Cherryland Jan 2021

Page 1

January 2021


COUNTRY LINES Cherryland Electric Cooperative

Navigating Change In The White House

Farmers’ Co-op Promotes Local Food That Time I Stole A Moving Van

THE MUSKEGON Luge Adventure Sports Park:




IN YOUR BACKYARD You may not realize it, but your home is sitting on a free and renewable supply of energy. A WaterFurnace geothermal comfort system taps into the stored solar energy in your own backyard to provide savings of up to 70% on heating, cooling and hot water. That’s money in the bank and a smart investment in your family’s comfort. Contact your local WaterFurnace dealer today to learn how to tap into your buried treasure. YOUR LOCAL WATERFURNACE DEALERS Bad Axe/Cass City Thumb Clg & Htg (855) 206-5457 thumbcooling

Clifford Orton Refrig & Htg (989) 761-7691 sandusky

Berrien Springs WaterFurnace Michiana (269) 473-5667 gogreenmich

Manistique / Naubinway Hoholik Enterprises Inc. 906.341.5065

Portland ESI Htg & Clg (517) 647-6906

Hart Adams Htg & Clg (231) 873-2665 adamsheating

Michigan Center Comfort 1/Aire Serv of Southern Michigan (517) 764-1500 southern-michigan

Sunfield Mark Woodman Plmb & Htg (517) 886-1138

Big Rapids Stratz Htg & Clg, Inc. (231) 796-3717

Indian River M & M Plmb & Htg (231) 238-7201

Mt Pleasant Walton Htg & Clg (989) 772-4822

Caro Kozy Home Htg & Clg (989) 673-4328

Mancelona Top Notch Htg, Clg, & Geothermal 231.350.8052

Muskegon Adams Htg & Clg (231) 873-2665 adamsheating

visit us at

Traverse City D & W Mechanical (231) 941-1215 Geofurnace Htg & Clg (231) 943-1000

WaterFurnace is a registered trademark of WaterFurnace International, Inc.


January 2021 Vol. 41, No. 1



Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Casey Clark EDITOR: Christine Dorr GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Karreen Bird RECIPE EDITOR: Christin McKamey COPY EDITOR: Yvette Pecha CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: Emily Haines Lloyd PUBLISHER: Michigan Electric Cooperative Association Michigan Country Lines, USPS-591-710, 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: Robert Kran, Great Lakes Energy, chairman; Tony Anderson, Cherryland Electric Cooperative, vice chairman; Eric Baker, Wolverine Power Cooperative, secretary-treasurer; Craig Borr, president and CEO.

CONTACT US/LETTERS TO EDITOR: Michigan Country Lines 201 Townsend St., Suite 900 Lansing, MI 48933 248-534-7358 CHANGE OF ADDRESS: Please

notify your electric cooperative. See page 4 for contact information.


6 INTO THE WILD The Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park offers space for much-needed (and safe) outdoor time this winter.

14 THRILL-SEEKERS WELCOME AT THE MUSKEGON LUGE ADVENTURE SPORTS PARK If you're seeking daring, Olympics-caliber fun, look no further than Muskegon.

10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN Salad Night: Recipes to turn plain old greens into a hearty and healthy meal.

18 GUEST COLUMN Remembering glass bottles and the milkman.

Legend says a couple displayed their love for one another by jumping off the top of this rock arch together. That’s why it’s called Lover’s Leap. But don’t try it! The water there is only a few feet deep. @michiganskymedia, Tyler Leipprandt

Be featured!

Use #micoopcommunity for a chance to be featured here and on our Instagram account.

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


To enter contests, submit reader content & more, visit





Up Next: Tacos, Garden Fresh Share your favorite recipes.

Up Next: Winter Fun! Tell us about your favorite winter activity location (downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, biking, ice skating, etc.)

Submit your fondest memories and stories.

Enter a drawing to identify the correct location of the photo.

Win $150 for stories published!

Win a $50 bill credit!

Win a $50 bill credit!

