March 2023 Cherryland

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LINES March 2023 MICHIGAN Cherryland Electric Cooperative Dodging Elliott A Scout’s Honor Get To Know Your Bill

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Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives


EDITOR: Christine Dorr


RECIPE EDITOR: Christin McKamey

COPY EDITOR: Yvette Pecha


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: Tom Sobeck, Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op, chairman; Gabe Schneider, Cherryland Electric Cooperative, vice chairman; Chris O’Neill, HomeWorks TriCounty 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.

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


Counting 25,000 ducks is all in a day’s work for the Straits Area Audubon Society.

10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN Seafood Recipes: Healthy options from

14 THE FUTURE LOOKS BRIGHT FOR ACTIONGLOW At first they didn’t succeed ... but then the Porter brothers tried, tried, and tried again with great success!


For one HomeWorks member, tending his garden is a spiritual experience that conjures memories of his father.

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Recipe Contest

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Contents March 2023 Vol. 43, No. 3 /michigancountrylines /michigancountrylines
under the sea.




David Schweitzer, President


Melinda Lautner, Senior Vice President


Gabe Schneider, Secretary 517-449-6453

Tom Van Pelt, Treasurer


Valarie Handy, Director 231-392-4705

Terry Lautner, Director


Dean Adams, Director


General Manager: Tony Anderson

Co-op Editors: Rachel Johnson

Courtney Doyle:


Monday–Friday 7:30 a.m.– 4 p.m.


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


P.O. Box 298, Grawn, MI 49637


Cherryland Electric Cooperative office

5930 U.S. 31 South, Grawn MI, 49637

Cherryland Electric Cooperative is an equal opportunity provider and employer.


Cherryland Board of Directors Announces CEO Hire

Cherryland Electric Cooperative’s board of directors announced Rachel Johnson as its new CEO. Johnson will begin her duties as CEO in June, after the retirement of current general manager Tony Anderson. Johnson has served the cooperative’s members for 10 years, much of that time as the co-op’s member relations manager. Keep an eye on future issues of Michigan Country Lines to learn more about Johnson.

Rate Change Goes Into Effect

Changes to Cherryland’s rates go into effect on March 6. These changes include an increase in the availability charge, a slight decrease in the energy charge, and resetting the PSCR to zero. Visit for more details. If you have additional questions, please call our office at (231) 486-9200 or email

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 17. If you are an area nonprofit agency seeking financial help, you can find the application on our website at or contact Dawn Garrock at (231) 486-9234 or

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 and one Leelanau County director.

To be nominated in 2023, 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 our website and at the co-op office in Grawn.

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 7.

Cherryland Announces Date Of 85th Annual Meeting

Cherryland’s 85th Annual Meeting will take place Thursday, June 15. The Annual Meeting’s planned location is Incredible Mo’s in Grawn. Cherryland will provide updates regarding the 85th Annual Meeting in Michigan Country Lines, on our website, and through social media.

4 MARCH 2023

Dodging Elliott


s I wrote several months ago, Michigan is facing an energy shortfall. Back then, I informed everyone that the regional grid operator had warned of an increased risk of rolling blackouts. As you know (since your lights haven’t gone out), we haven’t had to resort to rolling blackouts. However, the recent Winter Storm Elliott highlighted just how precarious the situation is. The storm brought blizzard conditions and brutally cold temperatures, and highlighted the vulnerability of the region’s energy supply.

The storm was a nightmare for millions, causing delayed flights and widespread power outages. Behind the scenes, the energy industry faced an even bigger issue that threatened to bring down the power grid: a lack of energy supply. People were using more energy than was available at the time, putting a huge strain on the system.

Tennessee Valley Authority and Duke Energy were forced to implement rolling blackouts to reduce the demand for electricity and prevent a complete blackout. The NFL even had to delay the start of a game in Nashville as the blackouts rolled through the Tennessee Valley. New energy demands were set across the continent, and multiple energy emergencies were declared.

