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The bulk of the electric cooperative workforce has traditionally been filled by men due to the nature of the work that co-ops do. But over time, women have been stepping into more and more jobs across the industry spectrum. In honor of Women’s History Month, hear from several of the women making strides and taking on leadership positions in the co-…
 
Last month’s record-breaking cold snap in Texas left dozens dead and millions without power. Now, as temperatures return to normal and citizens recover, questions and concerns over the resiliency of Texas’s energy grid continue to mount. Listen in as we discuss what happened, the lasting effects this event will have on Texas, and the lessons to be …
 
The need to close America’s digital divide is as crucial as ever, and the Federal Communications Commission’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund stands to have a huge impact, with billions in funding for deploying broadband to unserved communities. NRECA’s Brian O’Hara and NRTC’s Greg Santoro break down how the RDOF auction works and outline concerns a…
 
With a new Congress and new administration in place, how will electric cooperatives engage with the government on their policy priorities—from the immediate COVID-19 health and economic crises to infrastructure to climate policy? Hear from Stacey Alexander, a former congressional staffer and now a political and policy consultant with the firm Subje…
 
NRECA President Curtis Wynn is coming to the end of his two-year term. When he took office, he set out to focus on how co-ops can navigate the rapid pace of change in our industry. This platform took on new meaning in 2020 with a heightened focus on racial inequality in America. In the latest episode of Along Those Lines, Wynn discusses diversity, …
 
America has voted and there is no doubt that there will be a lot of changes on the horizon. Listen in as we welcome Louis Finkel, Senior Vice President of Government Relations at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, to discuss the results of this past election and the effect it could have on energy legislation and regulation and our…
 
The proliferation of sensors and other downline devices means electric cooperatives now have access to mountains of system data. During the 2020 NRECA TechAdvantage Conference and Expo, NRECA's Venkat Banunarayanan and Rappahannock Electric Cooperative's John Hewa discussed how co-ops are using that data to improve reliability, plan for the future …
 
In celebration of National Co-op Month, we talk to electric cooperative employees whose routine workdays turned into lifesaving rescue missions as they came to the aid of community members. Crew members describe rescuing a woman trapped in a flooded creek in Tennessee, pulling two men from a fiery armored truck crash in Missouri, and saving an olde…
 
The beneficial electrification movement—using electricity to replace fossil fuels for everything from mowing your lawn to powering your car—has gained momentum and led to the formation of the Beneficial Electrification League. With chapters in states across the country and a national board, the league's mission is to increase understanding of elect…
 
When you want electricity, we’ve got to deliver. It doesn’t matter if you have a scorching 100-degree day and everybody has their A/C cranked on high, we need to meet that demand. But what if you had a week of 100-degree heat? What if there wasn’t enough electricity to meet that demand? Listen in as we discuss this scenario with Zach Anderson, CFO …
 
Wildfires have caused massive destruction in Western states and across the country during recent summers. Electric cooperatives reduce fire risk by maintaining rights of way and keeping equipment up to date, but their efforts are often complicated by the need to coordinate with multiple government agencies that oversee federal lands. We talk to NRE…
 
As local and national campaigns gear up across the country, electric cooperatives work to ensure their consumer-members are informed of the issues that matter most to rural communities and have the opportunity to make their voices heard at the polls. In part two, Stephanie Johnson of Jasper County REMC in Indiana describes what these efforts look l…
 
As local and national campaigns gear up across the country, electric cooperatives work to ensure their consumer-members are informed of the issues that matter most to rural communities and have the opportunity to make their voices heard at the polls. In this two-part episode, we talk first to NRECA's Laura Vogel and Nonprofit Vote's Brian Miller ab…
 
Northern Michigan is opening up following a multi-month shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For the local business community, this is an opportunity to try and get back to what they do best. Listen in as we welcome Warren Call, CEO of Traverse Connect, to discuss the challenges local businesses faced during the shutdown, the work Traverse Connec…
 
