Jan. 2019 GLE

Page 1

January 2019


COUNTRY LINES Great Lakes Energy Cooperative JAKE INGLE:

Building Dreams OUT OF SNOW

2018 Photo Contest Winner

Join The People Fund

A Visit To Friske Orchards

Harness the power of the sun...

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In This Issue January 2019 || Vol. 39, No. 1

Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives

countrylines.com facebook.com/ michigancountrylines

Executive Editor: Casey Clark Editor: Christine Dorr Copy Editor: Heidi Spencer Design and Production: Karreen Bird Publisher: Michigan Electric Cooperative Association Michigan Country Lines, USPS-591710, is published monthly, except August and December, with periodicals postage paid at Lansing, Mich., and additional offices. It is the official publication of the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association, 201 Townsend St., Suite 900, Lansing, MI 48933. Subscriptions are authorized for members of Alger Delta, Cherryland, Great Lakes, HomeWorks Tri-County, Midwest Energy & Communications, Ontonagon, Presque Isle, and Thumb electric cooperatives by their boards of directors. POSTMASTER: SEND ALL UAA TO CFS. Association officers are Robert Kran, Great Lakes Energy, chairman; Mark Kappler, HomeWorks Tri-County Electric, vice chairman; and Eric Baker, Wolverine Power Cooperative, secretary-treasurer. Craig Borr is president and CEO. CONTACT US/LETTERS TO EDITOR: Michigan Country Lines 201 Townsend St., Suite 900 Lansing, MI 48933 248-534-7358 editor@countrylines.com countrylines.com

CHANGE OF ADDRESS: Please notify your electric cooperative. See page 4 for contact information.



A Multitude Of Experiences

Rick Fowler, Great Lakes Energy member

7 SAFETY Portable Generator Safety Tips 10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN Tasty And Filling Pasta Recipes Christin McKamey & Our Readers

Enjoy our featured Jubilee Bean Turkey Chili, compliments of Bill Van Gilder, an FIS technical halfpipe delegate and an owner of Van Gilder’s Jubilee Restaurant in the Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania. Enter Our Recipe Contest And Win A $50 Bill Credit!

14 FEATURE Jake Ingle: Building Dreams Out Of Snow Emily Haines Lloyd


Oliver And My Father Karen Reilly, Midwest Energy & Communications member

The appearance of advertising does not constitute an endorsement of the products or services advertised.

Guess Our New Mystery Photo And Win A $50 Bill Credit!

ON THE COVER Petoskey resident Jake Ingle is the brain and brawn behind many of the famous snowboarding half-pipes and super-pipes across the world, including this one (pictured above and on the cover) at Colorado’s Copper Mountain and the highly-praised half-pipe at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Learn more on page 14.

Win $150 for stories published!

Guest Column Country Lines invites members to submit their fond memories and stories. Guidelines 1. Approximately 350 words 2. Digital photos must be at least 600 KB 3. Submit your guest column at countrylines.com under the MI Co-op Community tab



Board of Directors

Mark Carson Chairman, District 2

01950 Anderson Rd., Boyne City, MI 49712 231-675-0561 • mcarson@glenergy.com

John LaForge Vice-Chairman, District 9 7363 Walters Rd., Delton, MI 49046 269-623-2284 • jlaforge@glenergy.com

Paul Schemanski Secretary, District 1 5974 Stolt Rd., Petoskey, MI 49770 231-439-9079 • paul.schemanski@glenergy.com

Larry Monshor Treasurer, District 4 1541 Thumm Rd., Gaylord, MI 49735 989-705-1778 • lmonshor@glenergy.com

Tim Brechon Director, District 8

22322 220th Ave., Paris, MI 49338 630-379-6218 • tbrechon@glenergy.com

Paul Byl Director, District 7

9941 W. Buchanan Rd., Shelby, MI 49455 231-861-5911 • pbyl@glenergy.com

Richard Evans Director, District 3 11195 Essex Rd., Ellsworth, MI 49729 231-883-3146 • revans@glenergy.com

Dale Farrier Director, District 5

2261 Wheeler Lake Rd. NE, Kalkaska, MI 49646 231-564-0853 • dfarrier@glenergy.com

Robert Kran Director, District 6

7380 N. Tuttle Rd., Free Soil, MI 49411 231-464-5889 • bkran@glenergy.com

President/CEO: Bill Scott 888-485-2537

Communications Director/Editor: Dave Guzniczak 231-487-1316 dguz@glenergy.com

Boyne City Headquarters 1323 Boyne Ave., P.O. Box 70 Boyne City, MI 49712 Hours: 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. M–F Phone: 888-485-2537 Email: glenergy@glenergy.com

To report an outage, call: 1-888-485-2537

Help Your Community With The People Fund Bill Scott, Great Lakes Energy President/CEO