At Cherryland, the regional grid operator was one step away from requiring us to ask all our members to reduce

their energy consumption through measures such as turning down the heat, turning off unnecessary lights, and taking other conservation measures to prevent rolling blackouts. Fortunately, we were able to avoid this scenario. While all our members enjoyed “business as usual,” we were uncomfortably close to needing to take this step.

The reality is that while our power supplier, Wolverine, has sufficient generation to meet the needs of our members, we are connected to a larger grid that is currently operating close to capacity in terms of meeting the demand for electricity. That’s why we continue to advocate for time, transmission, and technology to ensure reliability through the clean energy transition.

If we do have to ask you to conserve electricity in a tight supply situation in the future, I hope this will provide some context and help you understand why it is important. We will always continue to work towards a sustainable and reliable energy future for all our members.

I don’t share this information to cause panic or alarm. I want to share this information so that you can understand the current state of the grid and the challenges it is facing. The bullet with our name on it was Elliott. We dodged the bullet…this time.

Listen to the latest episode of our Co-op Energy Talk podcast to learn more about Winter Storm Elliott, why it caused so many issues for the grid, and the impact it had across the country.


Redhead Ducks

Flock To The Straits Of Mackinac

When a large mass of black suddenly appeared in the Straits of Mackinac, motorists on the bridge called the Mackinac Bridge Authority to report a potential oil spill. But to the bridge personnel and bird lovers who follow such things, they knew it wasn’t an environmental disaster, but rather a natural wonder.

Every winter, masses of birds flock from their northern habitats to seek warmer weather for the cold season ahead. Many of them take a rest in the Straits of Mackinac, including the redhead duck. What is normally a floating group, or raft, of about 7,000 made a bigger splash by topping out at about 25,000 during this year’s annual Christmas bird count.

“We’ve never seen anything like this,” said Straits Area Audubon Society member Steve Baker. “We certainly see peaks some years, but this was an explosion that was really remarkable to witness.”

Redheads are a species of diving duck known for massing in groups that reach thousands to tens of thousands during their early winter migration. Large redhead flocks aren’t necessarily uncommon in the region this time of year, but the shining cinnamon red heads of the males in the sun were a remarkable sight to see.

The numbers collected during the Christmas season are a part of a nationwide effort by conservation groups who identify an area about 15 miles across, congregate into teams for a day, and compile numbers. Baker was in the group escorted across the Mackinac bridge and permitted to count and photograph the ducks for the Christmas Bird Count.

“This goes back to the 1900s when we started seeing birds, like the passenger pigeon, disappear,” said Baker. “Beyond it being a valuable activity that tracks numbers and migration patterns, it’s great fun to be outdoors with people who share your passion.”

The Straits Area Audubon Society actually takes a much broader approach to its interests and activities. While bird lovers flock to the organization, the breadth of what they are involved in reaches beyond their feathered friends.

6 MARCH 2023

The focus of the Straits Area Audubon Society is to “educate the community, including its children, about conservation and enjoyment of the natural world with emphasis on the local natural communities of wildlife,” per its mission statement.

A retired veterinarian, Baker came to the organization as many do. “I was a birder who loved being outdoors and really enjoyed being around a good core group of people. But there’s a lot more to the Audubon Society than just birds,” he said.

The society also spawned the Mackinac Straits Raptor Watch, a monarch butterfly banding program, and an extensive educational arm.

“Kathy Bricker was a dynamic leader and member of our group who really kicked off the educational part of our programming,” said Baker. “She brought so much energy and information to our schools and community.”

Bricker, who passed away from ovarian cancer last spring, was a former president of the Straits Area Audubon Society, the founder of Earth Week Plus programs, and the creator of the Snakes Alive program that educated kids throughout Northern Michigan about the outdoors. Bricker’s passion and purpose still resonates in the environmental and wildlife community in Michigan. Her efforts show that a single person can impact how generations to come will see, interact, and potentially fall in love with nature.

“Being part of the Audubon Society and seeing new people join for the same reasons I did when I started is encouraging,” said Baker. “We’re one of the largest citizen science programs out there that hope to keep the outdoors an amazing place for exploration and discovery.”

