March 2019 Cherryland

Page 1

March 2019


COUNTRY LINES Cherryland Electric Cooperative

Big Talk Doesn’t Stop Climate Change

Cherryland Builds Safety Culture Avoid The Big Green Box


co-op entrepreneurs


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 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 B & D Htg (989) 269-5280

CLIFFORD Orton Refrig & Htg (989) 761-7691

MT PLEASANT Walton Htg & Clg (989) 772-4822

BERRIEN SPRINGS WaterFurnace Michiana (269) 473-5667

HART/LUDINGTON Adams Htg & Clg (231) 873-2665

MUSKEGON Adams Htg & Clg (231) 873-2665

BIG RAPIDS Stratz Htg & Clg, Inc. (231) 796-3717

INDIAN RIVER M & M Plmb & Htg (231) 238-7201

Kiessel Geothermal Htg & Clg (231) 747-7509

CARO AllTemp Comfort, Inc. (866) 844-HEAT (4328)

MICHIGAN CENTER Comfort 1/Aire Serv of Southern Michigan (517) 764-1500

PORTLAND ESI Htg & Clg (517) 647-6906

SUNFIELD Mark Woodman Plmb & Htg (517) 886-1138 TRAVERSE CITY D & W Mechanical (231) 941-1215 Geofurnace Htg & Clg (231) 943-1000

visit us at * 30% through 2019, 26% through 2020 and 22% through 2021 • WaterFurnace is a registered trademark of WaterFurnace International, Inc.

In This Issue March 2019 || Vol. 39, No. 3

Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives

michigancountrylines FEATURED PHOTO FROM


Your photo could be featured here. Learn more on


Executive Editor: Casey Clark

page 18

Editor: Christine Dorr Copy Editor: Heidi Spencer Design and Production: Karreen Bird 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 are Robert Kran, Great Lakes Energy, chairman; Mark Kappler, HomeWorks Tri-County Electric, vice chairman; and Eric Baker, Wolverine Power Cooperative, secretarytreasurer. 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

michigancountrylines icy pier on the lake

ON THE COVER Ryan and Brianne Rademacher, members of HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative, are the innovators of growing camelina to create a superior cooking oil. Read more about their business and other entrepreneurial members starting on page 6.

: @tpmann4msu

18 MI CO-OP COMMUNITY Follow Us On Instagram!

Come share in the splendor of rural Michigan with us @michigancountrylines. Guess Our New Mystery Photo And Win A $50 Bill Credit!

Photo by Mandy Wheeler

6 & 10 FEATURE Spotlight On Co-op Entrepreneurs

Read about fellow entrepreneurial movers and shakers from co-op territory in this special issue.

14 MI CO-OP KITCHEN Weeknight Dinners

Easy On Time, Big On Flavor By Christin McKamey & Our Readers

Win $150 for stories published!

Guest Column: Country Lines invites members to submit their fond memories and stories. For guidelines and to submit your guest column go to under the MI Co-op Community tab.

Enter Our Recipe Contest And Win A $50 Bill Credit!


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

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

ATTENTION READERS: The publisher of Michigan Country Lines magazine is working with NRECA Market Research Services, a reputable public opinion research company, to conduct a confidential survey for Michigan’s electric cooperatives. If NRECA Market Research Services contacts you by phone or email, please be assured they are not selling anything. The short, confidential survey will help your co-op serve you better. Thank you for your time and help with this survey.










Board Of Directors

TERRY LAUTNER President 231-946-4623 TOM VAN PELT Senior Vice President 231-386-5234 MELINDA LAUTNER Secretary 231-947-2509 DAVID SCHWEITZER Treasurer 231-883-5860 JOHN OLSON Director 231-938-1228 GABE SCHNEIDER Director 517-449-6453 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.

Cherryland Cares Grant Applications Due In March Area nonprofit agencies seeking financial help can apply for a grant through Cherryland Cares. The deadline for first quarter applications is Friday, March 8. The next quarterly meeting of Cherryland Cares is Monday, March 18. If you are an area nonprofit agency seeking financial help, please call Shannon Mattson at 231-486-9234 or email

Members May Give Input At Monthly Board Meeting The board of directors at Cherryland is offering an opportunity for members to provide direct input to the board on Monday, March 18, at 9 a.m. at the cooperative office in Grawn. Members are asked to come to the lobby and request to speak to the board. Members are asked to keep their comments to five minutes. Member attendance at the board meeting is allowed for the public input portion of the meeting only.

