Rural Missouri - July 2018 - 4
| C O O P E R AT I O N
Lewis County, Macon electric
co-ops to share manager
photos by Paul Newton
Above: Missouri's delegation to the 2018 Youth Tour was the largest in the state's history. Below: Trinity Higgins, sponsored
by Co-Mo Electric, takes a selﬁe with Uncle Sam during a visit to Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum in the nation's capital.
Rural youth get lessons in leadership on Youth Tour to D.C.
or more than half a century, Missouri's electric cooperatives have been sending the state's
best and brightest on a "trip of a lifetime." This
year was no different as 106 soon-to-be high
school seniors spent six days in Washington, D.C.
touring monuments, visiting museums and meeting
with their legislators on Capitol Hill.
The group met in Jefferson City on Friday, June
8 for a banquet and orientation. Everyone loaded up
early the next morning for St. Louis and ﬂew to the
nation's capital where they joined 1,800 youth from
across the country descending on D.C.
The Missouri delegation didn't waste a minute on
the trip. Over the course of six days, the students
saw some of the country's most impressive tributes
including the Air Force, Marine Corps, World War II,
Vietnam War, Korean War, Martin Luther King, Jefferson and Lincoln memorials. They were able to visit historic sites such as the museums of the Smithsonian Institution, American Art Museum, Mount
Vernon as well as the Newseum, the museum of
news. They witnessed the
changing of the guard at
Arlington National Cemetery and met with their
congressional representatives on Capitol Hill.
Dalton Gear of Sedalia
was sponsored by Central
Missouri Electric Cooperative and says his favorite part was visiting the
monuments around the
"I knew we'd see some
history and I'd meet new
friends," he says. "But it was deﬁnitely cooler than
what I thought it might be. I saw more than I expected to see and it all meant more to me than I expected
it to mean."
One delegate from Missouri is selected as the representative for the national Youth Leadership Council. Athena Hood - sponsored by Intercounty Electric Cooperative Association - was chosen as the
2018-2019 Missouri council member. She'll return
to D.C. this summer for more leadership training,
travel to the NRECA Annual Meeting in Orlando and
address the 2019 Missouri Youth Tour delegates in
Jefferson City next June.
The 2018 trip was the 55th time Missouri's electric cooperatives have stepped up to send the state's
youth to Washington and also was a record setter for
the number of delegates.
"With the help of countless high school teachers,
our electric cooperatives seek out and ﬁnd some of
the most talented students in Missouri every year,"
says Chris Massman, who organizes the trip for
the Association of Missouri
Electric Cooperatives. "The
students who attend Youth
Tour are not only leaders in
their schools and communities now, but will go on to
be leaders in whatever their
wo of Missouri's electric cooperatives are
putting the sixth cooperative principle -
cooperation between cooperatives - into
practice by sharing General Manager Todd
Schroeder. The boards at Lewis County Rural
Electric Cooperative and Macon Electric Cooperative began discussing the arrangement when
Lewis County Manager Patrick Griggs announced
The concept was nothing new for the two
northeast Missouri co-ops. Macon shared the
services of Lewis County's Chief Financial Ofﬁcer
Deb O'Brien for a time and the systems beneﬁt
from the shared use of Macon Safety & Training
Coordinator Dan Ulhorn.
The arrangement has already paid dividends,
says Todd. "We use a lot of the same services.
The ability to bid with a higher volume has saved
money for both systems." He adds that the shared
services between the two systems is all about
what's best for members of the two cooperatives.
Macon Electric serves 11,000 members and
has a density of 3.87 per mile of line. Lewis
County has 7,000 members and just 2.8 per mile.
Their small size keeps the cooperatives focused
on their members, but can also lead to higher
costs because there are fewer people to share the
expenses. "Any opportunity to not raise rates is a
win," Todd says. He adds that conﬁdence in the
employees made the arrangement possible. He
spends time at both systems on a daily basis and
relies on staff to prioritize his time.
"Thanks to technology, both staffs have access
to my calendar at all times so if a member wants
to meet with me they know how to schedule it.
Having two strong administrative assistants is
the key." While this concept is new to Missouri,
other states have seen electric co-ops share services for decades.
"Through this process, two forward-thinking
cooperative boards have joined together to take a
positive step into the future," says Lewis County
Director Larry Clark. "The Lewis County board is
looking forward to this venture and would like to
thank the Macon Electric board of directors for
allowing this arrangement to take place."
For more information on
the youth programs offered
by Missouri's Electric Cooperatives, visit www.amec.
coop and click on the Youth
photo by Libby Moeller
"Devoted to the rural way of life"
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - July 2018
Rural Missouri - July 2018 - Intro
Rural Missouri - July 2018 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - July 2018 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - July 2018 - Contents
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