March 2019 GLE

Page 1

March 2019


COUNTRY LINES Great Lakes Energy Cooperative

Truestream Fiber Internet News

The Importance Of Right of Way Clearance Meet A DirectorÂ


co-op entrepreneurs


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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.



Clearing The Way Board of Directors

Mark Carson Chairman, District 2

01950 Anderson Rd., Boyne City, MI 49712 231-675-0561 •

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

Paul Schemanski Secretary, District 1

Bill Scott, Great Lakes Energy President/CEO

One of the many things that make our state beautiful is the abundance of trees. Many of us have childhood memories of climbing tree branches or have found relief under the shade of a tree on a hot summer day. And while it doesn’t give us joy to see one cut down, the nature of our business requires annual removal of trees that threaten our lines and the reliable electrical service we provide to your home.

Tim Brechon Director, District 8

Trees are the most common cause of power outages to our members. None of us likes going without power so, to give you the reliability you deserve, our vegetation management department performs routine maintenance of trees and other vegetation. With over 11,000 miles of overhead lines, trimming takes place on a seven-year cycle. Kevin Lockman, the supervisor of vegetation management, explains in this issue the details and importance of this process.

Paul Byl Director, District 7

We are committed to only trimming what is necessary to protect your safety and prevent disrupted service. Small actions on your part also help. Here are a few suggestions:

5974 Stolt Rd., Petoskey, MI 49770 231-439-9079 •

Larry Monshor Treasurer, District 4 1541 Thumm Rd., Gaylord, MI 49735 989-705-1778 • 22322 220th Ave., Paris, MI 49338 630-379-6218 • 9941 W. Buchanan Rd., Shelby, MI 49455 231-861-5911 •

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

Dale Farrier Director, District 5

2261 Wheeler Lake Rd. NE, Kalkaska, MI 49646 231-564-0853 •

Robert Kran Director, District 6

7380 N. Tuttle Rd., Free Soil, MI 49411 231-464-5889 •

President/CEO: Bill Scott 888-485-2537

Communications Director/Editor: Lacey Matthews 231-487-1316

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:

To report an outage, call: 1-888-485-2537 Change of Address: 888-485-2537, ext. 8924 Great Lakes Energy is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

4 MARCH 2019

• Never plant a tree or shrub next to meters or transformers (the green boxes). • Use proper planting methods when planting trees (see our Tree Planting Guide below). • Before you dig, call Miss Dig (dial 8-1-1 or to avoid harm from underground wires. • If you see a tree endangering a powerline, contact us right away and do not attempt to remove it yourself. Removing trees near or from power lines can be very dangerous. Call us at 888-GT-LAKES (485-2537) or email if you have questions, concerns, or comments. Our certified arborists/utility specialists are available to assist you. More information is available at

Tree Planting Guide 50' 40' 30' 20' 10' 0'




30' Small Tree Zone: Trees less than 25' tall/spread at least 25' from line


50' Medium Tree Zone: Trees 25'–40' in height/spread at least 40' from line


70' Large Tree Zone: Plant trees larger than 40' in height/spread at least 60' from line

Tree Clearing

For Safety And Reliability Kevin Lockman, Vegetation Management Supervisor

“ Maintaining open rights-of-way is key to faster outage restoration, enabling our line crews to more quickly locate a problem area, get the necessary equipment to the site, inspect that stretch of line, and restore power safely and efficiently.”

At Great Lakes Energy, we work hard to provide our members with safe and reliable electric service. To achieve that goal, proper tree trimming and clearing of the areas in and around our power lines, called the right-of-way, is a critical component.

to Australia! Thus, to clear all of the powerlines in our nine service areas, it can take almost eight years to complete. We also identify and remove dead, dying or diseased trees that can fall on power lines and respond to over 2,500 service requests from our members.

Trees growing too close to electric lines can cause service interruptions, especially when we experience ice, wet snow, or windy conditions. More importantly, trees, brush, vines and other vegetation can be conductors of electricity creating a safety hazard.

Tree work is performed by professional contractors trained to operate around highvoltage power lines and using specialized equipment to aid in this challenging work. Never attempt to trim or remove trees near power lines yourself.

To ensure we effectively maintain our rights-ofway, our vegetation management department is charged with developing an effective tree clearing program that will improve reliability to our members by reducing outage minutes and ensuring the safety of our crews, contractors and the public.

When routine vegetation maintenance is scheduled, we notify members first by mail, phone and email. As work progresses and if we are working in and around yard areas, our contractors will personally contact you.

Keeping trees from growing into the electric lines is not our only objective. Maintaining open rights-of-way is key to faster outage restoration, enabling our line crews to more quickly locate a problem area, get the necessary equipment to the site, inspect that stretch of line, and restore power safely and efficiently.

We may also move trees and vegetation, taking into consideration how large they will be at maturity, to avoid conflicts with power lines in the future. Please let us know if you have any concerns about work being performed or would like to discuss proper planting locations. It is also important to call MISS DIG (811) before digging so buried utilities are marked correctly.