January is always a fresh start. A new year brings new possibilities and new opportunities—a chance to do even better than we did the year before. And, while the holidays may be over, our opportunity to give back to our communities continues. As an electric co-op, Great Lakes Energy puts the needs of our members first in conjunction with the seventh cooperative principle, “Concern for Community.” The Great Lakes Energy People Fund is a convenient way for our members to improve and strengthen the communities in which they live. For less than a $1 each month, members in 2018 were able to provide $218,770 in People Fund grants to local charities and nonprofits. I encourage you to review the “2018 People Fund Annual Report” to see the diverse organizations your contributions benefited. The People Fund program makes it easy for members to give back to their communities. We simply round your monthly electric bill up to the next whole dollar—meaning little work and low cost for you—and place the change in a fund. One hundred percent of the money collected is then granted to nonprofit organizations within the communities of our members. The People Fund Board of Directors, made up of local volunteers, awards grants to organizations within their local region. Local directors mean you can count on your change going toward the specific needs of each region. If you want to be a part of strengthening your local community through the People Fund program, you can find a sign-up card attached to this issue of Michigan Country Lines. You are also able to enroll on our website or call our office and a representative can assist you. We also ask you to encourage your neighbors to join. If you already participate in our round-up program, thank you for making the People Fund possible. Because of you, we have been able to grant over $3.5 million to charities and organizations within your communities since 1999. Let this new year be the year your small contribution has a huge impact.

gtlakes.com Change of Address: 888-485-2537, ext. 8924 Great Lakes Energy is an equal opportunity provider and employer.


4 JANUARY 2019

Support The People Fund

Need Payment Help?

Dial 2-1-1 Find help to pay your utility bills this winter by dialing 2-1-1.

Country Lines

Photo Contest Winner Terry Euper of Hersey is the 2018 winner of the Great Lakes Energy Photo Contest in Michigan Country Lines. He received a $200 credit that was applied to his December 2018 Great Lakes Energy bill. His winning photo above, which appeared in the November/December issue, was selected in a random drawing of all contest entries that appeared in Michigan Country Lines in 2018. Thank you to the many GLE members who participated. Members are welcome to send in photos for our 2019 contest. See page 9 for details.

It’s a free community health and human services information and referral service that connects eligible residents with energy payment assistance and much more. By simply dialing 2-1-1, available 24/7, callers are connected with a trained, caring professional who will confidentially assess their situation, identify their needs and refer them to local resources for help. Although it varies by location, local resources include basic needs such as food, housing, shelter, temporary financial assistance, transportation, utility assistance and more. In addition, local resources include mental health care and counseling, health care, individual/ family life assistance and other services. Please call 2-1-1 or visit 211.org. Please remember to also review our Energy Optimization programs for energy efficiency rebate offers. Visit michigan-energy.org for details or call 877-296-4319. Helping our members with their energy costs is another way we’re looking out for you.

We are looking out for you! Access your GLE account anywhere, anytime! » » » » » » »

View and pay your electric bill Sign up for paperless billing Track your electricity use Set up or modify Auto Pay Update your personal information View and report power outages Schedule payments

gtlakes.com • 888-485-2537 • glenergy@glenergy.com • Search Great Lakes Energy in the app store


MI CO-OP Community

A Multitude Of Experiences Can Be Fulfilled Within 20 Minutes By Rick Fowler, Great Lakes Energy member

Russian-born comedian Yakov Smirnoff’s shtick includes his catchphrase, “America, what a country!” As a life-long resident of Michigan if I ever find my way onto the outdoor speaking venue my shtick would be along the lines, “Northwest Michigan, what a beautiful piece of America!” Why wouldn’t I want to brag about this little area of our country? Within 20 minutes of stepping out my door, I can fish for lake trout, brook trout, brown trout, walleye, pike and panfish. Within 20 minutes I can ply the woods for deer, bear and grouse. Plus, I am only a few minutes away from paddling on exceptional kayak and canoe waters or hopping on a boat and going through a lock. Essentially, I have the ability to travel anywhere in the world on the waters which touch the shores of nearby lakes and rivers. A few miles down the road from where I live, I can get lost on a two-track road. It’s not a panicky lost, but an exhilarating lost. Knowing that the little-used road will eventually lead me somewhere makes me want to keep advancing and not turn around just from the fear of being lost. I go slowly because if I go faster the sound is not the

same. With additional speed, this venture would be more like a ride. I don’t just want a ride, I want an adventure. This is magical! THAT’S WHAT WE ALL CAN DO within minutes of our homes—seek the magic that waits in northern Michigan. Within 20 minutes of my home, I can awaken all of my senses. It might just be the smell of wild grape hidden amongst the tag alder and aspen, decaying moss, leaves and grass or the essence of wildflowers wafting in the air. It might be the crash of some creature ambling through the woods, the sight of flocks of birds, rolling hills and the Windex blue of any of the lakes only minutes away. Beautiful scenery, bountiful opportunities and a slate that can be filled every day without too much effort. How could anyone who lives in this two peninsula state ever utter the word boring?

Rick taught high school English in Boyne City for 34 years. For the past 25 years, he has been an outdoor freelance writer.