See page 18


3 /cherrylandelectriccoop @cherrylandec BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Tom Van Pelt, President 231-386-5234

David Schweitzer, Senior Vice President 231-883-5860 Gabe Schneider, Secretary 517-449-6453 Melinda Lautner, Treasurer 231-947-2509 Terry Lautner, Director 231-946-4623 John Olson, Director 231-938-1228

Jon Zickert, Director 231-631-1337 General Manager: Tony Anderson Co-op Editors: Rachel Johnson, Rob Marsh

OFFICE HOURS Monday–Friday 7:30 a.m.– 4 p.m. TELEPHONE NUMBERS 231-486-9200 or 1-800-442-8616 (Mich.) ADDRESS P.O. Box 298, Grawn, MI 49637 PAY STATION Cherryland Electric Cooperative office 5930 U.S. 31 South, Grawn MI, 49637 Cherryland Electric Cooperative is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

4 JANUARY 2021

CO-OP NEWS Rebate Forms Due By End Of January Members looking to receive credits for energy efficiency upgrades performed during 2020 must have their rebate forms to Cherryland by Jan. 31. Forms received on Feb. 1 will not be accepted for items purchased and installed in 2020. If you have questions regarding rebates, visit our website or contact our energy use advisor at 231-486-9261 or

Office Closed For Employee Training The Cherryland office will be closed the morning of Monday, Jan. 18, for employee training. The office will open for business at 1 p.m. that day. Line crews are on call to respond to any outages or emergencies. You can report your outage via text, through SmartHub, or by calling us at 231-486-9200. Visit our website’s Outage Center to learn more.

Serve On Cherryland’s Board Any qualified Cherryland member can be elected to serve a three-year term on the cooperative’s board of directors. Two directors will be elected at this year’s Annual Meeting, including one at-large director and one Grand Traverse/Kalkaska director. To be nominated in 2021, candidates can file a petition with the cooperative’s administrative assistant starting the first day of March until 4 p.m. on the last business day of March. Information regarding the nominating process can be found on the co-op’s website at For more information regarding board nominations and the election process, review Article III of the co-op’s bylaws on our website.

Cherryland Offers Five Scholarships Cherryland offers five scholarships—three worth $4,000 ($1,000 for four years) for high school seniors and two for $1,000 each for adult scholarships (post-high school). Applications for both scholarships are available on our website. The deadline for applications is Friday, April 2.

Cherryland Announces Date Of 83rd Annual Meeting Cherryland’s 83rd Annual Meeting will take place Thursday, June 10. The planned location of the Annual Meeting is Incredible Mo’s in Grawn, if allowable under social distancing rules at that time. Cherryland will provide updates regarding the 83rd Annual Meeting in Michigan Country Lines, on its website, and through social media.

Navigating Change Tony Anderson, General Manager


have lost track of how many presidential elections I have gone through since I started working for electric cooperatives in the early 1980s. The number really isn’t relevant. The lessons learned over the decades are what is most important.

change legislation will be tempered by the Republican-led Senate and a weakened Democratic majority in the House. The battle for control of the House in just two short years almost assures no comprehensive legislation on climate.

I have learned to not get excited, remain calm and settle in for the long game. The politics and rhetoric of each divisive and drawn-out campaign often sound far worse than the reality of any four-year term, regardless of the party. Why? That’s an easy answer: Both sides want to get elected again and the next election campaign starts the day after the inauguration.

Instead, President Biden will use his executive powers to roll back some of the changes the Trump executive orders put in place. Every utility in the country is expecting the rollbacks. The first is likely to be rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement. The U.S. is hitting the numbers in this agreement already. So, it will be an easy win for the new administration and a “no never mind” in the utility world.

At the federal level, Cherryland works with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). NRECA has dozens of lobbyists who work the halls of Congress dealing with well over 100 issues that affect 900 electric cooperatives in 48 states. NRECA is adept at dealing with both sides of the aisle and has been since the early 1960s.

Going forward, Republicans will not want to be categorized as anti-environment and Democrats will not want to go all the way to the Green New Deal left. Neither can get re-elected unless they steer toward the middle. This will allow for some bipartisan discussions on climate issues like electric vehicles.

Infrastructure will be near the top of the agenda for President Biden. The leader in this area will be broadband in rural areas. There will soon be 400 electric cooperatives in the fiber business across the country. While Cherryland is not one of these, we are facilitating projects with private companies to utilize our rights-of-way.