For more information, visit:


“We’ve never seen anything like this. We certainly see peaks some years, but this was an explosion that was really remarkable to witness.”

A Scout’s Honor

ach Endres is a right-ofway specialist at Cherryland Electric Cooperative. It’s his responsibility to make sure that our power lines are clear of any potential hazards that could cause an outage—things like dangerous or overgrown trees and other vegetation. Considering Cherryland’s system consists of 1,600 miles of overhead line, that’s a lot to be responsible for. But Endres is pretty familiar with taking on big responsibilities thanks to the six years he dedicated to becoming an Eagle Scout.

“I started Boy Scouts in sixth grade,” said Endres. By the time he was a high school senior, he had earned the title of Eagle Scout thanks to dozens of merit badges, countless lessons and skills learned from trips and adventures with his troop, and his final community project—the last big hurdle to earning

that esteemed title. Endres organized, promoted, and coordinated a project to build a 300-foot fence and eight benches throughout Mt. Holiday. You can even still see his name engraved on the fence today, 10 years later. Endres says his experience with the Scouts profoundly impacted his life, “I definitely learned a lot of lifelong skills from camping and survival to leadership. To have the opportunity to learn from that experience, I feel like it helped me become the man I am today.”

While each Scout has their own individual path, they all share an experience made possible by people like Ryan Kriesch. Kriesch works for Boy Scouts of America as field director, overseeing and providing leadership to three northwest Michigan Scout districts—Timber Trails, Scenic Trails, and Northern Lights. As a 501(c)(3)

organization, Kriesch says they often rely on volunteers to make the program as special as it is. “Every level of the program needs [volunteers]. Everywhere from helping the local troops, being an assistant Scoutmaster, and helping them organize camping trips. Volunteers help us guide a successful program,” Kreisch said.

Jamie Callahan volunteers as the Scenic Trails District chair. “I started in Scouts as a youth here in Traverse City with Troop 35. Once I graduated college and moved back to Traverse City, I wanted to get involved and give back so that other kids could have the same experiences as I did,” he explained. And while his involvement started as a way to make sure the next generation could enjoy the same hikes, canoe trips, and camping adventures, Callahan says it’s so much more than that. “The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law. If we can help our young boys and girls do that, we are helping make a better tomorrow,” Callahan said.

A young Jamie Callahan receives a rank award for his Scouting with Troop 35 in Traverse City. Famous Eagle Scouts*:
Astronaut Neil Armstrong Actor Zach Galifianakis
8 MARCH 2023
Now Cherryland’s rightof-way specialist, Eagle Scout Zach Endres still enjoys getting outdoors and putting his Scouting skills to good use.

Since 1937, Cherryland’s service territory has produced 934 Eagle Scouts. We have those Scouts to thank for things like trail restoration at Interlochen Center for the Arts, a headstone preservation project at Oakwood Cemetery on Eighth Street in Traverse City, tree planting projects along Bowers Road in Benzie County, and of course, Endres’ project to add fencing and benches at Mt. Holiday. But those are just the tangible products of this program; what’s even greater are the Scouts who stayed in our communities to use their skills to make our area an amazing place to work, live, and play.

It’s not hard to see the value the Scouts program brings to northern Michigan. So if you’re a Scout, enjoyed your time with the Scouts, or really love what the program brings to our area for local kids and the community,

Kriesch and Callahan say you should consider volunteering so the program can continue to thrive. Kriesch says you don’t need any experience in Scouting to get involved. “If somebody’s got an interest in serving young men and women, this is a program for them, and we can always find a way to get them involved,” he said.

Callahan said, “Some will compare volunteering to planting a tree we will never sit under. Those seedlings may be kids now, but they are tomorrow’s leaders. There are many different ways someone can volunteer for Scouting, including ones that don’t take up a lot of time.” That mindset helps boys and girls grow into impactful adults, like Endres. He says, “It’s definitely rewarding. I learned to be committed, to manage myself, and you just feel good that you stuck with something that long.”