NO BARRIERS ADVENTURES FOR RURAL VETERANS—APPLY BY FEB. 28 Michigan electric cooperatives believe there should be “No Barriers” for veterans with disabilities. That’s the name and idea behind CoBank’s No Barriers initiative. Michigan cooperatives are looking for qualified veterans* from our local community to participate. No Barriers is a five-day, all-expenses-paid, expedition in Colorado, designed to help veterans with disabilities transform their lives through curriculum-based experience in challenging environments (climbing, rafting and hiking). If you are a disabled veteran, or you know of a disabled veteran in our community who would like to participate in the No Barriers program, please complete the form on our website:

countrylines.com/nobarriers *Must have VA disability rating to be eligible.

Portable Generator

SAFETY TIPS Carbon Monoxide And Ventilation

• Using a generator indoors can kill you in minutes. Exhaust contains carbon monoxide, a deadly, poisonous gas you cannot see or smell. • NEVER run a generator indoors or in partly-enclosed areas, such as garages. • ONLY use outdoors and far from windows, doors, vents, and crawl spaces, and in an area where adequate ventilation is available and deadly exhaust gas cannot accumulate. • Using a fan or opening doors and windows will not provide sufficient ventilation. • It is recommended that you install battery operated carbon monoxide alarms/detectors indoors according to manufacturer’s instructions/recommendations.

Gasoline, Fueling And Burn Safety

Always read the owner’s manual and instructions for your generator. Do NOT cut corners when it comes to safety. These tips are merely supplemental and are not intended as a substitute for reading the owner’s manual.

• Do not overfill the fuel tank. Always allow room for fuel expansion. • If the tank is over-filled, fuel can overflow onto a hot engine and cause fire or explosion. • Never add fuel while the unit is running or hot. Allow the generator and engine to cool entirely before adding fuel. • Never store a generator with fuel in the tank where gasoline vapors might reach an open flame, spark or pilot light. • Many generator parts are hot enough to burn you during operation and while the generator is cooling after turning off. Avoid coming into contact with a hot generator.

• Use the proper power cords. Plug individual appliances into the generator using heavy-duty, outdoor-rated cords with a wire gauge adequate for the appliance load. Overloaded cords can cause fires or equipment damage. Do not use extension cords with exposed wires or worn shielding. • Do not operate the generator in wet conditions such as rain or snow. • The generator must be properly grounded. If the generator is not grounded, you run the risk of electrocution. Check and adhere to all applicable federal, state and local regulations related to grounding.

Electrocution Hazard And Electrical Shock Hazards

• Allow at least five feet of clearance on all sides of the generator when operating. • Generators can be used during a wide variety of weather temperatures, but should be protected from the elements when not in use to prevent shorting and rusting. • Operate the generator only on level surfaces and where it will not be exposed to excessive moisture, dirt, dust or corrosive vapors. • Inspect the generator regularly. • Always disconnect the spark plug wire and place the wire where it cannot contact the spark plug to prevent accidental starting when setting up, transporting, adjusting or making repairs to the generator.

• Do not connect your generator directly to your home’s wiring or into a regular household outlet. • Connecting a portable electric generator directly to your household wiring can be deadly to you and others. A generator that is directly connected to your home’s wiring can “back feed” onto the power lines connected to your home and injure neighbors or utility workers. • Only start or stop the generator when no electrical loads are connected. • Overloading your generator can seriously damage your valuable appliances and electronics. Do not overload the generator. Prioritize your needs; do not operate more appliances and equipment than the output rating of the generator. A portable electric generator should be used only when necessary and only to power essential equipment.

Generator Placement And Operation

Source: American Red Cross with technical advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Fire Protection Association (publisher of the National Electric Code®) and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.




Prioritize Energy Efficiency In 2019

Tired of high energy bills? Now is the time to take action! Getting started is easy with the Energy Optimization program. Cash incentives are available to help offset the upfront cost of energy-efficient equipment—which can help you save energy and money for years to come. A few of the energy-saving opportunities currently available include:

FREE Farm Energy Assessment:

To begin understanding more about your farm’s energy usage, take advantage of our free assessment. The complimentary assessment will help identify where and how to implement practical, energy-saving alternatives to outdated, inefficient equipment.

Incentives For Energy-Efficient Products And Equipment: Receive cash back when you purchase and install energyefficient measures such as: • • • • • • • •

Low-energy livestock waterers Fans and controls Milk-handling equipment Variable speed pumps and controllers Dairy refrigeration tune-ups Irrigation system upgrades LED grow lights and poultry lights Long-day lighting systems

Incentives For Custom Projects:

Have an energy efficiency project in mind, but don’t see it on our list? The Energy Optimization program will work with you to provide incentives for innovative and unique energy efficiency projects designed to meet specific needs. Contact us to discuss your ideas!

Learn More Read about how your neighbors have utilized Energy Optimization program incentives to improve the energy efficiency of their agribusinesses at michigan-energy.org/testimonials. Relevant articles include: • “Coulter Farms Harvest Big Savings” • “Coveyou Scenic Farm Market Flourishes with Energy Savings” • “Award-winning Labor Housing Reaps Great Savings for Friske Orchards” • “Sklarczyk Seed Farm Shines Bright with LED Grow Lights” Get started today. View all farm services incentives at michigan-energy.org or call 877.296.4319 for details.