EVs will provide an opportunity for both sides to claim they created jobs while saving the environment. Both statements will be true. The winner will be utilities like Cherryland who are prepared and ready to serve the increased electric load that EVs will bring. In turn, every member wins when sales go up and rates remain stable.

Democrats and Republicans both serve rural cooperative areas. Broadband will be an area that they can agree on. NRECA will be one of a number of entities trying to bridge the gaps to bring them together to improve everyone’s access to the internet as the country adapts to some manner of long-term working from home after the pandemic.

So, despite whatever your news channel of choice tells you, there are plenty of opportunities for cooperation and improvements over the next four years. There will surely be bumps in the road, but they are ruts we have covered in the past. There is no doom and gloom in our political future. There is just one more winding path of change that we have navigated many times before.

A Green New Deal simply won’t happen in the years ahead. Will we work on climate change? Absolutely. Climate





By Emily Haines Lloyd Photos by Diane Rhode & Ryan Brown


ith Michiganders on the long end of a year that limited us in the everyday activities we often enjoy, the outdoors was a respite through the summer and fall. As we enter the winter months, many are wondering how to keep a degree of sanity and avoid the dreaded cabin fever. Enter Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. Affectionately called The Porkies, Michigan’s largest state park, located in Ontonagon, offers a bevy of outdoor activities. It’s also easy to maintain a healthy level of social distancing with the over 60,000 acres of wilderness to explore.



“People come to the Porkies with different mindsets,” said Katie Urban, park interpreter (maybe the best job title ever). “Some folks want to go on a crazy adventure, that physical act to burn off their energy. Some are looking for some peace and quiet. I just tell people, either way, just make sure you take a moment to look around and take it all in.” The park also has acres of woods, wild animals (don’t worry, they tend to keep their distance), and the well-known Lake of the Clouds—one of the most photographed features in the Upper Peninsula. There are also plenty of more structured activities to check out. The downhill ski slope is covered in snow made entirely by Mother Nature

and offers thrilling trails of fresh powder. It’s the perfect opportunity to try out cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on gorgeously-groomed trails for both the experienced and newbies. Or join Urban on a weekly guided hike by riding the ski lift to the top of the mountains, taking in the vista, and then hiking back to base camp.

Perhaps one of the more inspiring opportunities in winter is the Lantern Walk, a one-mile loop on which to either cross-country ski, snowshoe, or walk with lanterns lighting the way. When the moon is out and shining, it does some of the heavy lifting for the lamps, and in either case, the sky provides fantastical views of the stars for all.

The Porkies also allow for winter camping. You can chart where to pitch your tent with the help of the ranger station for dispersed camping or rent one of the cabins or yurts for your crew. The trek out to the cabins is as much fun as the camping itself and includes wood to keep the fire roaring.

“There’s nothing quite like it,” confirms Urban. “It’s the kind of quiet that brings an amazing amount of peace. It’s obviously great for us physically to be out in nature, but I’m always surprised at how beneficial it is mentally and emotionally as well. It’s a whole other level of happiness.”

“There really is just so much to do and see,” said Urban. “The best part of what I do is watching people engaging with nature, learning something new, experiencing a new sport, or starting a new passion. Everything up here is inspiring.”

For more information visit or call 906-885-5275.

“Everything up here is inspiring.” —Katie Urban



keeping it fresh Farmers’ Co-op Promotes Local Food By Rob Marsh


t’s true what they say: There’s strength in numbers. A group of people coming together to achieve their collective goals is how co-ops come to life. About seven years ago, a group of local farmers had the idea to band together and collectively “cut out the middleman” when it came to marketing its products to consumers in Leelanau, Grand Traverse, and Benzie counties. Today, it is known as MI Farm Co-op. MI Farm Co-op sells and distributes fresh produce from 10 local farms wholesale to restaurants, caterers, schools, grocery stores, and other food-related businesses, as well as directly to consumers. This includes everything from seasonal fruits and vegetables to fresh bread and meat. Claire Butler, MI Farm Co-op’s marketing and community supported agriculture (CSA) coordinator, joined the organization as an intern last year. Excited to be working with those invested and interested in the local food community, Butler recently shared what their co-op’s all about and explained why it’s special to our region.