On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.**


A Scout is: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent**


934 recorded Eagle Scout Awards in Cherryland Territory**

From 1911–2019, Scouts across the country earned a total of 7,339,352 First Aid Merit Badges, the most popular Merit Badge out of more than 135 options available.*

In 1912, Arthur Eldred of New York earned the firstever Eagle Scout Award.**


**Boy Scouts of America

To find a troop near you, visit For more information on how to volunteer, contact Ryan Kriesch at

Eagle Scout Zach Endres poses by his completed Eagle Scout project at Mt. Holiday. President Gerald Ford Walmart Founder Sam Walton U.S. Olympian Willie Banks
Now the Scenic Trails District chair, Jamie Callahan presents an award to his predecessor Chief Pat Parker as BSA Field Director Ryan Kriesch looks on.


Recipe Contest

Win a $100 energy bill credit!

Polish Favorites due April 1; One-Pan Meals due May 1

Submit your favorite recipe for a chance to win a $100 bill credit and have your recipe featured in Country Lines with a photo and a video. Submit your recipe at , or send it via email (include your full name and co-op) to



Ronald Andres, Great Lakes Energy

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound smoked steelhead trout (or smoked salmon), skin and bones removed, flaked into ½ -inch pieces

2 (15.5-ounce) cans great northern beans (use liquid)

2 (15.5-ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed

1 (14.5-ounce) can chicken broth

2 Anaheim peppers (braised, then seeds and skin removed), diced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon lemon pepper seasoning

1 quart heavy whipping cream

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté onion, celery, and garlic in the hot oil until tender. Add smoked steelhead, great northern beans, cannellini beans, chicken broth, Anaheim peppers, cumin, coriander, oregano, and lemon pepper into the pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until flavors have blended, about 30 minutes. Stir in the whipping cream. Simmer until the whipping cream is hot, but do not boil.

Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at

|| Recipes submitted by MCL readers and tested by recipe
MI CO-OP Recipes
Photos by Robert Bruce Photography
from under the sea. 10 MARCH 2023
Healthy options


Kathy Shoemaker, Great Lakes Energy

1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained

2 medium sweet onions, chopped

3 celery ribs, chopped

8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced

½ green bell pepper, chopped

1 (8-ounce) bottle clam juice

1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste

½ cup dry white wine

1 cup vegetable broth

5 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

1–2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

1 bay leaf

½ teaspoon sugar

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 pound cod or haddock fillets, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 pound uncooked shrimp (41–50 per pound), peeled and deveined

1 (6-ounce) can chopped clams, undrained

1 (6-ounce) can lump crabmeat, drained

1 pound scallops, optional

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

• sourdough bread slices

• garlic aioli mustard

In a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker, combine the first 16 ingredients (do not add seafood yet). Cook, covered, on low for 4–5 hours. Stir in seafood. Cook, covered, 20–30 minutes longer or until fi sh just begins to flake easily with a fork and shrimp turns pink. Remove bay leaf. Add parsley and stir. Toast slices of sourdough bread. Spread garlic aioli mustard over toasted slices of bread and place in a bowl. Spoon seafood cioppino over the bread. Bon appétit!


Dave Neitzke, Great Lakes Energy

1 bag salad greens

• thinly sliced red onion rings

1 (4-ounce) can sockeye (red)


1 sliced hardboiled egg

1 tablespoon capers (salt dried, if possible)

Vinaigrette Dressing:

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

(1 large)

1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Layer the lettuce on a plate. To the bed of lettuce, add slices of red onion, salmon pieces, egg slices, and capers. To prepare the dressing, combine all ingredients and whisk to emulsify. Drizzle salad with dressing. Best served with warm crusty garlic bread and a cold lager.


Sherry Cole, HomeWorks Tri-County

¹⁄ ³ cup table salt

¹⁄ ³ cup paprika

¼ cup garlic powder

¼ cup freshly ground white or black pepper

3 tablespoons onion powder

2 tablespoons cayenne pepper, or to taste

2 tablespoons dried thyme

2 tablespoons dried basil

2 tablespoons dried oregano or winter savory

Thoroughly combine all ingredients in a blender, food processor, or mixing bowl, and pour the mixture into an airtight container. This spice mix will keep for years. Makes 2 cups. When preparing seafood, liberally sprinkle the seasoning on the entire piece of fi sh, on both sides, and gently rub into fi sh. Then bake at 350 F, broil, or fry in a pan until fi sh is opaque and flakes easily with a fork.