ENERGY SAVINGS ARE ON THE HORIZON The Energy Optimization program provides Michigan farmers with energy-saving incentives and solutions that can improve your bottom line: • FREE energy assessment • Cash incentives for energy-saving lighting, fans, pumps, and more • Custom rebates for large or complex projects

michigan-energy.org P H O N E : 877.296.4319 ONLINE:

Energy Optimization programs and incentives are applicable to Michigan electric service locations only. Other restrictions may apply. For a complete list of participating utilities, visit michigan-energy.org.

Most votes on Facebook!

GLE Photo Contest Cutest Kids 1. Donna and Her Doggy——Sarah Harris, Baldwin 2. Pumpkin Cutie Pie——Janet Zilka, Carp Lake 3. Froggin’ Ring Bearer——Brieann Carey, East Jordan 4. The Adventures of Fletcher and Bunny——Erin Randall, Beaver Island 5. Cutest Cousins——Mary Handwerk, Petoskey 6. Hope Loves to Smell the Flowers——Stacey Buchinger, Vanderbilt





Submit Your “Food And Drinks” Photo!

Each month members can submit photos on Facebook or our website for our annual photo contest. The photo with the most votes on Facebook is published here along with other selections.


Enter to win a


energy bill credit!

Our January contest theme is Food and Drinks. Photos can be submitted by January 20 to be featured in the March issue.

How To Enter:

Visit Facebook.com/greatlakesenergy and click “Photo Contest” from the menu tabs. Not on Facebook? You can also enter the contest at gtlakes.com/photocontest/. Make sure to vote and encourage others to vote for you, too. The photo receiving the most votes from our online and Facebook contest will be printed in an issue of Michigan Country Lines along with some of our other favorites. All photos printed in the magazine in 2019 will be entered to win a $200 bill credit in December 2019.




Pasta Perfect Quick, tasty and filling pasta recipes. Photos—Robert Bruce Photography

Winning Recipe!

Gigi’s Famous Farfalle And Sausage Pasta Gigi Bozzano, Midwest Energy & Communications

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 pound Italian sausages (sweet or spicy), casings removed before cooking ¼ to ¾ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper (optional according to taste) ½ small onion (red or white), finely chopped 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced (optional) 1 can (28-ounces) crushed tomatoes (with puree) ¾ cup heavy whipping cream 1 pound farfalle (DeCecco brand works well) • salt for pasta water: 1 tablespoon table salt or 1.5 tablespoons kosher salt ½ cup packed fresh basil, chiffonade right before serving • grated pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano Heat olive oil on medium heat in a large (12-inch) heavy skillet. When simmering, add Italian sausage and crushed red pepper. Sauté sausage until no longer pink, breaking it up with a wooden spoon while it cooks for about 5–6 minutes. Add chopped onion and garlic; reduce heat. Cook until soft but don’t let brown, 3–4 minutes. Add tomatoes and cream and reduce heat to a simmer (so the cream doesn’t curdle). After about 5 minutes, taste. If the sauce is a little acidic, add ½ teaspoon sugar. Meanwhile, fill a large pot with water. Add salt and bring to a boil. When boiling vigorously, add pasta and cook until it still has a 10 JANUARY 2019

“bite;” undercook it by about 3 minutes, as it will finish cooking in the sauce in the skillet. When the pasta is ready, reserve and set aside 1 cup pasta water. Drain pasta or remove with a large slotted spoon and add to sauce/sausage. Toss pasta and sauce over medium-low heat and toss until all the sauce coats the pasta. Add pasta water by ¼ cups to ensure the sauce stays creamy and coats everything. The dish usually requires at least ½ cup of pasta water. After 2–3 minutes, taste pasta for doneness, and if it’s “al dente,” remove from burner. Taste for seasoning. If you think it needs salt, remember that cheese adds salt. Transfer to a large serving dish and chiffonade* and add fresh basil. Toss pasta with basil. Serve the grated cheese on the side. Gigi’s Tip: Basil chiffonade Pile basil leaves on top of one another and gently roll into a cigar shape. With a sharp knife, cut basil into thin strips. I’ve been making this for 30 years and it’s my most requested dish. Buon appetito a tutti! (Enjoy your meal!)

Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at micoopkitchen.com/videos

Pasta Salad With Lemon Vinaigrette


Laura Burke, Great Lakes Energy 8 1 2 1 ¼ 3 1

ounces uncooked small shell pasta pint grape tomatoes, halved cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach yellow bell pepper, chopped cup red onion, chopped tablespoons chopped fresh dill package (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese

Lemon Vinaigrette ¼ cup fresh lemon juice 1 teaspoon dijon mustard 1 large clove garlic, minced ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper ½ cup vegetable oil

Cook pasta according to directions; drain. Toss pasta with remaining ingredients. For dressing, whisk together first five ingredients. Gradually add oil in a steady stream, whisking until blended. Toss pasta salad with dressing. Serve immediately or cover and chill up to 8 hours. Enjoy.

Jake Ingle knows it takes a team to create a successful snowboard half-pipe and it helps when a member of that team knows how to warm everyone up with something hot and delicious at the end of a day. Bill Van Gilder is an FIS technical delegate at half-pipe Grand Prix events. His family owns a restaurant in the Pocono Mountains——Van Gilder’s Jubilee Restaurant. So, when Bill is cooking up something——everyone knows it’s a meal that is not to be missed.