Members Can 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. Three directors will be elected at this year’s annual meeting: one Benzie/Manistee/Wexford director and two at-large directors. To be nominated in 2019, 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. Nominating petitions are available on the Cherryland website and at the co-op office in Grawn. Please review Article III of the co-op’s bylaws on the Cherryland website to obtain more information regarding board nominations and the election process.

TELEPHONE NUMBERS 231-486-9200 or 1-800-442-8616 (Mich.)

Cherryland Offers Five Scholarships

ADDRESS P.O. Box 298, Grawn, MI 49637

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 scholarship (post high school).

WEBSITE PAY STATION Cherryland Electric Cooperative office 5930 U.S. 31 South, Grawn MI, 49637 Cherryland Electric Cooperative is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Follow us on Facebook. Follow us on Instagram. @cherrylandec

4 MARCH 2019

Applications for both scholarships are due Friday, April 5, and can be found on Cherryland’s website or by contacting Cherryland’s office at 231-486-9200.

81st Annual Meeting Set For June 20 Cherryland’s 81st Annual Meeting will take place Thursday, June 20, at Incredible Mo’s in Grawn. Mark your calendars for an evening of food, fun and information.

Battleships And Postage Stamps Tony Anderson, General Manager

You can’t mail a battleship with a single postage stamp. There is a lot of talk about 100 percent renewable energy and future goals for a carbon-free world. While laudable, big talk doesn’t stop the battleship that is climate change. Action on a large scale is what we need.

solar. Therefore, we need to cover 30,000 acres with solar panels to reach this goal.

Either one of these failed wind projects would have taken Cherryland’s carbon-free portfolio from 56 percent to over 70 percent. If we had been lucky enough to work out a deal on both (which was in play at one point), our members would have benefited from 80 percent carbon-free energy for decades. Losing both is clearly a bitter pill to swallow.

If a goal of 100 percent renewable doesn’t come with a zoning/siting plan or a “not-in-my-backyard” resolution, the battleship problem simply sails forward for the next generation to deal with while we stand on the shore with our one lonely postage stamp in the form of a single windmill or a smattering of tiny solar projects.

So, what about solar you ask? Well, let’s take a large utilitystated goal of 6,000 MW of solar in Michigan by 2040. Today, when we use the math of completed projects, we know that it takes about five acres of land to fit 1 MW of

I don’t want to give up local control, but it could happen in our future because today’s reality shows that the biggest impediment to cleaner energy production at scales that can sink a battleship is Michigan communities and townships.

Some will argue that we can find 30,000 acres worth of rooftops on homes and businesses and then we won’t have to cover our beautiful land. I can’t buy that. We need Utilities own more than 9,000 MW of coal plants inside our to get all of this energy into the grid so the supply can state boundaries. If these plants are to be closed as the find the demand. Anybody who thinks we can find 30,000 latest talk suggests, they obviously have to be replaced acres of rooftop on any type of building that can also be with some other forms of energy. Wind and solar are the conveniently tied to the grid by 2040 is somebody who will best carbon-free options today, but not be around to answer for why this it is getting harder to locate them didn’t happen. “If a goal of 100 percent renewable within the state of Michigan. doesn’t come with a zoning/siting plan or a ‘not-in-my-backyard’ resolution, If we don’t find the land for large Last year, two townships in wind and solar projects that are the battleship problem simply sails Michigan’s thumb region decided not only practical but economically forward for the next generation to they didn’t want any more wind affordable, we will see more and deal with while we stand on the shore turbines. Thus, a wind farm project more natural gas plants. Yes, natural with developers ready to build and gas produces less CO2 than coal with our one lonely postage stamp utilities ready to purchase never got but it does produce CO2. When we in the form of a single windmill or a built. In 2019, wind developers are don’t build coal or nuclear and we smattering of tiny solar projects.” poised to lose another battle over can’t site wind or solar on a large a wind project in Baraga County. scale while demand for electricity Locally, we have one windmill in our region to show for over grows (don’t tell me we can conserve our way out of this two decades of talk about the benefits of renewable energy. problem either—we can’t), we are left with gas.




co-op entrepreneurs Michigan Country Lines is proud to feature entrepreneurial movers and shakers from co-op territory in this special issue. Read on to meet pioneers, innovators and leaders who are making their mark on the world.