Notice to Members of Cherryland Electric Cooperative Rate Change Effective March 6, 2023

Changes to Cherryland’s rates will go into effect on March 6. These changes include:

• $10 increase in the residential availability charge.

• $9.50 increase to the general service single-phase availability charge and $12.50 increase to the general service More

If you have questions, please call our office at (231)486-9200, send an email to, or visit our website at to explore our bill estimator tool along with blogs from Cherryland’s general manager and podcasts discussing the rate change.

questions about the
have the answers on the Co-op
Talk podcast
rate change? We
12 MARCH 2023


The availability charge covers the fixed cost of everything it takes to make sure electricity is available when you need it That includes everything from poles and wire to employees and the equipment they need.

The energy charge is where you pay for the amount of electricity you use Residential members pay $0 117/kWh and the average member uses 700 kWh/month

The PSCR charge is a billing mechanism used to help the cooperative stay on budget in times of extreme power supply market volatility It’s important to know that the PSCR can and will fluctuate over time.

Last Month This Month This Month Last Year Average Daily Use Average Daily Cost Cherryland Electric Cooperative PO Box 500 Grawn, MI 49637-0500 5930 US 31 S Hours: 7:30 am to 4:00 pm M-F www cherrylandelectric coop Billing & Outages: (231) 486-9200 (800)442-8616 Pay by phone: (877) 833-3277 Member Name: Account #: Billing Date: Current Bill Due Date: Phone Email: JOHN DOE Monthly Energy Use Comparison IMPORTANT MEMBER INFORMATION kWh Your Daily Averages TOTAL AMOUNT DUE $117.00 Due Date 03/06/2023 kWh 700 Avg Temp 69° kWh 700 Avg Temp 64 kWh 700 Avg Temp 62° 23 $3.90 Have you explored the energy use tools on SmartHub yet? With a SmartHub account, you can analyze your past and current usage, as well as plan and conserve in the future. Compare your use and costs, set markers to monitor changes in your usage over time, and get energy savings tips Sign up for a SmartHub account via our website today! C h a r g e d e t a i l f o u n d o n t h e b a c k o f t h i s p a g e 1234567 02/13/2023 03/06/2023: (231)123-4567 JohnDoe@email com Nov Current 605 Previous 609 Dec 596 682 Jan 700 991 Feb 720 806 Mar 559 686 Apr 642 704 May 506 586 Jun 655 704 Jul 728 1061 Aug 851 834 Sep 723 1002 Oct 547 578 Meter# 45758573 Service Address: 1000 CO-OP RD Line & Pole: xx1 23 45 Account Number : 1234567 Meter # Rate Days Services From To Readings Previous Present Metered Usage Meter Multiplier 1 Demand 12345678 30 01/06/23 02/06/23 16732 17432 700 N/A Residential For more information on your usage log into your account on our website or download our SmartHub app Total Current Activity Previous Account Activity P r e v i o u s B a l a n c e P a y m e n t ( s ) - T h a n k Y o u Account Balance Before Current Charges Current Activity $0 00 $117 00 A v a i l a b i l i t y C h a r g e E n e r g y C h a r g e P S C R A d j u s t m e n t S a l e s T a x C h e r r y l a n d C a r e s R o u n d u p C o n t r i b u t i o n $ 1 1 5 0 0 - $ 1 1 5 0 0 $ 2 8 0 0 $ 8 1 9 7 $ 0 0 0 $ 6 6 0 $ 0 4 3 7 0 0 k W h @ 0 1 1 7 1 7 0 0 k W h @ 0 0 0 0 Total Amount Due $117 00



In 2012, Dakota, now 26, and Garret, now 23, Porter shot an application video to appear on ABC’s ”Shark Tank,” a reality TV show that features entrepreneurs pitching their ideas to a panel of potential investors or “sharks.”