Mostaccioli Bake Susan Miner, Cherryland 8 1½ ½ 1 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 ¹⁄8 1 2 ½

ounces uncooked mostaccioli pounds hamburger cup chopped onion clove garlic can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes can (8 ounces) tomato sauce can (6 ounces) tomato paste cup water teaspoon salt teaspoon sugar teaspoon basil teaspoon pepper bay leaf cups shredded mozzarella cheese cup fresh grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 F. Cook mostaccioli. In a saucepan, cook beef and onion until done.

Jubilee Bean Turkey Chili

Add garlic; cook 1 minute and drain. Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, salt, sugar, basil and pepper. Add bay leaf and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf; stir in mostaccioli. Spoon half of the meat mixture into a 9x13 pan and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese; layer with remaining meat mixture. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Cover and bake 30–35 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes.

Appetizers and Snacks: due February 1 Breakfast and Brunch: due March 1 Submit your favorite recipe for a chance to win a $50 bill credit and have your recipe featured in Country Lines with a photo and a video. Go to micoopkitchen.com for more information and to register.

Enter to win a


energy bill credit!

1 1 3 ½ ½ 28 28 14 14 14 14 14 2 1 1 • • •

lb. ground turkey medium onion cloves of garlic yellow pepper orange pepper ounces crushed tomatoes, undrained ounces diced tomatoes, undrained ounces black beans, drained ounces kidney beans, drained ounces pink beans, drained ounces Northern beans, drained ounces black-eyed peas, drained tablespoons chili powder tablespoon coriander tablespoon cumin dash of cayenne pepper salt and pepper to taste olive oil

Heat oil in pan on stove top. Sauté the garlic, chopped onions, and peppers until they begin to sweat. Add ground turkey until cooked through and mix. Move mixture to large pot. Rinse and drain all beans and add all ingredients to the pot, including the beans. Mix thoroughly. Simmer on low heat for 1.5 hours, mixing lightly as needed. Salt and pepper to taste. Chili can be frozen as well. It’s always better the next day! Read the full story about Jake Ingle and his half-pipe expertise on page 14 and visit micoopkitchen.com to find this recipe and others. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES


FRUITS of the FAMILY TREE By James A. Curtis Photos courtesy of Thomas Mann, Great Lakes Energy and the Friske family

Richard Friske, Jr.


ichard Friske, Jr., nearly glides along his family’s orchard, bouncing between trees like a hummingbird as he examines perfect apple after perfect apple. Though Richard is nearing 60, his boyish enthusiasm is contagious while vivid leaves sail on the wind and foreshadow the end of the growing season. “I love the seasonal cycle, from blossom to fruit, and watching everything come to fruition,” said Friske. “God has given me a love for what I do, and a passion to continue it with my family.”

Four Generations On The Farm

Friske (pronounced Frisky) and his wife, Wendy, are the second-generation proprietors of Friske Orchards and Farm Market in Ellsworth. Richard’s parents immigrated to Michigan from Germany in 1952 and purchased the 240acre farm a decade later. Richard grew up with his brother and sister on the farm that has since grown to 350 acres, and together they carried on their parents’ tradition. In 1983, Richard and his brother assumed ownership of the operation—the same year Richard and Wendy were married. While Richard’s sister remains a significant part of market operations today, his brother eventually moved on from the farm. Richard and Wendy have gone on to run the farm for 35 years and raise three children—all who became involved in the farm and market operations which are now home to four generations of Friskes. 12 JANUARY 2019

Fruits Of Their Labor

Friske Orchards produces crops all growing-season long, including asparagus, strawberries, cherries, apricots, peaches, pears, plums, raspberries, and nectarines. Apples are by far the biggest crop, with 30 varieties growing on 130 acres. Most of the trees in the orchard have been replanted over the past 55 years, but some acres of trees more than 100 years old remain. The operation has grown steadily over the years. Between the orchard and the farm market, the businesses employ about 12 individuals year-round and up to 50 during peak season. A true family farm, Friske’s family comprises a large part of the full-time year-round staff. Much of the fruits of their labor are sold through local distributor Cherry Capital Foods at local and regional grocery stores and markets, as well as thousands of bushels of apples to Michigan schools every year. Friske also makes cider from their apples and sells about 30,000 gallons per year at the market and through distribution. The Friskes proudly call their farm market on Highway 31 “not your average fruit stand,” and rightfully so. The market features fresh produce, a bakery with an award-winning pie, breakfast and lunch café, and an old-fashioned general store. It also offers a seasonal, farm animal petting zoo, as well as a self-guided nature walk, live music, wagon rides, an outdoor playland, and they host educational group tours and school field trips during the harvest season.

“Our retail operation has become very solid over the last 10 years,” said Friske. “In fact, we’re planning to build a brandnew farm market on our current site.”

The Friske family from left are Richie and Kasey, Heidi, Wendy and Richard, and Jon.