8 JANUARY 2021

How did MI Farm Co-op come about? It began as a startup with Nic Welty from 9 Bean Rows, Jim Swantees, Ryan Eby and Jim Bardenhagen from Bardenhagen Farms, with the help of the MSU Product Center, in 2014. The goal was and is to put more money in the pocket of the growers and to allow farmers to have more say in how the business is run. So far, things have been going great!

How does the co-op work? A board of farmers manages the co-op and makes decisions on how it is run. A couple of memberfarmers are then contracted to keep the co-op running smoothly. Food products are dropped off at 9 Bean Rows on Mondays and are sent out on Tuesdays either as CSA boxes or wholesale orders. In each of our CSA boxes, we have local bread, eggs, salad greens, microgreens, or shoots, and two to four pounds each of vegetables and fruit. We also have add-on packages where CSA members can add chicken or beef to their weekly box, and our pickup options at local farms, restaurants and breweries. Each CSA member also gets a weekly newsletter with recipes and cooking tips for the items in that week’s box, too!

Left: CSA members enjoy weekly deliveries of fresh fruits, vegetables, bread, eggs, and more. Right: MI Farm Co-op is made up of 10 local farms selling and distributing their products to the region.

Why should a consumer choose to purchase from MI Farm Co-op?

September 21st. We are hoping to expand this program even more in the coming year.

Anyone looking for local food should consider purchasing from MI Farm Co-op because you are able to support multiple farms with one purchase. It not only makes it exciting to get a CSA box with about five farms’ produce, but due to the co-op model, it provides a bigger payback for the growers involved.

We’re also on the lookout for our own warehouse and distribution site to accommodate our huge growing phase, and we’re excited to continue working with the schools in our area to continue to provide local food for students.

How has the co-op responded to the pandemic? We added a CSA model in 2019, and since the pandemic started in March, we have directed our efforts to get local foods in the hands of consumers and have grown that program from 30 to 100 people capacity. Our CSA model is a great way for our community of customers to get the essentials in a safe way.

What does the future look like for MI Farm Co-op? This upcoming year, we have adjusted our CSA schedule to cover most of the year, and we are especially excited about our 16-week long Summer CSA, which will run from June 8th until

Learn more about MI Farm Co-op at

MI CO-OP Recipes

Photos by Robert Bruce Photography || Recipes Submitted by MCL Readers and Tested by Recipe Editor Christin McKamey

SALAD NIGHT Make a meal out of your greens.


SOUTHWEST CHICKEN SALAD Judy Skowronski, Cherryland

4 cups shredded or cubed cooked chicken 2 cups canned or thawed frozen corn 1 cup chopped sweet peppers 1 cup black beans, optional 1 cup chopped onion 1 cup minced fresh cilantro • green, leafy lettuce (butter/bibb, romaine, etc.) Dressing: 3 tablespoons lime juice 5 tablespoons olive oil 4 teaspoons honey 2 teaspoons cumin 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon chili powder ½ teaspoon black pepper

Win a


energy bill credit!

10 JANUARY 2021


Tacos due February 1 • Garden Fresh 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 for more information.

In a large bowl, combine chicken, corn, peppers, beans (if using), onion, and cilantro. In a small bowl, whisk all dressing ingredients. Pour dressing over chicken mixture and toss to coat. Serve over salad greens. Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at


Rosemarie Ouellette, Thumb Electric 1 package Good Seasons Italian Dressing mix (or any Italian dressing mix) 1 tablespoon maple syrup 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast 1 large apple, diced into small cubes ½ cup golden raisins ½ cup walnut pieces 1 bag lettuce Prepare the dressing mix according to the package directions and add 1 tablespoon maple syrup. Cook the chicken breast via desired cooking method until tender, then dice into bite-sized pieces. Toss the chicken, apple, raisins, walnuts and lettuce in a large bowl. Sprinkle the dressing over, toss again, then serve immediately.


1 cup chopped romaine lettuce ¼ cup chopped red onion ¼ cup chopped sugar snap peas ¼ cup chopped sweet red bell pepper ¼ cup chopped radish ½ cup chopped cucumber ½ cup chopped fresh broccoli ½ cup chopped fresh cauliflower ¼ cup shredded mozzarella ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese 4 strips turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional) Dressing: ½ cup low-fat Miracle Whip salad dressing (or any salad dressing) 2 tablespoons stevia 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar ½ teaspoon dill weed Combine veggies, cheese and bacon in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the dressing ingredients, then stir into veggie mix. May be served immediately, but is even better when refrigerated for a few hours. You can omit or add chopped fresh veggies to suit your own tastes. This recipe serves two; you can easily double or triple ingredients for more servings.