Electric cooperatives across the South have already seen massive storm damage across their systems, and the 2020 hurricane season is just now getting started. When outages are too much for one co-op to handle, neighboring co-ops from within their state and across state lines are quick to lend a helping hand to get power back up and running quickly …
 
Co-op Energy Talk hits the road! Earlier this year, Tony sat down with co-op leaders from across the country while attending the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association's Annual Meeting in New Orleans. Listen in as they discuss what they've seen over the years and what trends they believe we should be watching to prepare for the future.…
 
Electric cooperatives, by their very nature, are accustomed to dealing with disruptions large and small. But the landscape for managing crises is changing dramatically. Stephen Bell, NRECA's senior director for media and public relations, and Bill Coletti, CEO of the reputation management firm Kith, talk us through their advice on how to plan for, …
 
You know it well: member control is the cornerstone of any co-op. So, pandemic or not, a co-op board of directors still needs to function. Listen in as we discuss the steps Cherryland and its board have taken to adapt to this "new normal," including updates on board meetings, the board election, and the 82nd Annual Meeting. Learn more about the Che…
 
While many Americans are working remotely to curb the spread of coronavirus, cooperative line crews and broadband technicians are essential workers, keeping members connected to power and internet. We talk to an expert at Great River Energy, a generation and transmission co-op in Minnesota, about how his co-op is maintaining the electric grid while…
 
Since our last episode, we saw the first cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) reach the Grand Traverse region and Governor Whitmer enact the "Stay Home, Stay Safe" Executive Order across the state. Listen in as explain what Cherryland has done to respond to the pandemic since, including providing updates on core services, billing policies, and co-op fin…
 
With the American workplace changing dramatically due to new technologies and generational shifts, how are electric co-ops adapting while facing additional challenges unique to their rural environments? Hear from Cheryl Cran, a workplace and leadership expert, and Holly Wetzel, NRECA's senior director for marketing and member communications.…
 
They say, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." Well, it would be hard to hide the Gemini Solar Project, a 690 MW solar array (with 380 MW of lithium-ion storage) soon to be built just outside of the famous Nevada city. Listen in as we discuss the details of this historic project and its impact. Do you have feedback? Email us at pr@cherrylandele…
 
Of Michigan's 83 counties, 59 are classified as rural, all playing important roles in the state's economy. As these rural communities face their unique challenges of the future, state level support and representation is becoming ever more vital. Spearheaded by the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance, one initiative calls on Governor Whitmer to creat…
 
Advancing Energy Access for All, a new NRECA initiative, focuses on low- and moderate-income households who are at risk of being left out of some of the latest advances on the grid. Hear from NRECA’s Adaora Ifebigh, who oversees the initiative, as well as Tony Anderson, CEO of Cherryland Electric Cooperative in Michigan, which has several programs …
 
Cherry Capital Airport is the fourth largest commercial airport in Michigan... and it's not stopping there. They recently added two new carriers and several new nonstop flights, bringing their non-stop service up to 15 cities. Listen in as we sit down with Airport Director Kevin Klein to discuss both the opportunities and the challenges this time o…
 
Midwestern farmers faced devastating flooding last spring, with recovery efforts still ongoing. Nebraska farm owners Kristi and Drew Wolfe give a firsthand look at what it’s been like to cope with this disaster. Kim Christiansen, who was GM of the Nebraska Rural Electric Association before joining NRECA, discusses the overall impact in Nebraska, an…
 
Season 2 of Along Those Lines kicks off with a look at co-ops' role in protecting the national electric grid. Hear from Co-Mo Electric Cooperative's Ryan Newlon, who works with the National Guard on projects that examine real-life threats and defense strategies for cybersecurity, and NRECA’s Barry Lawson, who discusses how co-ops work with key gove…
 
An unintended consequence of the 2017 federal tax law is threatening electric co-ops' tax-exempt status. NRECA's Louis Finkel explains why it's vital for Congress to pass the RURAL Act to fix this issue, and two co-op leaders discuss the impact of the tax dilemma firsthand: Tim Johnson of Otsego Electric Cooperative in New York and Scott Reimer of …
 