There is so much more to tell! Visit to read the full version of each entrepreneur’s story.

6 MARCH 2019

Ryan & Brianne Rademacher Bare Essential Oil

HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative Members Husband and wife team Ryan and Brianne Rademacher proudly farm land that’s been in Ryan’s family for three generations, delivering oil straight from the family farm to your table. The idea for their business, Bare Essential Oil, came about when Ryan discovered camelina in April 2017. After researching the seed, Ryan believed he could use camelina to create superior, healthy cooking oil. The Rademachers planted a crop of camelina on their farm that spring and were blessed with a fantastic harvest. The next challenge, however, was processing the camelina into cooking oil. “As luck would have it,” said Brianne, “we found a couple in northern Michigan that grow and press their own canola oil.” The new friends allowed the Rademachers to use the facility to create their very first batch of oil. Today, their camelina oil can be purchased through and at select stores throughout Michigan. “We’re very happy with our final product,” said Ryan. “It has rich vitamin E content and one of the highest smoke points of any oil. It offers a light, nutty flavor to any culinary creation.” Check out to order, and then use it to make their pumpkin energy ball recipe on page 15.

Judith Kimball & Ilona Stroupe

Harold Kociba

Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op Members

Thumb Electric Cooperative Member

Presque Isle Needleworks

Judith Kimball and Ilona Stroupe discovered a mutual fondness for lighthouses and needlework as teenagers. As the years passed and their friendship grew, the duo combined those interests to form Presque Isle Needleworks. “We love lighthouses,” Ilona said. “In 1983, we decided to create a cross-stitch kit of our local lighthouse.” One pattern led to the next and, since then, they have designed at least one new lighthouse pattern each year, later adding two pattern books for stitchers who have their own supplies. Judy and Ilona do all the work in assembling their cross-stitch kits—from cutting the fabric to intricately designing the artwork. In addition to their cross-stitch kits, they expanded the business to include quilt square patterns of lighthouses. Because lighthouse preservation is so important to the owners, a portion of each sale goes directly to support Michigan lighthouses.

Dizzy Daisy Winery & Vineyard

Harold Kociba began growing grapes as a retirement project in 2006. It didn’t take long, however, before Harold realized retirement wasn’t in his future. As a third-generation farmer, Harold attended several seminars through the Michigan Wine Council before deciding to switch from raising cows to growing grapes. That’s when Dizzy Daisy Winery & Vineyard was born. Using the same skills and attributes that saw him through dairy farming, Harold got to work. He learned all he could about wine making—solving crises with weather, soil conditions, early frosts and unpredictable markets. “It’s a challenge, just like growing or raising anything else,” said Harold. “That’s just part of being a farmer—trying to outfox Mother Nature on a daily basis.” Today, Harold and his team at Dizzy Daisy offer more than 75 wines. The team gets creative as new blends come from unpredictable weather or supply shortages—from their dry red Marechal Foch to their most popular Bad Axe Passion, which features a white blend with mango and passion fruit. The winery continues to diversify as they now make and sell hard cider.

David Gill

Marquette Brewing Cooperative Alger Delta Cooperative Member

Michigan will see its “first ever” cooperatively-owned brewery open its doors this summer in Marquette. Final architectural plans for the Marquette Brewing Cooperative (MBC) are currently in the works and, if all goes according to plan, craft beer will soon be flowing at 501 S. Lake Street. “We plan to have 10–12 beers on tap at all times,” said David Gill, president of the Marquette Homebrewers Club and the founder of MBC. “We’ll constantly rotate the selection, so there will always be something new.” Being an owner of a brewery in Marquette has broad appeal. The MBC already has over 280 member-owners, but David hopes to see membership doubled in time for their summer grand opening. Member-owners are entitled to all the benefits of ownership, including voting rights and a share in patronage dividends. “Our member-owners will also have access to workshops, tastings, seminars, and ‘brew-your-own beer’ events,” explained David. Lifetime individual memberships are available for $99 at, and a “preferred shares” program is available for those wanting to invest more. “Craft beer is a passion for each of us,” David concluded. “We have a dedicated core of brewers ready to serve the community with a diverse, holistic craft beer experience.” MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES




Co-op Builds A Culture Of Safety At Cherryland, safety is woven into the fabric of the co-op’s culture. And all that weaving is no easy chore. Over the years Cherryland has built and maintained an industry-leading safety program that extends to all parts of the organization. Learn more about this program from the man who helped build it and the man who will inherit it.

Jim Carpenter, Current Safety Director

8 MARCH 2019

In your years at Cherryland, what are some of the most significant changes you’ve seen in the co-op’s safety program?

is doing anything wrong. We have proud employees that make good decisions and want to do things the right way.

I’ve seen a few significant changes in our safety program over the years. First, lineworkers used to be responsible for buying all their personal protective equipment (PPE). Today, electric utilities are required to provide their lineworkers with all their PPE. Second, when I was an apprentice, we climbed most poles. Today, lineworkers use bucket trucks for most of their work. And third, safety is now a topic at every meeting in every department.

As you head off into retirement, what about Cherryland’s safety program are you the most proud?

What challenges come with facilitating a safety program?

It would first have to be Cherryland’s reputation as a leader locally and across the state. When fire departments, schools or other organizations are looking for someone to speak to them about electrical safety, they contact us (even when we don’t serve their facility!). Lastly, I am proud of our employees for making good choices. We train, we provide great equipment, we expect employees to follow the safety rules. And they do!

When your focus is being a leader in safety, it can be difficult for some to understand that the changes being made don’t mean that anyone

Cherryland thanks Jim Carpenter for his 39 years of service to the cooperative and wishes him well in retirement!

Safety News Commitment to Zero Contacts Cherryland leadership and field personnel recently made a commitment to the Zero Contacts initiative, an initiative designed to provide cooperative CEOs, senior leaders, and field personnel with ideas and resources they need to help eliminate serious injuries and fatalities due to electrical contact and enhance co-op safety programs.

Joint Michigan Apprentice Program

improvement. This technology can help us take our safety program to the next level and, more importantly, help us figure out the right things that will keep us safe.

The Joint Michigan Apprentice Program (JMAP) celebrated its first class of apprentices becoming journeymen electrical lineworkers last year. Two of Cherryland’s lineworkers participated in this state-of-the-art apprenticeship training program. JMAP is a partnership between Wolverine Power Cooperative, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 876 (IBEW), and Northwest Lineman College–– an industry-leading educational institution that provides pre-apprentice, apprentice, and journey-level training.

Where do you see the safety program going?

New Electrical Safety Demonstration Kit

Jeff Puffer, Incoming Safety Director

What about Cherryland’s safety program motivated you to take on this new role? I’ve always been drawn to competition, training, and coaching. All those characteristics exist in the role of safety director. I once had a coach tell me to “just do the right thing,” and it always stuck with me as I coached, interacted with others, and parented my kids. Now, “doing the right thing” is my job. What upcoming projects within the program are you excited about? I am working on implementing software that can report, track, and analyze important safety data, including incidents, training, claims, and action items. This software will help us identify issues and give us specific targets for

Looking into the future, I see us utilizing technology to help make our safety program more accessible and easily implemented into our daily routines. As a cooperative, we have a responsibility to utilize our time, resources, and money effectively. Computers and mobile devices can get us answers and help us in many situations in just a couple of clicks. Ultimately, I would like to see Cherryland stay ahead of the curve and continually find ways to improve our safety program.

After decades of service to schools, civic clubs, and other youth organizations, Cherryland has retired “Lightning Liz” and the rest of the co-op’s electrical safety demonstration kit. Cherryland recently acquired a new kit for electrical safety presentations. If you are interested in scheduling a free presentation for your organization, contact Rachel Johnson at




co-op entrepreneurs (continued)

Michigan Country Lines is proud to feature entrepreneurial movers and shakers from co-op territory in this special issue. Read on to meet pioneers, innovators and leaders who are making their mark on the world.