CAULIFLOWER SALAD Vada Baatz, Cherryland

4 cups sliced raw cauliflower 1 cup coarsely chopped olives ²⁄ ³ cup chopped green bell pepper ½ cup chopped pimento ½ cup chopped onion Dressing: ½ cup salad oil (vegetable, canola, etc.) 3 tablespoons lemon juice 3 tablespoons white or wine vinegar 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon sugar ¼ teaspoon black pepper Combine the cauliflower, olives, green peppers, pimentos, and onion. To prepare the dressing, beat dressing ingredients with a rotary mixer or blender. Pour the dressing over the veggies; mix and stir until well blended. Refrigerate covered for 4 hours or overnight.




Electricity is becoming cleaner every day and can save consumers money on their energy costs over time.

Did you know…

Replacing your HVAC system with an electric heat pump can save you nearly $1,000 per year on your heating and cooling bills.1

Did you know…

The average cost of charging an electric car is equivalent to $1.20 per gallon of gasoline.2

Did you know…

Owning an electric vehicle can save you over $800 in annual maintenance.3

1. 2. 3.



That Time I Stole A Moving Van By Rob Marsh, Marketing & Communications Specialist


ave you ever made a decision and immediately think to yourself, “That was a dumb idea?” Of course, we all have. I was smacked upside the head with this thought recently when my family decided to move. At the time, my wife was eight months pregnant, our daughter was shy of 3 years old, and we had 24 hours to move everything. But that wasn’t the kicker. For as long as I can remember, I’ve hated moving. It takes forever, it’s mentally draining, and it’s physically exhausting. So, all things considered, this wasn’t a good time. My first plan was to wipe my hands clean and hire movers. But a charismatic friend insisted that I accept his help. I begrudgingly said “yes.” See, if I have to move myself, I would prefer to go solo. Like a brave warrior sacrificing himself to save the village, I was “selflessly” sparing others from this miserable task. The night before moving day came and it was time to pick up the rental van. When I arrived at the after-hours pickup location, I discovered that the van didn’t have a key. After a long phone conversation with the rental company, I had no choice but to drive 20 minutes out of my way to pick up a different van if we wanted one that night (moving takes forever—check). In a rotten mood, I arrive at the new location and finally get a key. I stick it into the door lock of the new van and… it’s the wrong key. It’s actually the key to a different van parked nearby. With smoke billowing from my ears, I look to my wife sitting patiently in the car and bark, “I’m taking this!” I turn the ignition and blaze off in my stolen rental van (moving is mentally draining—check). Just a few hours in and I’m already at my breaking point (and technically a felon). My stoicism wasn’t working. Whether I wanted it or not, I needed help. It was in that humbling moment that things began to change. It started with my aunt dropping by unexpectedly to help with the first load.

Then, jumping to the next day, it was followed by a friend opting to use her day off from work to help my wife open boxes and get things organized at the new house. And finally, by mid-afternoon when I’m staring at the last load of furniture and I can no longer lift my arms (moving is physically exhausting—check), two of my buddies arrive and give me a break. It’s easy to get hard-nosed and go solo when times get tough. But perhaps all that does is reinforce bad experiences and preconceived notions. When you take on a challenge with others, particularly friends and family, it can not only get easier, but you may come to realize that the obstacle isn’t that bad after all. In the end, moving wasn’t the dumb idea. It was the idea that I should take on all of life’s challenges on my own. Oh, and the van? Yeah, thanks to my wife’s levelheadedness, she got it all worked out with the rental company. Prison time avoided.

“Moving into a new house is tough, especially when your wife is eight months pregnant and your daughter is shy of 3 years old.”