Efficient To The Core

As the orchard has grown over the years, so has the Friske’s investment in efficiency and sustainability. Recently, the orchard adopted a revolutionary new high-density planting system for apple trees to be more productive per acre. The trees are smaller, closer together, require less pruning, are easier for workers to pick, and provide options for machineassisted picking. In addition, Friske Orchards is verified by the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) in recognition for their high level of commitment to agricultural stewardship and environmental protection. They’re also certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for good agricultural and handling practices. “Being a good steward of our environment is very important to us,” said Friske. “We take a long-term, good stewardship approach to all we do.” Because of this, Friske values the strides his electric co-op has made in environmental stewardship on his behalf. Through power supplier Wolverine Power Cooperative, more than half of the electricity Great Lakes Energy provides its members is carbon free. “I feel great about that,” said Friske. “We don’t shop for who we get our power from, so I appreciate that very important fact.”

Harvesting Achievement

On Friske Orchards’ 350 acres, migrant laborers and their on-property housing have been important to the operation since the 1980s. The old mobile homes Friske used for years became increasingly more difficult and expensive to maintain, so he wanted to support his workers with a major upgrade. Friske Orchards’ state-of-the-art worker housing facility was recognized with the Governor’s Energy Excellence Award.

Friske decided to make a significant one-time investment into a state-of-the-art, efficient housing facility for his workers. He constructed an all-electric facility that utilizes low-maintenance construction materials and the most efficient water heaters, heat pumps, and appliances— many of which qualified for rebates through Great Lakes Energy’s Energy Optimization Program. The facility’s rooftop was also built with a 20 kW solar system that produces about as much power as the facility uses each year. The facility soon became a model for housing around the state and garnered enough praise to receive first place in the agricultural division of last year’s Governor’s Energy Excellence Award. “We were overwhelmingly surprised,” said Friske, “but we’re thankful to Great Lakes Energy for helping us with the process and getting connected with the Energy Optimization program. “We really value the relationship we have with Great Lakes Energy. The co-op is great. It’s different than any public utility you ever deal with, and private vendors,” said Friske. “Everyone we work with treats us so well, and like we’re part of the operation. You really do feel like a member.”

Planting New Roots

Looking forward to the next five years, Richard and Wendy Friske are ripe with excitement over what the future holds. The pair are preparing to remain on the orchard property and transition ownership and responsibilities to their children—just as they transitioned from Richard’s parents 35 years ago. “My kids are all saying now what I did at their age—that they’re going to continue the family farm without working as hard as their parents,” said Friske, laughing at the irony. “I love being around the family and the orchard. I’m a farmer at heart, and I’m very grateful and happy that our children are all involved.”



Building Dreams OUT OF SNOW

By Emily Haines Lloyd Photos courtesy of Tripp Fay

The Zaugg pipe monster is the machine used to rough carve the super-pipe at Colorado's Copper Mountain.


ike all sculptures, creating a masterpiece begins with an artist’s vision. Then the artist expertly makes use of the tools he or she has learned to use, and cuts, chips, and scrapes away at the material until beauty is revealed. For artists like Petoskey resident Jake Ingle, his material of choice is snow, his tools are anything from a giant snowcat dozer to a handheld shovel, and the result is an enviable living work of art called the half-pipe.

Jake Ingle uses the Red Number 9 to help build a legendary half-pipe for Olympic athletes. This machine was “the best snowcat” in South Korea, Jake attests.

“You live for these moments. To give these folks an amazing ride. For me, it was the perfect experience.” — JAKE INGLE

Skiing and snowboarding half-pipes, like the ones Ingle creates, are expertly-crafted, snow-made ramps with a U-shaped cross-section. This shape allows winter-loving athletes to perform remarkable aerial jumps and maneuvers that defy the general public’s imaginations. The journey to creating and building these massive canvases started in a much smaller way for Ingle. It began with a love of outdoor and winter sports that Ingle shared with his whole family, as well as a mentality to “thrive, not just survive” the cold Appleton, Wis., winters. It eventually meant heading off to college at Gogebic Community College in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to study ski area management. That led to an internship at Copper Mountain in Colorado, which led to building some of the most enviable half-pipes in the country and, as they say, things snowballed from there. “I just loved to snowboard and thought I’d go be a ski bum after high school,” said Ingle. “It would have been impossible then to imagine what I’d be doing now.” His half-pipe-building work got national attention when the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association approached him, Ingle said. From there, Ingle

14 JANUARY 2019

Top left: A view from the finish-line area of Jake and his team's super-pipe and boarder-cross venues at the 2018 Olympics in South Korea. Top Right: A spectator views the Mammoth Mountain Grand Prix Olympic Qualifier super-pipe all lit up and in its glory. Left: Jake Ingle and his wife, Clare, prepare to watch one of the fruits of Jake’s labor——the Grand Prix super-pipe event in Snowmass, Co.

started working on U.S. Grand Prix and FIS World Cup events—building massive half-pipes, as well as a reputation for himself. Working on these large competitive events eventually led to a recommendation from Roberto Moresi, the World Cup race director, to build the half pipe for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Along with Ingle’s partner Mark Pevny and Austria-based colleague Alli Zehetner, the trio set out to create a work of art for the largest sporting stage in the world. “There were definitely some nerves. The half-pipes at both the Vancouver and Sochi Olympics had gotten a lot of negative feedback,” said Ingle. “The weather was brutal and made building and maintaining the pipe so hard. You really feel for those guys who worked on those pipes when there’s so much out of your control. ”Ingle and his team began their plans well in advance with site visits, measurements, drawings and a picture in mind they hoped would live up to the reality. The building of the pipe itself is half construction site, half science experience. The team of 70 used huge construction dozers, taking days to build the first wall alone, followed by half-pipe cutter machines, and huge snow blowers. Following these massive tools, Ingle and crew pulled out the shovels and more than a few specialty tools that he has developed as a result of his experience.