The brothers’ product—an aftermarket LED light system for action sports equipment like snowboards, surfboards, and skateboards—ended up beating out the initial 40,000 applicants and they had hopes of ending up on the show with an investment deal. This is where many “small-town dreamers make good” stories begin, but that’s not quite the case for the brothers’ company, ActionGlow.

The Porters’ story actually starts back in 2012 when the two were just 16 and 13 years old. The Cherryland Electric Cooperative members, like many from the Traverse City area, were avid snowboarders and were looking for a way to trick out their boards to stand out on the hill. They imagined an LED light system that could be attached to their boards, making an impact on their evening runs. There wasn’t anything like it on the market, so the Porters ordered parts, tinkered around, and took their lighting systems out for a trial run a couple of weeks later.

“We went to Mt. Holiday for the first run,” said Dakota. “It felt like everyone on the whole mountain stopped to look. When we hit the bottom, a group gathered, asking where they could buy one.”

That would have been enough for many teens, just the look of approval and high-fives from their friends, but it wasn’t for the Porters.

“ We tell young people that if they have an idea—to go ahead and do it now. There’s so much to learn and so much less to lose. Take the risk because being young is the perfect time to fail.” —Garret Porter
14 MARCH 2023
Owners of ActionGlow, Dakota (left) and Garret Porter (right).

The former Eagle Scouts took their fundraising skills and raised just enough to apply for an LLC and begin the process of patenting their idea. In 2013, the teens took their revised design online. Within 48 hours, the entire stock they’d built sold out.

In the meantime, ”Shark Tank” was gaining popularity, and the brothers made their first audition tape in 2012 for Season 4. They didn’t make it onto the show, but a year and a half later, a producer checked in on the brothers, who were busy taking their product to trade shows and filling orders. They were asked to apply again for Season 6. The brothers obliged, only to get the call that they wouldn’t be moving forward.

“It was disappointing,” said Garret. “But we knew this wasn’t the end of our business, just this particular opportunity.”

In 2016, a familiar ring from Shark Tank producers came with a request to apply a third time for Season 8. And you know what they say about the third time being the charm?

“We were so excited. We knew this was it. We even took our parents to dinner to celebrate,” Garret said. “Unfortunately, it wasn’t.”

This kind of disappointment might plant more than a seed of doubt for many entrepreneurs, let alone two young people getting their feet wet in the business waters, but not the Porters.

“We watched our dad and mom work hard their entire lives,” said Dakota. “We never thought this would be easy. We just knew to keep working.”

As the brothers made connections in the business community and with local investors, their business continued to grow. Their product was being refined, allowing them to network with professional athletes and brand sponsors.

After high school, ActionGlow became the brothers’ full-time focus. But Garret hadn’t forgotten about the Shark Tank dream. In 2022, he filled out the application again without telling his brother. A couple of months later, a familiar email came from the show. Garret had to come clean to Dakota, and the two decided—this would be their last try. But much like the grit that comes with action sports—they gave it one big, final shot. That’s what landed the Porters on Season 14 of Shark Tank, eventually leading to the backing from “shark” Robert Herjavec, who made a $200,000 investment and took a 30% stake in the company. This was 10 years after their first audition tape.

“We don’t know what was different this time. Maybe we paid our dues,” said Garret. “But for sure, we tell young people that if they have an idea—to go ahead and do it now. There’s so much to learn and so much less to lose. Take the risk because being young is the perfect time to fail.”

/ActionGlow /actionglow 15 MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES
more products and information, visit

Your Board In Action:


• The board approved the proposed rate increase for 2023. The board’s decision comes after an extensive rate study and hearing members’ comments at a January public meeting. The rate increase will go into effect on March 6, 2023.

• The co-op’s power supplier, Wolverine, gave a special presentation regarding power supply strategy and available options amid extreme power supply market volatility. They discussed their work on several large solar developments and their continued effort to pursue power purchase agreements.

• Cherryland’s chief financial officer reported on 2022 year-end financial highlights. He noted that power supply costs ended up $1.4 million over budget due to market volatility, but that the co-op ended the year on budget for operating expenses.