With access to health care diminishing in many of the country’s rural areas, hear from three co-op leaders who are prioritizing programs to get critical care to members of their communities: David Lambert of Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative, Shawn Taylor of the Wyoming Rural Electric Association and Geoff Oldfather of Arizona G&T Cooperativ…
 
If you work in the energy industry or follow its developments, you’re probably familiar with the term “beneficial electrification.” But do you really understand what it means? Get the full rundown from NRECA’s Keith Dennis, Jeff Haase of Great River Energy in Minnesota and Sam Adair of Coles-Moultrie Electric Cooperative in Illinois.…
 
Come on, we've all done it: sat on a beach, sipping a cool beverage, and wondered what was going on with the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) that day. The MPSC regulates utilities in order to ensure safe, reliable, and accessible energy at reasonable rates for Michigan residents. Listen in as we discuss the MPSC and Michigan's energy futu…
 
In June, Cherryland announced that it is making a three-year commitment of $100,000 annually to Habitat for Humanity–Grand Traverse Region to fund a program aimed at repairing low-income homes in need of weatherization improvements in the Grand Traverse region. Listen in as we discuss this partnership with Habitat for Humanity's executive director,…
 
NRECA President Curtis Wynn first entered the electric cooperative world as a teenager. Now, he's charged with leading co-ops across the country through the challenges of a changing industry. Hear from Wynn on everything from his early career track—where his passion for community development came into focus—to his plans for helping co-ops navigate …
 
With climate change as a priority for candidates in upcoming elections, a whole slew of carbon proposals are being thrown out there, including the Green New Deal, Evergreen Economy Plan, a carbon tax, etc. Do one of these game plans offer a realistic way to cross the goal line? Listen in as we discuss the challenges facing decarbonization and how t…
 
The monarch butterfly is in trouble, with its numbers in decline for the last few decades, its habitat rapidly disappearing, and an Endangered Species Act listing on the horizon. We're joined by NRECA's Janelle Lemen and Stephanie Crawford along with Dairyland Power Cooperative's Brad Foss to discuss the challenges the monarch faces and the steps c…
 
As we spend April honoring lineworkers, it's time to zero in on safety and what it takes to ensure that crews don’t come into contact with live lines. Heath Martin, a co-op safety director, shares the harrowing story of a mistake early in his career as a lineworker that could have cost him his life. We're also joined by safety experts from NRECA an…
 
Cherryland's Jim Carpenter is not just a line superintendent. He's a singer, whittler, guitar player, runner, and outdoorsman; a real renaissance man. After 39 years of service, the co-op's renaissance man is retiring. Listen in as we sit down with Jim and discuss his nearly four-decade long career at Cherryland.…
 
You know by now that Cherryland has a diverse power supply portfolio, courtesy of our power supplier, Wolverine Power Cooperative. But did you know that we are contractually obligated to purchase ALL of our power from Wolverine? Listen in as we sit down with Eric Baker, President & CEO of Wolverine, to discuss this contract and what it means for me…
 
What is the evolving grid—and what does it mean for how we'll consume electricity in the future? We're joined by three experts to zero in on electric co-ops’ unique position to plug into this trend: NRECA's Jim Spiers, Patty Richards from Washington Electric Cooperative in Vermont, and Lee Ragsdale from North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives.…
 
While big renewable energy goals are nice, how are we going to achieve them? Utilities are facing increasing pressure to incentivize local, distributed renewable energy (e.g. small, rooftop systems) that benefit the individual over utility-scale renewable energy systems that benefit the many. How are we going to reach our goals by going small? List…
 
With a new year and a new Congress, what will emerge as key policy issues for co-ops in 2019? We're joined by Kirk Johnson and John Cassady of NRECA's government relations department to discuss how the association works with members of Congress and their staffs to represent co-op interests, and what to expect on issues ranging from infrastructure t…
 
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