THE MUSKEGON Luge Adventure Sports Park:


hile the next Winter Olympics aren’t scheduled until 2022, the spirit of winter athletes is very much alive and active—especially at the Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park that calls Muskegon State Park its home. On the Olympics, you see luge sliders (sliders, not lugers or sledders) going down icy tracks at up to 90 miles per hour, with nothing but a small sled just a few inches off the ground between them and the supersonic slope. There are just a few luge tracks in the United States, the most notable in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Lake Placid, New York, where most serious lugers train. There is a natural luge track in Negaunee, Michigan, that hosts the U.P. Luge Club. But nestled on the side of the sand dunes of Lake Michigan is a luge track that allows average folks the opportunity to fly. “We’re so lucky to have this amazing location to call home,” said Bill Bailey, lodge manager of Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park. “None of this would even be possible without our community and volunteers who have supported and helped maintain the track and the program over the years. This is a labor of love for all of us.” 14 JANUARY 2021

When the luge track was first being built in 1984, two young men were afraid their little local sledding hill would no longer be available. Builders on-site invited the two boys to help with some of the work, getting hands-on experience in what it takes to make a luge track. Both of those young men went on to become involved in competitive luge. Nearly 40 years later, one, Jim Rudicil, is now Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park’s executive director. The second, Mark Grimmette, went on to compete in five Winter Olympics games, winning silver and bronze medals. Grimmette now runs the competitive luge program at the Sports Park. “So many great sliders have gotten their start here at the Park,” said Bailey. “Luge is the kind of sport that becomes a part of you. Jim and Mark have been a part of the sport in one way or another since they first saw the track being built.” While luge definitely attracts its share of thrill-seekers, it’s accessible to anyone who wants to experience the rush of flying down a hill at speeds of up to 30 mph. Bailey and the team have made sure that those with the desire

By Emily Haines Lloyd || Photos courtesy of Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park


can experience luge—developing sleds to accommodate different physical impediments and rigging a snowmobile to get those who can’t access the stairs to the top of the hill. The Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park also offers an opportunity for every sixth-grader in the Muskegon school system to try out luge. “Luge might seem like a real niche sport, but exposing kids like those in our area to it is always awesome to see,” said Bailey. “Some kids really take to it and stick with it by joining our competitive programs.” While luge is a huge draw for the Park, those who enjoy a slightly different pace can find ski runs and a two-acre rink for hockey, figure skating, or just family fun, as well as skating trails. The Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park recently installed a 1,400-foot zip line, which got a soft launch this past fall. It also has wheel luge, archery, and paddle sports in warmer months. These are just a few ways that the Park is looking to make this gorgeous outdoor venue a draw year-round.

“We’re outdoors lovers,” said Bailey. “We want to share that with as many people as we can. Enjoying these resources and taking care of them is part of the stewardship our staff and our visitors want to be a part of to ensure they can be experienced by future generations.”

Check out DUNEiversity——team bonding experiences facilitated by the Park. There are half- or full-day sessions for corporations, sports teams, churches or scouting troops. For more information, visit 877-879-5843 462 N. Scenic Drive Muskegon, MI 49445




Winter Magic 1. “Crystal morning” by Karen Tameling  2. “West Bay to Power Island” by Ann Kennedy  3. “Oh, so many sleds!” by Ambur Hammond  4. “Frost magic” by Joel Wegman  5. “Learning to ski at 3!” by Alissa Spinniken


Most votes on Facebook!



2020 Photo Contest Winner

4 Enter to win a


energy bill credit!


“Kylemore Abbey, Connemara County, Galway, Ireland” by Jennifer Plamondon

Submit Your “Wild Animals” Photos!

Submit your best photo and encourage your friends to vote! The photo receiving the most votes in our Facebook contest will be printed in an issue of Country Lines along with some of our other favorites. Our January theme is Wild Animals. Photos can be submitted through January 20 to be featured in our March issue.

Enter Your Photos And Win A Bill Credit!

To enter the contest, visit or visit cherrylandelectriccoop and click “Photo Contest” from the menu tabs. Enter your picture, cast your vote, and encourage others to vote for you as well. If your photo is printed in Country Lines during 2021, you will be entered to win a credit of up to $200 on your December 2021 bill. 16 JANUARY 2021


Your Board In Action October Board Meeting • The board received an update from Habitat for Humanity-Grand Traverse Region regarding the progress of the Priority Home Repair program. In April 2019, Cherryland made a three-year commitment of $100,000 annually to launch the program aimed at repairing low-income homes in need of weatherization improvements locally. • The cooperative’s engineering and operations manager reported that the cooperative was on track to meet all of its electric service reliability goals. • The cooperative’s director of human resources presented to the board the results of recent union contract negotiations. The board voted to approve the new contract.

