Rural Missouri - February 2018 - 5

RM

| PERSPECTIVES

H A RT TO H E A RT

Power for a real winter
by Barry Hart | bhart@amec.coop

I

t's been a long time since Missouri had a real
winter, but 2018 is certainly going to qualify.
The New Year ushered in temperatures that were
below zero. My friend Duane Klute, a director
at Atchison-Holt Electric Cooperative, saw the mercury drop to minus 15 at his farm near Westboro.
Around the state cold weather was the rule and it
settled in for an extended period of time. Dramatic
wind chills made it feel much colder.
That resulted in a new all-time peak for the electric cooperative grid of 4,691 megawatt-hours set on
Jan. 1. The next day that record fell when members
used 4,848 megawatt-hours between 7 and 8 a.m.
Prior to that, the record for electricity use was
4,598 megawatt-hours set on Jan. 6, 2014.
When temperatures are this extreme, your electric cooperative pulls out all the stops in order to
ensure you have the electricity you need to stay
warm. That includes sending linemen into the fray
to repair damage to power lines.
But the effort to keep the power flowing began
long ago when leaders at Associated Electric Cooperative made critical decisions to ensure there would
be sufficient power - no matter the temperature.
Associated started supplying power to electric cooperatives in 1966 with just one coal-fired
power plant. Today, it has a diverse mix of generation sources, including coal, natural gas, wind and
hydro.
This "all of the above" power generation strategy
ensures your electric cooperative can meet your
needs without having to buy extremely expensive
power on the open market.
On those cold January days, Associated met
your cooperative's needs with coal units at Thomas
Hill and New Madrid (2,333 megawatt-hours); three
large natural gas plants located in Missouri, Arkan-

sas and Oklahoma (1,680 megawatthours), smaller peaking gas plants in
Holden and Maryville (284 megawatthours) and renewable power from
hydroelectric dams (478 megawatthours) and wind farms (26 megawatthours).
As you can see, the coal units supplied the most electricity. Carefully
maintained, and equipped with the
latest clean-coal technology, these
plants have been workhorses year
after year. Most of the time they are
the least expensive sources of power
and are the reason Missouri enjoys
rates that are much lower than many
other states.
In more recent years Associated
made the strategic decision to add generation from natural gas. Three large
combined-cycle plants, along with smaller peaking
units, add to the diversity and offer an opportunity
to take advantage of low prices on natural gas in
recent years.
Having natural gas in the mix means not only
keeping you supplied with a reliable source of electricity, but also supplying it at the lowest possible
cost. These units can be started quickly and shut
down just as fast when the weather moderates.
There's also the renewable resources, including hydropower from the federal projects in Missouri and Arkansas. In the days before Associated
was organized, electric cooperatives fought hard to
ensure these projects became reality because they
knew they would be an excellent source of clean,
low-cost electricity.
Likewise, when the first wind farm was proposed
for Missouri, the state's electric cooperatives were
quick to sign a contract for the entire output. Over

time, more wind energy has been added to the mix,
including power from projects located in Kansas
and Oklahoma.
If you study the figures above that show how
Associated met the demand for electricity on those
record-setting days, you will see that no single
source of generation would have met the entire
load. It took "all of the above" to ensure you and
hundreds of thousands of other electric cooperative
members stayed warm.
Hats off to everyone involved in the process of
powering Missouri, from the train crews that deliver
the coal, to the employees that keep gas flowing in
the pipelines, to the lineworkers who work in the
cold to the operators at the power plants. We appreciate what you do.
Hart is executive vice president of the Association
of Missouri Electric Cooperatives.

GUEST COLUMN

More funds for farming
by Jill Wood | info@ruralmissouri.coop

I remember as a child coming home from a half
day of kindergarten and going straight to the barn
ello! My name is Jill Wood and I am the to help wean pigs. My brothers and I had daily
new executive director of the Missouri chores on the farm, so it would not be unusual to
Agricultural and Small Business Develop- find me scraping barns or giving vaccine shots to
pigs in cutoff shorts and gum boots.
ment Authority. I was raised
It feels great to be working at the
on what is now a seventh-generation
Missouri Department of Agriculture,
hog farm in Henry County and graduwhere I'm surrounded with people who
ated from the University of Missouri.
can relate to my upbringing, value
I've lived in Jefferson City for nearly
hard work and are passionate about
15 years with my husband, Chris, and
agriculture as a whole.
our three children, Ty (13), Madelyn
The Missouri Agricultural and
(11) and Brody (8). Jefferson City's
Small Business Development Authorproximity to Mizzou tailgates and ball
ity's purpose is to promote the develgames really helps make it feel like
opment of agriculture and small busihome.
ness by providing additional sources
I spent the previous 13 years of
of financing.
my career working at the Missouri
Like many of you, I feel that this
Department of Labor and Industrial
Jill Wood
is a mission that is really close to my
Relations, but my passion and roots
heart. MASBDA has several programs
have always been in agriculture.
If I'm being completely honest, I have to admit that benefit agriculture and complement local bank
that it took me some time away from the farm, out financing.
Our newest program, the Meat Processing Facilin the real world, to find a true appreciation for
the hard work that was instilled in me from a very ity Investment Tax Credit, launched in January
2018. This tax credit may be claimed by a taxpayer
young age.

H

for meat processing modernization or expansion at
their processing facility, covering up to 25 percent,
or $75,000, of the upgrades.
The Beginning Farmer Loan Program is another popular MASBDA program. It assists beginning farmers in acquiring agricultural property at
reduced rates. Bonds are issued and the interest
rate on the bonds are exempt from federal and state
income taxes, which allows the bank to pass on a
lower rate to the borrower.
The Animal Waste Treatment System Loan
finances up to 100 percent of waste systems for
independent livestock and poultry producers. This
loan can be amortized for up to 10 years with a current interest rate of 5.02 percent.
I look forward to sharing with you the entire
financing portfolio MASBDA has to offer in a future
issue of Rural Missouri. As the new executive director, I'm excited to hear directly from producers,
learn about their needs and explore ways that MASBDA can help them meet those needs.
In the meantime, visit Agriculture.Mo.Gov to
learn more about producer financing options.
Wood is executive director of the Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority.
FEBRUARY 2018 | RURALMISSOURI.COOP

5


http://Agriculture.Mo.Gov http://www.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - February 2018

Contents
Rural Missouri - February 2018 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - February 2018 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - February 2018 - Contents
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Rural Missouri - February 2018 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - February 2018 - Cover4
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