There is so much more to tell! Visit to read the full version of each entrepreneur’s story.

10 MARCH 2019

Kendall Rose The Revel Rose

Cherryland Electric Cooperative Member Three years ago Kendall Rose moved to northern Michigan as an outdoor recreation planner for the National Park Service. When federal budget cuts derailed her career, Kendall realized she could combine her passion for the great outdoors with her skills as an event planner. So, in 2017, The Revel Rose, an environmentally-friendly event planning company, was born. From month of coordination to full-service wedding planning, The Revel Rose handles everything from traditional weddings with 200 guests to destination elopements and intimate weddings. What sets this company apart, however, is Kendall’s vision to weave environmental stewardship (along with her eye for detail) into events by giving clients the chance to plan a minimal waste wedding. “I think it’s important to preserve and protect the places that make Michigan an enjoyable destination,” Kendall said. A minimal waste event means hiring preferred vendors who value “low-waste event planning, products, and processes,” Kendall explained. This includes farm to table caterers who utilize locally grown food and on-site services that recycle or compost the majority of event waste. The response has been terrific. “My clients are my biggest cheerleaders,” Kendall concluded.

Edna & Brad Yonker

Leonda Kessinger Shroyer

Ontonagon County REA Members

Midwest Energy & Communications Member

Junque Gypsy

Nonesuch Gallery

Located in a 1920-era building, Nonesuch Gallery is Ontonagon’s “not to be missed” shop, featuring all things quirky and artistic. Owned and run by artists Edna and Brad Yonker, the gallery features two levels for visitors to browse. Many of the items for sale are

handmade by local artists. Partners in life and work, Edna and Brad have created a masterpiece with their gallery. The main floor showcases Edna’s award-winning quilt-art and other textiles, plus furniture, home décor and jewelry, along with local coffee, mixes and lotions. Customers can even find Michigan-grown blueberry products. The downstairs floor of Nonesuch features Brad’s handmade guitars, many of which are handcrafted from local wood, alongside an assortment of new and used instruments. Before opening Nonesuch Gallery in 2001, Edna worked as an award-winning hand quilter. Her “Living A Dream” quilt, featured in the documentary “Quilting in the ‘90s” for the Library of Congress Folk Life Center, can be viewed on permanent display at the gallery. “Owning the gallery is so fun because we get to meet so many interesting people,” Edna said. “I love that.” Nonesuch Gallery is located at 638 River Street in Ontonagon.

Leonda Kessinger Shroyer spent hours as a child exploring flea markets with her grandparents. This early fascination with vintage memorabilia stayed with her as she later taught English and drama for Decatur Public Schools. “During my 30 years of teaching, I scoured thrift shops for stage props, costumes and classroom items,” Leonda explained. “Once retired, I turned my treasure hunting hobby into a self-supporting business.” Her venture, Junque Gypsy, began 10 years ago as an online shop on Etsy. While some boutiques promote the latest trends, Shroyer sparks nostalgia in customers as she finds, restores and resells vintage toys, holiday decor, jewelry, handbags and linens. Popular-selling items on her Etsy shop include vintage luggage, and even 1970-era Tupperware, which are “best sellers” since “things aren’t made like they used to be,” Leonda said. Junque Gypsy has caught the eye of curators domestically and internationally. In 2014, the prop master for the television show “Mike and Molly” bought a 1950s folk art figure for the show. A curator from Switzerland once bought a cake topper for a museum display on baptism customs. Others just love Junque Gypsy’s wares for the memories they evoke. “Basically, I sell nostalgia,” Leonda concluded. “That makes me happy.”