We use “centimeter-accurate equipment,” Ingle said. Ingle and his partners completed their work of art in a little over two weeks and with more than a little pride. In the end, the half-pipe at the Phoenix Snow Park in Pyeongchang was 650 feet long with 24-feet-tall walls and 82.5 degrees of verticality. It surpassed even their own wildest dreams. Feedback from the Pyeongchang games was remarkably different than the previous two Olympics. Rave reviews of Ingle’s half-pipe came in from snowboarding gold medalist Shaun White’s coach and 2012 bronze medalist, JJ Thomas, as well as Mike Jankowski, head coach of the U.S. Freeskiing and U.S. Snowboarding teams. “You live for these moments,” said Ingle. “To give these folks an amazing ride. For me, it was the perfect experience.”

Watch a video of Jake Ingle building the half-pipe for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea at countrylines.com.


Who Are Your Directors? The directors of your electric cooperative are Great Lakes Energy members and part of your communities just like you.

Historic Farms Honored Two farms served by Great Lakes Energy were recently recognized as historical farms. An Ottawa County centennial farm owned by Great Lakes Energy member Patricia Lindberg of Coopersville was recently certified as a sesquicentennial farm. An Allegan County centennial farm owned by Leslie, Lois, and Marcia Keith of Plainwell was also certified as a sesquicentennial farm. Great Lakes Energy is a sponsor of the Michigan Centennial Farm Program that honors Great Lakes Energy members and other Michigan residents whose farms have been owned and operated by the same family for at least 100 years. Centennial farms that continue to be owned and operated by the same family for at least 150 years can be certified as a sesquicentennial farm. Once a farm is certified, the owners receive a certificate as well as a display marker for their farm. GLE members can request an application or receive more information about the program by contacting The Historical Society of Michigan, 517-324-1828, or by visiting their website at centennialfarms.org.

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Like many GLE members, Robert Kran understands how it feels to have roots in the area he represents (District 6— Mason and Lake counties). He’s the third generation to farm land near Free Soil, a farm that was purchased in the 1920s by his grandfather. The Krans are longtime members of St. John Cantius Church in Free Soil. Kran spent 38 years operating the family dairy business, which expanded over time to 180 milk cows and 650 acres of cropland. He represented western Michigan dairy farmers as a director of the Michigan Milk Producers Association for 15 years, including six as vice president. Kran and his wife, Betty, who retired after 37 years of teaching, have two grown children and two grandchildren. After selling their dairy herd in 2014, the Krans now grow corn, alfalfa, wheat, oats and soybeans on 500 acres of land.

Director Robert Kran represents District 6 and is a third-generation family farmer.

In his role with GLE, Kran serves on the audit committee and chairs the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association (MECA) Board of Directors. MECA is a statewide organization that provides support services to Michigan electric co-ops. Community service runs strong with Kran, who serves on the Mason County District Library board and is a Free Soil township trustee. Having been an agribusiness owner and still an active part of his community, Kran understands the importance of serving people and being involved in projects that count. That’s part of the cooperative difference he brings to Great Lakes Energy.

Great Lakes Energy members are reminded to be aware of impostors who may call them claiming to be from Great Lakes Energy.



Any GLE member who receives a call from someone claiming to be from Great Lakes Energy and feels pressured for immediate payment or personal information is advised to hang up the phone and call their electric cooperative. Great Lakes Energy members can call 1-888-485-2537 and speak to any GLE member service representative. Co-op members, or any consumer, should never give out personal information, including financial account numbers or social security numbers, over the phone or internet to someone they do not know. Members should also report the incident to local law enforcement authorities.

GLE Awards

Nearly $30,000

In Learning Grants For the seventh year in a row, Great Lakes Energy showed support for local communities by awarding nearly $30,000 in grants to promote learning, innovation and technology in the classroom.

Inland Lakes Elementary, Indian River: $1,406.04 for STEAM supplies (i.e., Legos, Spheros, Osmo kits).

The 19 schools within GLE’s service area awarded grants for their learning projects are:

McBain Middle School: $2,000 for Wonder Workshop Dash Robots.

Allendale Christian School: $1,000 to help fund iPads for music class.

Petoskey High School: $2,000 for Project Impac to improve transition services for students.

Cadillac High School: $2,000 for Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Computer Science Essentials.

St. Mary School, Big Rapids: $1,000 to help fund iPads for STREAM programs.

Charlevoix Middle School: $1,950 for data gathering and analysis project in science and math classrooms.