GLE has over 11,000 miles of overhead electric line. As a matter of reference, from our Boyne City headquarters, it is less than 10,000 miles

Please contact our vegetation management department with concerns or if you notice a tree that is endangering the powerlines.




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


Light Your Home For Less With ENERGY STAR LEDs Installing LED light bulbs in your home is a quick and easy way to save energy. Look for the ENERGY STAR label for the best quality and longest product life. By replacing your home’s five most frequently used light fixtures or bulbs with ENERGY STAR® LEDs, you can save up to $75 each year.

Did You Know?

• For an LED light bulb to bear the ENERGY STAR label, it must pass rigorous testing to ensure maximum energy savings and performance. • LEDs are the size of a fleck of pepper. • The white light for LEDs is typically a mix of red, green, and blue LEDs. • LEDs contain no mercury and can easily be disposed of. • LEDs emit very little energy as wasted heat. In comparison, incandescent bulbs release 90 percent and CFLs release 80 percent of their energy as heat.

Choosing The Right LED Bulb Brightness

• Look for lumens, instead of watts, to determine brightness. Replace a 60W bulb with an LED bulb with about 800 lumens for comparable brightness.


• The color of an LED bulb is typically shown on a sliding scale between Warm and Cool. This measure is actually a temperature on the Kelvin scale (K), where lower K emits warmer, yellower light, and higher K produces cooler, bluer light.


Visit or call 877-296-4319 for additional energy-saving information and incentives.


Brighten world THEIR

Replace your home’s five most frequently used light bulbs with ENERGY STAR® LEDs and save up to $75 per year. ENERGY STAR lighting provides: • Significant energy savings • Highest quality and performance • Wide range of colors and brightness • Dimmable lighting and motion sensing capabilities


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

Most votes on Facebook!

GLE Photo Contest Food & Drinks 1. Donna helps mommy make a cake——Sara Harris, Baldwin 2. Pork from our summer pigs and veggies from the garden——Elizabeth Bodell, Allendale 3. Cherries galore from Royal Farms—Charlevoix——Chad Baldwin, Charlevoix 4. Raspberry star bread——Dani McGarry, Ludington 5. Snow day tea party!——Amy Cobb, Grayling


6. Farm fresh——Connie Lynch, Gaylord




Submit Your “Spring Flowers” 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 March contest theme is Spring Flowers. Photos can be submitted by March 20 to be featured in the May issue.

How To Enter: 5

Visit and click “Photo Contest” from the menu tabs. Not on Facebook? You can also enter the contest at 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.





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



Brings Fiber To Farm


t finally happened!” proclaimed Brian Bates, co-owner of Bear Creek Organic Farm in Petoskey. “On January 10, 2019, we joined the 21st century with high-speed fiber internet from Great Lakes Energy and Truestream.” For Petoskey’s first-ever, 100 percent, USDA-certified organic farm, Truestream has been a game-changer. Slow internet speeds hampered their farm operation that seeks to support the community by sourcing local supplies and growing organic food. Before signing up with Truestream, Bates explained, the company hemorrhaged money for internet with barely anything in return. “We used two internet providers because both were inconsistent,” Bates said. “We have paid $3,000 per year for the worst internet of anyone we know for the last five years. Now, we will pay $800 [per year] for some of the fastest internet in the USA.” “The numbers don’t lie,” Bates continued, who posted speed test results on Facebook after Truestream was installed. “Truestream is 40 times faster than our satellite was and more than 400 times faster than we were able to get with our other provider. And for 75 percent less money with no contract and unlimited everything!” Being a family-run business, connecting with loved ones is important. “For the first time since Griffin was born,” referring to their son, Bates said, “we were able to successfully FaceTime with his grandparents in Florida. No static, no lag, no blurry faces. Now, that’s a dream come true!” The Truestream fiber network stands to improve internet connectivity across Emmet County and beyond 12 MARCH 2019

Brian Bates (left), wife Anne (right), and son Griffin enjoy Truestreaming with their new fiber internet.

“The road to fast internet has been slow, but GLE has answered the call. If you haven’t signed up for service—do it. Your neighbors depend on you.” dramatically. Construction, which will begin in full force this spring, depends on the crowd-sourced interest program at the heart of the roll-out process. At, GLE members can pre-register their interest in the service and let Truestream know which areas have the highest demand. Construction plans are laid out for the Petoskey service district, but sign-ups continue to ensure Truestream’s success and also help Great Lakes Energy make plans for the next area where service will begin. Bates explained why this process is so vital for the region: “We know many of our friends are still waiting for Truestream. And Great Lakes Energy knows it too. The road to fast internet has been slow, but GLE has answered the call. If you haven’t signed up for service—do it. Your neighbors depend on you.” Visit to register today. Pre-registration ensures you will receive free installation (a $149 value). There is no obligation, no contract and prices start at less than $60 per month.

Meet Your Directors Your Great Lakes Energy directors are not only part of your local community, but they are also members just like you.