Connie McDermott 4C’s Cookies & More

Great Lakes Energy Cooperative Member Connie McDermott’s cookie business is anything but cookie cutter. It all started four years ago when her daughter, Carly, was attending basic training with the Michigan National Guard. “Every week I would make a variety of cookies to send to my daughter,” Connie said. The cookies received rave reviews—not only from Carly, but also from the friends in her unit. When Connie realized others were enjoying the treats, she baked and sent enough to be shared. That’s when she knew she had to pursue cookie baking. For the next six months Connie logged countless hours, finally perfecting her recipes. “I named my business 4C’s Cookies because my mother-in-law used to refer to our family as the 4 C’s,” Connie explained. “My name is Connie, my husband is Curt, and our daughters are Casey and Carly.” Her determination along with assistance from local resources, including The Starting Block (recipient of a Great Lakes Energy People Fund Grant), has helped her business grow. Today, there are 10 flavors of 4C’s Cookies sold in 16 locations across Michigan. The largest order comes from Bridge Street Market, a Meijer affiliate store in Grand Rapids. While she’s very happy with how well the business has done, Connie has even bigger plans. “I’d like to add online sales, find a distributor and open a storefront bakery,” she remarked. “My dream is to focus my full-time energy on cookies!” MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES


Avoid the Big Green Box

Please stay away from pad-mounted transformers (the big green box). While safe, they are not meant for touching, climbing or playing. Pad-mounted transformers carry high voltages of electricity that serve many homes in our communities.

Never touch, climb or play on pad-mounted transformers. Never put ďŹ ngers, sticks or other objects through cracks in the transformer.

Keep areas surrounding the padmounted transformer clear so that workers can safely maintain transformers as needed. Keep shrubs and structures at least 10 feet away from the transformer doors and four feet away from the sides.

10 feet 4 feet

Never dig near a pad-mounted transformer. They are surrounded by underground cables. Hitting the cable could result in electrical shock or disruption of service. Always dial 8-1-1 before you dig.

12 MARCH 2019

Report problems. If you notice anything amiss, like an unlocked transformer or one that has been damaged, please contact us immediately.

Finding My Voice By Rob Marsh, Communications Specialist

Growing up in a football family, I’ve always loved the game. I watched it on TV. I went to high school games. My dad and I worked on passing routes in the backyard. I enjoyed every bit of it.

“I had finally found my ‘team,’ the place where I belonged. This group of eccentrics would become my lifelong friends.”

There was a catch. I never liked playing for a team. Maybe it was the screaming coaches or the long practices. Whatever it was, no matter how hard I tried, I didn’t take to it, and it left me out of that sense of belonging that comes with team sports. There was one thing I really did enjoy doing: making people laugh. Whether I was telling a joke or doing an impression, it made me happy to put smiles on the faces of my adoring fans. So, if my love for football wasn’t translating to the field, I needed to join something that I would truly enjoy. It was then in early middle school that my parents signed me up for a summer theater camp at the Old Town Playhouse in Traverse City. I recall feeling apprehensive my first day of camp. We did all these goofy vocal and physical exercises. The instructors were overthe-top. My fellow campers were, to put it delicately, eccentric. I didn’t think I would last. The second day we had to audition for our role in the production. No problem, I thought. But then horror struck. I learned that day the production was a musical. I had to sing! I had never sung before (outside of my stellar Elvis routine). What was I going to do? Then it hit me. If I was pretty good at doing impressions, why not pretend that I could sing? When it came time for me to audition, I stood center stage, looked out at my

fellow campers, took a deep breath, and bellowed out the notes with as much false confidence as I could. I couldn’t believe what came out of my mouth. It sounded good. It sounded really good. I finished the song and looked at my instructor. With a big smile, he said, “Wow, very good!” Finding my voice that day changed my life. I was cast in a supporting lead role in that musical and would go on to perform in nearly 20 different productions through college. I had finally found my “team,” the place where I belonged. This group of eccentrics would become my lifelong friends. But theater did so much more than that. Performing gave me valuable skills that I carried on through my personal and professional life; the ability to speak confidently and clearly, to surely take center stage when needed, to speak in front of a group without (too much) fear, and more. So, if the football field, basketball court, or track isn’t the right fit for your son or daughter, considering signing them up for a theater class. It just might change their life.


Easy Weeknight Dinners When you’re short on time, these easy meals are big on flavor. Photos—Robert Bruce Photography

Winning Recipe!