• The board voted to donate $10,000 in unclaimed capital credits to the Cooperative Family Fund. The Cooperative Family Fund is a new resource designed to support children of electric cooperative employees when they experience the loss of a parent while actively employed at a cooperative.

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 Dawn Garrock at a minimum of three business days before the monthly board meeting.

Statement Of Nondiscrimination

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 http://www.ascr. and 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 Ave., SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

2. fax: (202) 690-7442; or

3. email: This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

16 MARCH 2023

Enter to win a $200 energy bill credit!

Submit Your “Bikes” Photos By March 20!

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 March theme is Bikes! 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 or visit for a link to the current photo contest. Enter your picture, cast your vote, and encourage others to vote for you as well. If your photo is printed in Country Lines during 2023, you will be entered to win a credit of up to $200 on your December 2023 bill.


1. “She’s my cherry pie” Andy Marek

2. “Under the rainbow!” Andrea Kissel

3. “Class reunion!” Nanette Merica

4. “Dad asking Mom to marry him outside his 1957 Olds 98 Convertible” Brian Clarke

5. “Custom-built ‘95 Jeep XJ rock crawler!” Olivia Miron

6. “First car!” Scott Santa

7. “My 1937 Chevy Street Rod” Patrick Harrand

3 4 7 6 1 2

Mystery Photo

Win a $100 energy bill credit!

Where In

Michigan Is This?

Identify the correct location of the photo above by March 24 and be entered into a drawing to win a $100 electric bill credit. Enter your guess at

Nature Memories

January 2023 Winner! Our Mystery Photo winner is Jason DeLille, a Midwest Energy & Communications Cooperative member, who correctly identified the photo as Michigan State University Beaumont Tower in East Lansing. Winners are announced in the following issues of Country Lines: January, March, May, July/ August, September, and November/December.


rowing up, our family always kept a flower garden. It was filled with roses, dahlias, and peonies. The Peace rose was my dad’s favorite. He was a WWII veteran, and that rose was named for the celebration of the war ending.

He often traveled for his job and asked me to be the keeper of the garden. I mixed the soil with peat and fertilizer and sprayed the insecticides. I sang to those plants; a chorus of colors sang back. Dusk stepped up the deep-root water soaking. Birds danced in the mist. This garden gave me inspiration for my studies in art and design.

We lived in central Michigan at the edge of the hardwood tree line made by glacier—glaciers over a thousand feet in height. It is a vast land of smooth stones and forest that stops abruptly and then turns to flat, fertile, sandy lands, where sugar beets and potatoes are grown and processed. Evening breezes send the perfume of the potatoes, the beets, and the sulphur of the oil wells. There is a calming rhythm of a well’s pumping, “haw hee...pap pap pap.” A small sludge pond shimmers with a film of blue-green iridescence. Raccoon tracks a hint of last night’s activities.

Come spring, a few abandoned apple trees open their soft, white blossoms. The summer brings sunflowers, purple thistles, and cattails, and intricate colored geometries to our beloved landscape. These forms were the models for my botanical sketch studies. Memories became companions.

This evening I will be tending my garden. Dusk blends its forms and colors. From the corner of my eye, I might catch a flutter and hear the barred owl high in the pines, “whoo choo ha whoo.” The songbirds and purple martins will flit about in the spray of the sprinklers. Later the bats will take over the landscape. Spiders will reweave their webs in the glistening wet grass. My dad, rest in peace, will have a presence there.

About the Author: John is a retired architect and designed prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan for 12 years in the war. He enjoys painting watercolors and cooking with his wife, Mary Louise.

to submit.

MI CO-OP Guest Column
Guest Column Win
published! Share your fondest memories and stories. Win $200 for stories published. Visit
“There is no better designer than nature”
18 MARCH 2023
Alexander McQueen
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Serveon Cherryland's Board! Want to run for a seat on the Cherryland Board of Directors? The nominating period for board candidates begins March 1 and ends at 4 p.m. on March 30. Visit to learn more!
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