An avid ice-fisherman and skilled woodworker, John LaForge represents District 9, which includes Allegan, Barry, Kent, Montcalm and Ottawa counties. With a focus on community, John and his wife, Sara, spent many years involved in Civitan, an organization that helps disabled children. During the holiday months, you can find him dressed as one of Santa’s helpers at many different venues. LaForge is retired from General Motors and brings 34 years of team building and business management experience. To him, the reward of serving as your director is knowing that the decisions he helps make will continue to benefit members long into the future. That’s the cooperative difference.

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

Comparison Of Fuel Sources Used Regional average fuel mix used Your co-op’s fuel mix

Fuel Source Coal 25.72% 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

Co-op Members Benefit

Emissions And Waste Comparison lbs/MWh

Great Lakes Energy members received capital credit refunds in December, including local businesses on our lines.

Type Of Emission/Waste

David Hackert (above) of Indian Summer Co-op, Ludington, accepts a $9,935 capital credit refund check from GLE’s Larry Phillips. Refunds were issued as bill credits or checks and were based on electricity purchases made by members in any or all of these years—2017 and 1996. As a member of an electric cooperative, you’re entitled to a share of the margins earned by GLE. Since 2003, Great Lakes Energy has issued over $71.4 million in capital credit refunds to members. It’s part of the cooperative difference.

Your Co-op

Regional Average*

Sulfur Dioxide



Carbon Dioxide



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. Great Lakes Energy purchases 100% of its electricity from Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative, Inc., which provided this fuel mix and environmental data.


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.




16 MARCH 2019

By Brittany Kielbasa

trong houses are made of concrete, lumber, and shingles, but a strong home is much more—it’s a place for family, for coming together, and for building the foundations of a healthy life. For many families in Otsego County, however, home ownership is a dream out of reach.

been hard at work building the home with a goal to complete the project in the summer of 2019. Upon completion, the students will have earned 14 college credits, a 10-hour OSHA industry certification, valuable experience, and the opportunity to play a role in providing one Otsego County family a home.

“Many hard-working, low-income families in our community are trapped in a cycle of poverty and instability no matter how hard they persevere,” said Litecia Jankowski, executive director of Otsego County Habitat for Humanity. “Housing for them can be extremely expensive, inadequate, often unavailable, and can come at the expense of other important necessities. We work to bring home ownership, and brighter futures, within these families’ reach.”

“We wanted a way for area high school students to get an experience doing something for their community, as well as have the opportunity to earn some college credits,” said Steven Fosgard, dean of occupational programs at Kirtland Community College. “It’s an all-around good skill-building opportunity, and it gives students a chance to do something good in the community.”

The Otsego County Habitat for Humanity (OCHFH) has served its community for 25 years, striving to bring people together to build homes, communities, and hope. Now building its 25th home, OCHFH is bringing together more community members than ever through a partnership with Kirtland Community College (KCC).

In addition to helping families, the students are taking part in a project that will positively impact the environment for years to come. All Habitat for Humanity homes are built to be as energy efficient as possible, utilizing Energy Star-rated products with special energy efficiency consideration for the foundation, lighting, windows, HVAC, insulation, furnace, and water heater.

Beginning in September 2018, KCC developed the program out of a need which blossomed into a truly unique educational and philanthropic opportunity for six area high school seniors. These students have

The home, currently being entirely constructed on KCC grounds, will be even more environmentally friendly when it is relocated to its permanent destination later this year. Like many of the families

As part of the student program, Habitat for Humanity’s 25th home build began at the beginning of the school year in Kirtland Community College’s parking lot.

Adam Sobeck, Gaylord High School student, gains college credit and technical experience working on the home’s roof.

OCHFH assists, the new home’s occupants will also be served by Great Lakes Energy. Through power supplier, Wolverine Power Cooperative, more than half the energy Great Lakes Energy provides its members is carbon free. “I am excited because I’m a member and many of the families we assist are members as well,” said Jankowski. “I look forward to seeing the outcome of what they’re doing now and in the future!” Home builds are an important part of Otsego County Habitat for Humanity’s mission, but they provide many other services to the community as well. “A majority of the Otsego County residents we speak to believe it is challenging right now to find quality, affordable housing in our area,” said Jankowski. “Many of these people have had to make trade-offs whether it is to go without meals or to go without crucial home repairs to things like furnaces and roofs in order to make rent or mortgage payments—and we wanted to find a way to help as many of these people as possible.”

help of community partners like Great Lakes Energy. Through GLE’s People Fund grant program, programs like financial coaching, weatherization, critical home repair assistance, disaster relief assistance are offered. Funds donated through the People Fund also helped create the Habitat Learning Garden to help teach home and yard maintenance skills. Otsego County Habitat for Humanity’s home builds and programs help families realize their homeownership dreams, as well as help build financial equity, self-esteem and self-reliance. “We understand the great need and far-reaching results that are possible when we work together,” said Jankowski. “With our community’s support, we’re able to craft programs that bring true benefit to area families.” Visit to learn more about how you can help the Otsego County Habitat for Humanity. Live outside of Otsego County? Visit to learn about additional ways Great Lakes Energy members can make an impact in their community.

Allen Morgan and Ayden Lauer from Johannesburg High School place venting insulation.

To achieve this goal, OCHFH has expanded their programming beyond home building with the MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 17

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