Thornapple Kellogg High School, Middleville: $750.48 for classroom podcast studio.

Covenant Christian School, Ludington: $1,379 for document camera and a projector for student presentations and instruction.

Tri-County High School, Howard City: $2,000 for water quality testing project.

East Jordan Middle/High School: $900 to help fund video equipment to enhance video production class. Ellsworth Community School: $1,949.99 for Spheros Robot Material for a STEM class. Grant High School: $2,000 for a high school engineering and career readiness training initiative.

Mason County Central School, Scottville: $2,000 for Tower Gardens to grow plants indoors using aeroponic technology.

Newaygo Public Schools: $2,000 for Rural Robotics and Coding with Misty II.

Vanderbilt Area School: $1,682.60 for placebased forestry project materials to promote sustainability and community involvement. Walkerville Public Schools: $2,000 for sturdy headphones and Chromebooks/iPads. Wayland High School: $792.09 for Sun Sprint Solar Car kit. White Cloud Elementary: $941.24 for light table with manipulatives to explore letters, shapes and colors.

Luke Francis received a $2,000 Great Lakes Energy grant to help fund a rural robotics and coding project that will benefit some 120 middle and high school students he teaches at Newaygo Public Schools.


Win Prizes

Doug and Brenda Hoeve of Dorr are the grand prize winners of an LED TV in a random drawing that was part of Great Lakes Energy’s Co-op Month celebration. Annette Montminy of Scottville won second prize, which is $100 worth of LED lights. Third prize, $50 worth of LED lights, went to Nick and Ashton Jakeway of Petoskey. Thank you to the hundreds of Great Lakes Energy members who entered and also took advantage of our energy-saving gifts giveaway. Continue to save by visiting www. michiganenergy.org for news on current energy-saving rebate offers.


Guess this photo and enter to win a

MI CO-OP Community


energy bill credit!


Oliver And My Father Where In Michigan Is This? Identify the correct location of the photo above by January 20 and be entered into a drawing to win a $50 electric bill credit. Enter your guess at countrylines.com or send by mail to: Country Lines Mystery Photo, 201 Townsend St., Suite 900, Lansing, MI 48933. Include the name on your account, address, phone number and the name of your co-op. Our Mystery Photo Contest winner from the November/December 2018 issue is Paul Bosker, a Great Lakes Cooperative member, who correctly identified the photo as the underside of the Mackinac Bridge. Winners are announced in the following issues of Country Lines: January, March, May, July/August, September and November/December.

November/December 2018

By Karen Reilly, Midwest Energy & Communications member

My father, my hero, was a jovial man who loved to share stories of the past. I especially enjoyed hearing about life on the family farm in Dowagiac. This is a story I captured from him nearly 20 years ago from his point of view. “Back in the 1940s, life around the family farm in Dowagiac really began to change. The outhouse hole was filled in and, for the first time, we had running water in the house. This made everyday chores, such as dishwashing and bathing, much easier. However, the biggest innovation of the decade for us was the gasoline-powered tractor. My first tractor was a shiny green one built by Oliver. At the front base of its long body were two small tires. In the rear were two large tires with thick treads. Compared to the small wheels on the family Buick, these were some of the biggest tires I ever saw! The tractor had the strength of 10 horses. The plow, planter, disk, brush chopper and trailer that attached to the back of the tractor revolutionized life on the farm. Work could be done in a fraction of the time, and with the bright headlamp on the front of the tractor, we could work past daylight, if needed. We planted larger plots of land and harvested greater quantities of crops. I had to save for that new Oliver—$800 was a lot of money back then. But, she was worth every penny. I sold the tractor in the late ’40s for $1,000; I wanted to buy a Chevy convertible. In the late 1980s, I heard my old tractor was once again looking for a home. By then I had newer, more powerful machines, but for old times’ sake, I decided to take my Oliver tractor back to the farm and fi x her up. She doesn’t do much farm work anymore. Like me, she’s retired. She sure looks good, though, in that shiny, new coat of green with the little wheels in the front, and the great big ones in back. I think I will hang onto her for a while.” The original family farm in Dowagiac still stands and will turn 100 years old in the next few years. My dad built his farm just down the road from it and it remains our home today. And the Oliver tractor is also still in our family.

Photo courtesy of Thomas Mann

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Karen is a co-op member who is a nature-lover at heart and enjoys bird-watching, exploring woodlands, gardening and long walks. She is a dean at a community college and lives at and runs her father's farm with her husband.


You can add a Well-Connect to your home for about the same price (after incentives) as a conventional HVAC system. A typical installation is completed in 1 day.

Call for a FREE Site Visit

Hybrid Geothermal

wellconnectsaves.com 989-356-2113

gtlakes.com facebook.com/greatlakesenergy

Applications Due Feb. 28 Tour Dates: June 15–20, 2019


From the battleeelds of Gettysburg to the halls of Congress in Washington, D.C.,

Youth Tour will explore the leadership

lessons of our nation’s history and immerse you in the cooperative spirit. Learn more about this FREE leadership travel opportunity, sponsored by the electric cooperatives of Michigan, at CooperativeYouthTour.com.