Lasagna Stew

Rachel Cultice, Midwest Energy & Communications 1 1 1 4 2 8 1 • 1

pound ground beef tablespoon garlic, minced (24-ounce) jar marinara sauce cups broth (beef, chicken or vegetable) tablespoons dried parsley lasagna noodles, broken into 4 pieces each cup mozzarella cheese, shredded salt and pepper cup ricotta cheese

Brown ground beef in large pot. Add garlic and stir 2 minutes. Pour the marinara sauce, broth and parsley into the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add noodles and mozzarella. Let cook, occasionally stirring about 15 minutes or until noodles are done to your liking. Salt and pepper to taste. Dish the stew into eight bowls and add a scoop of ricotta to the top of each. Serve immediately.

Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at

14 MARCH 2019

15 Minute Creamy Fettuccini Donna Smith, HomeWorks Tri-County

8 ounces fettuccini noodles (or any variation of pasta) 8 ounces cream cheese, cubed ¾ cup grated parmesan cheese ½ cup butter ½ cup milk Optional ingredients: crushed garlic or garlic powder to taste, cooked or grilled chicken, shrimp, smoked salmon, broccoli, etc. Cook fettuccini according to package directions. In a large saucepan over low heat, stir together the cream cheese, parmesan cheese, butter and milk. Stir frequently until smooth. Add cooked fettuccini and toss lightly. Double or triple ingredients as desired for larger parties.

Chicken Enchilada Bake


Jessica Burns, Thumb Electric

1 Rotisserie chicken 1 can enchilada sauce (mild or hot spice per your preference) 1 package Spanish rice 1 (15-ounce) can black beans 1 (15-ounce) can corn 1 (15-ounce) can Rotel tomatoes, optional • shredded fiesta blend cheese, divided • sour cream • Chipotle Tabasco sauce • sliced avocado/guacamole, optional Preheat oven to 350 F. Shred the rotisserie chicken. Cook the Spanish rice according to package directions. Mix the chicken, corn,

Ryan and Brianne Rademacher, owners of Bare Essential Oil, offer these quick, healthy no-bake pumpkin energy balls that taste like cookies but are good for you!

black beans, tomatoes, enchilada sauce and half the cheese. In a 9x13 pan, evenly spread the Spanish rice. Next, add the rotisserie chicken mixture and top with remaining half of the shredded cheese. Bake until bubbly. Serve and garnish with listed condiments.

Ravioli With Roasted Pepper Cream Michele Smith, Ontonagon REA

1 (24—26 ounce) package frozen cheese or meat ravioli 1 (7-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, cut into bite-size pieces, reserve liquid ½ cup chicken stock 1 cup whipping cream ¾—1 cup grated Parmesan cheese Cook ravioli in boiling water about 7 minutes until floating and tender. Drain, set aside and keep warm. In a medium saucepan, combine peppers, reserved liquid and chicken stock. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until liquid is reduced to 2 tablespoons. Stir in whipping cream.

Pumpkin Energy Balls Bring back to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until starting to thicken. Add Parmesan cheese and cook, stirring constantly until cheese has melted and sauce has thickened. Place ravioli on four plates, spoon sauce over ravioli and serve.

Delicious Vegetables: due April 1 Festive Desserts: due May 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 and to register.

Enter to win a


energy bill credit!

¾ 1 ½ 1¼ ¼ 3

cup creamy peanut butter tsp camelina oil cup pumpkin puree cups old-fashioned oats cup chia seeds Tbsp honey

Put the ingredients in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Cover the bowl and put in the refrigerator for 2 hours; this will make them easier to roll. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and roll the mixture into 12—14 balls. Chill for 2 more hours and enjoy! Read the full story about Ryan and Brianne Rademacher and Bare Essential Oil on page 6 and visit to find this recipe and others.


Fuel Mix Report The fuel mix characteristics of Cherryland Electric Cooperative as required by Public Act 141 of 2000 for the 12-month period ending 12/31/18.

Regional average fuel mix used Your co-op’s fuel mix

Fuel Source Oil




Gas 12.47%





Nuclear 42.63%


Renewable Fuels 17.14%











Solid Waste Incineration









NOTE: Biomass above excludes wood; solid waste incineration includes landfill gas; and wind includes a long-term renewable purchase power contract in Wolverine’s mix.