November Board Meeting • The board reviewed a draft agenda for the co-op’s annual training day in January. Every January, co-op employees spend a day receiving updates on co-op business, engaging in safety training, performing teambuilding exercises, and more. This year’s training will take place virtually. • Due to heavy rain and subsequent flooding last October, the board approved the installation of new flooring in the member service department and office areas at the Grawn office.

Members have the opportunity to provide input to the board prior to any regularly scheduled board meeting. To have your comments included in a monthly board packet for review, please submit them to Board Assistant Secretary Shannon Mattson at a minimum of three business days before the monthly board meeting.

Notice To Members Of Data Privacy Policy The Cherryland Electric Cooperative Board of Directors has adopted a policy governing the collection, use and disclosure of member account information and usage data. A full copy of the Data Privacy Policy can be found at: uploads/2019/11/Member-Data-Privacy-Tariff.pdf. If you would like a hard copy of the Data Privacy Policy, call our office at 231-486-9200 or email us at


MI CO-OP Community Guest Column

Remembering The Glass Bottles & The Milkman By Kenny Kamerer

ow many in Michigan remember greeting the milkman? Ours had orange juice, butter and even chocolate milk. I remember one winter morning in the late 1960s, my mom told me to go get the glass bottles of milk from the front porch.


The cream in the milk used to settle to the top, and my older brothers and sisters used to fight over it. It sometimes would even pop the lid off in the winter months. The reason for the cream settling at the top is because the milk wasn’t homogenized decades ago. Because milk was so perishable, delivering it daily was the safest and most cost-effective way to get milk to customers. The glass bottles, which were sealed with a waxed foil cap, were then picked up by the milkman, cleaned and reused. Eventually, it became easier and less expensive to buy milk at the stores, and the processes developed extended the milk’s shelf life, and the milkman faded into the past. I would love to taste this milk from the old days with the pure cream at the top. I’d add it to my favorite bowl of cereal, and I’m sure it would make for some very creamy mash potatoes, too. Oh, the good ole days!

wellconnectsaves.com989-356-2113 This photo is of one of many milkmen in the state of Michigan on his daily route. Photo by Midland Daily News, 1950s.

Win a


energy bill credit!

Kenny is a local truck driver who loves nature and history. He has his own Facebook nature group called Michiana Nature Lovers to share wildlife and all kinds of nature photos.

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

Nov./Dec. 2020 Winner! Our Mystery Photo winner is Jeff Narregan, a Midwest Energy & Communications Cooperative member, who correctly identified the photo as the Basilica of Saint Adalbert, Grand Rapids. Photo by Chad Cihak. Winners are announced in the following issues of Country Lines: January, March, May, July/August, September, and November/December.

Michigan-Made Hybrid Geothermal System Provides Savings and Comfort

Hybrid Geothermal Well-Connect is a hybrid water-source heat pump uniquely designed to operate with your existing furnace. Similar to how a hybrid vehicle greatly reduces the need for gas, doubling the fuel efficiency, a Well-Connect significantly reduces the amount of propane, fuel oil or wood needed to heat a home. This approach reduces the installation cost of the system to about one-third the cost of conventional geothermal systems and saves a homeowner 50% to 70% on heating costs. It also provides efficient air conditioning all summer. “Propane is so expensive to heat with. Why wouldn’t someone do this?”

One-Day Installation

Lynne W., South Boardman, MI Member, Great Lakes Energy

Lynne loves her home in the woods but found it challenging to keep her vaulted-ceiling home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Keeping it cool in the summer was especially important for Lynne because of her four-legged, furry friend, Tara. Lynne was familiar with geothermal energy because her father was an executive at Detroit Edison and she knew that it is clean, green, makes a home more comfortable and is a big money saver.

Call for a FREE home visit. (989) 356-2113

Scan below to learn more

Eligible for co-op rebates ranging from $1,050 to $1,850 and a 22% federal tax credit.

t s e t a l e h t g n i v Cra ? s w e n y energ

site b e w r u no to n e Listen o t s i l u ver yo e r e h w or s! podcast