Thank you for the links. Just had the time to read through them. This is really helpful to my understanding. Especially the explanation of what collar ties really do.
I was not sure of the correct way to connect to two rafter ties together so I left them unconnected in the picture. The total span will be around 28' so two 14' long boards are needing to be connected. I'm researching what dimension (i.e. 2X4 or 2X6) the boards should be and how to properly connect them to each other and to the rafters. I'm also curious how much 'give' the board will have before tension kicks in and prevents any additional spreading and can hopefully find that answer with a few Google searches.
This forum is great. I wish I could sent you all a beer or two.