Your Co-op’s Fuel Mix

Regional Average Fuel Mix

Emissions And Waste Comparison lbs/MWh

Your Co-op

Regional Average*

Sulfur Dioxide



Carbon Dioxide







Type Of Emission/Waste

Oxides of Nitrogen High-level Nuclear Waste

*Regional average information was obtained from MPSC website and is for the 12-month period ending 12/31/18. Cherryland purchases 100% of its electricity from Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative, Inc., which provided this fuel mix and environmental data.

16 MARCH 2019

January Board Meeting

• The board approved updates to the co-op’s safety policy in the employee handbook. The co-op’s director of human resources periodically reviews and updates the safety policy as changes to Cherryland’s safety program occur. The board also approved updates to the co-op’s substance abuse policy.

Comparison Of Fuel Sources Used

Coal 25.72%

Your Board In Action

• The co-op’s engineering and operations manager reported to the board statistics from the outage events of New Year’s. Due to wet, heavy snowfall, 1,525 members lost power between the evening of December 31st and the morning of January 1st. Power to all members was restored by noon on New Year’s Day. • The co-op’s member relations manager informed the board that the new electric vehicle (EV) digital toolkit was live on Cherryland’s website. On the website, members can calculate EV fuel and carbon savings, browse the latest EV models, check out EV-related rebates and incentives, and learn about EV ownership.

Statement Of Non-Discrimination In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English. To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at html and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: 1. mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; 2. fax: (202) 690-7442; or 3. email: This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Most Votes On Facebook!

Photo Contest Food & Drinks 1.“Instant pot peanut butter cup cheesecake” by Shawn Alderman 2. “This is a burger!” by Lori Dubro 3. “Seared salmon over coconut rice and snow peas with citrus soy sauce” by Pat Rutt


4. “Honeymoon Cheers! Bora Bora, French Polynesia” by Clair Washburn 5. “Filet for two!” by Doug Haberland




Submit Your Favorite “Spring Flowers” Photos!

Enter to win a


Submit your best photo and encourage your friends to vote! The photo receiving the most votes from our Facebook contest will be printed in an issue of Country Lines along with some of our other favorites.

energy bill credit!

Our March theme is Spring Flowers. Photos can be submitted through March 20 to be featured in our May issue.

Enter Your Photos And Win A Bill Credit!


To enter the contest visit and click “Photo Contest” from the menu tabs. If you’re not on Facebook, that’s okay. You can also enter the contest at Enter your picture, cast your vote, and encourage others to vote for you as well. If your photo is printed in Country Lines during 2019, you will be entered to win a credit of up to $200 on your December 2019 bill. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 17

MI CO-OP Community

Guess this photo and enter to win a


energy bill credit!

Where In Michigan Is This? Identify the correct location of the photo above by March 20 and be entered into a drawing to win a $50 electric bill credit. Enter your guess at 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 January issue is Brenda Nowak, a Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op member, who correctly identified the photo as Aloha State Park dock overlooking Mullet Lake. The dock has been a part of the Village of Aloha, State Park area, since at least 1912—as evidenced by photos from the book “Aloha & Aloha, Now and Then” written by the Aloha Historical Society. Winners are announced in the following issues of Country Lines: January, March, May, July/August, September and November/December.

January 2019

18 MARCH 2019

Follow Michigan Country Lines On Instagram Follow us on our new Instagram account @michigancountrylines, where we celebrate the energy of rural Michigan. Marvel at Michigan’s majestic beauty, learn about new places to visit and experience rural Michigan life through the eyes of your fellow co-op members.


Your Photos With Us

Help us capture the energy of rural Michigan. Tag your photos with #micoopcommunity and they could be featured on our Instagram account. Your photo could even be chosen to print as the featured photo in our magazine. Get to snapping, we can’t wait to see what you share!


(989) 356-2113


Want to run for a seat on the Cherryland Board of Directors? The nominating period for board candidates begins March 1st and ends at 4 p.m. on March 29. Visit or stop by our office for a nomination petition packet.

n o e v r e S land's y r r e Ch oard! B

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.