look at landscapes of labor and more.
"You step back and look at this region and the role it's played in the economy of the state and the cultural contributions we've made,” said Reeves. “It's a really important place and I think these types of conferences help us understand ourselves a little better."
The conference, bringing together industry leaders from Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado, returns to West Texas A&M University this year. It will take place inside the Hazlewood Lecture Hall at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, Feb. 22-23.
"It's going to look at the vast difference in the culture of the Panhandle and what really makes the Panhandle the Panhandle,” said local rancher Jay O’Brien.
A few Amarillo locals are set to present at the two-day conference in Canyon, which focus on conservation and sustainability in regional industries.
While O'Brien will discuss the High Plains Ranch, Wes Reeves will discuss renewable energy available across the Southern Plains.
"Ranching is also a part of the business of the Panhandle and the business of feeding America and feeding the world,” said O’Brien.
Get the latest Amarillo news straight to your phone! Apple | Android
"For many years, we've mined what's below us -- the water, the oil, the gas -- and all the resources we have, and we'll continue doing that but we've learned now to mine the energy and the power from what we get above us through the wind and the sun,” said Reeves.
Whether you're an educator, student, professional, or just a community member wanted to celebrate the Plains, this conference has a little bit for everyone.
"Imagine that we not only have the ability to survive out here on the plains but to thrive out here, as well. I think that's going to be brought home many times throughout these presentations,” said Reeves.