Rural Missouri - August 2019 - 5



The Associated Advantage
by Caleb Jones |


he more I learn about Missouri's electric cooperatives the more impressed I am
with the member-owned businesses those
Pioneers of Power put together. The latest
lesson came at Associated Electric Cooperative's
annual meeting.
Associated is unique among all of the nation's
electric cooperatives. It is strictly a generation cooperative, responsible for generating the power for
910,000 rural homes, farms and businesses in Missouri and parts of Iowa and Oklahoma.
At the meeting the theme was the "Associated
Advantage." Experts in the various aspects of power
generation spoke about the issues that could affect
future rates for electricity. Then Associated employees brought these issues closer to home, explaining
how they would affect the power plants their cooperative owns.
One speaker after another pointed out how the
Associated Advantage helps to meet these challenges in a way that will keep your electric bill low and
your service reliable. These advantages didn't happen by accident. They are the result of deliberate
strategic decisions made by its board of directors.
What makes Associated unique is that it is owned
by you - your electric cooperative and its members.
Years ago, our co-ops realized that buying electricity from a third party not only meant that they had
no control over the prices, it also meant someone
Your co-op and its counterparts built a generation system - along with the transmission lines
needed to carry this power where it was needed -
that today is the envy of the rest of the nation. This
grid lets your electric cooperative control its own
destiny instead of being subject to market forces
that have a tendency to swing in the wrong direction.

This hard work is today paying huge dividends.
Associated has a diverse generation portfolio that
includes coal, natural gas, hydropower and wind
energy. This mix of power sources lets it deploy the
demand for electricity ramps up.
It takes a lot of money to build and maintain
power plants. So when a utility needs to borrow
money it really helps to have a good credit rating,
just like it does at home. That's another big Associated Advantage. Smart decisions - along with the
support from your local co-op - means that when
Associated heads to Wall Street it comes home with
the best credit ratings in the business. The savings
have totaled millions of dollars over the years.
So what does all of this mean to you, the end

user? It means your electric bill is as low as it can
possibly be, and you can count on having all of the
electricity you need to power your life.
What impresses me the most about Associated
Electric Cooperative is that the chairman of the
board is a cattleman from Monticello, Missouri
named Buster Geisendorfer Jr. Like you, he is a
member of his local electric cooperative.
He and the 11 other members of the board
understand who they serve. They are rural people
with small-town values. That means the decisions
they make will always be in the best interest of the
members. And that is one huge advantage.
Jones is the executive vice president and CEO of
the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives.

moderator Joe Wilkinson during Associated Electric Cooperative's 2019 annual meeting.


Neighbors helping neighbors
by Jeff Case |


ithin the United States Department of
Agriculture (USDA), there are 29 federal agencies. All are devoted to agriculture in some way or another - agriculture marketing, research, animal and plant health
inspections, farm service, food and nutrition, forestry, resource conservation, etc.
However, there is only one that focuses solely
on the needs of rural residents, businesses and
communities. If you reside in rural Missouri, it is
likely that USDA Rural Development has positively
impacted your life in some way whether you realized
it or not.
In rural Missouri it is not uncommon to see a
QHLJKERUKHOSLQJDQRWKHU³WKHYROXQWHHUÀUHÀJKWer responding to an accident, farmers harvesting
a crop for an ill neighbor or the electric cooperative crew restoring power during a storm. At Rural
Development, this tradition is carried on as we have
reaching out to the communities we serve.
We have a mission to improve the economy and
quality of life in rural America and do that by ensuring people who live and work in rural areas have
access to the same resources and services as our
urban and metropolitan counterparts. In fact, it
has been said that Rural Development is one of the
only agencies that can truly build a rural community from the ground up. We offer funding to sup-

port essential buildings and services such as hous- cooperatives received assistance to start or improve
ing, health care, education, emergency services and businesses.
improve infrastructure (electric, water, wastewater
and communications). Rural Development helps water or wastewater infrastructure improvements.
rural residents buy or rent safe, affordable housing
and make health and safety repairs to their homes. from electric infrastructure improvements.
* Nearly 175,000 rural subscribers are accessing
The agency promotes economic development by
supporting loans to businesses through local lend- new or improved telecommunications and broaders, working with private-sector partners to bring band service.
Finally, Rural Development employees have the
needed high-speed internet to rural areas, providprivilege to build communities we live
ing technical assistance to help comin. We're often your neighbors, living,
munities grow and prosper and helpworking and raising families in the
ing producers and cooperatives get
same communities as you, and we
started or improve the effectiveness of
want the best economic opportunities
their operations.
for our hometowns, just as you do.
What does this assistance look
We are committed to serving rural
like for rural Missourians? In Fiscal
Missourians, just like our rural electric
Year 2018, USDA Rural Development
cooperative partners are, because it is
invested more than $1.16 billion to
who we are, where we are and what
increase rural property throughout the
we do. Missouri's 25 Rural Developstate, touching the lives of more than
1.2 million rural residents. Thanks to
in rural communities throughout the
these investments:
state. I encourage you to reach out to
* More than 5,700 families achieved
Jeff Case
the dream of home ownership or made
gov/mo and let our team share how we
essential home repairs.
* Nearly 369,000 rural residents are enjoying may be able to meet your needs ... because when
improved essential community facilities and equip- rural America thrives, all America thrives.
Case is the USDA Rural Development Missouri
hospitals, and more.
* 127 rural businesses, agricultural producers or state director.



Rural Missouri - August 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - August 2019

Rural Missouri - August 2019 - Intro
Rural Missouri - August 2019 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - August 2019 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - August 2019 - Contents
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Rural Missouri - August 2019 - 5
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