May 2023 Cherryland

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America’s Only NICKEL MINE IS IN THE UPPER PENINSULA COUNTRY LINES May 2023 MICHIGAN Cherryland Electric Cooperative Signing Off and Signing On: Columns From Both Retiring General Manager Tony Anderson and Future CEO Rachel Johnson 2022 Annual Report  Annual Meetings Over The Years

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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.


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For more than 40 years, our co-op members have received Michigan Country Lines because it is the most effective and economical way to share information. Michigan Country Lines keeps members up-to-date about everything going on within their electric co-op. Issues contain news about co-op services, director elections, member meetings, and management decisions that members need to know about as owners of the co-op. The magazine also includes legal notices that would otherwise have to be placed in local media at a substantial cost. Sending Michigan Country Lines helps the co-op fulfill one of its essential principles—to educate and communicate openly with its members. The board of directors authorizes the co-op to subscribe to Michigan Country Lines on behalf of each member at an average cost of $4.15 per year, paid as part of members’ electric bills. The current magazine cost is 52 cents per copy. Michigan Country Lines is published, at cost, by the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association in Lansing. As always, we welcome your comments at


Instagram contest winner

Weathered and wonderful @lexannrebecca

(LexAnn De Weerd)


An unconventional, but life-changing, retreat helps women fish their way toward healing from breast cancer.

10 MY CO-OP KITCHEN Breakfast for Dinner: Change up your routine and delight your taste buds.


From stainless steel to EVs, Eagle Mine meets the ever-rising demand for nickel—in a sustainable and responsible way.


Reflections on Our Pond: A GLE member recalls how a tiny body of water had a huge impact on her family.

MI Co-op Community

To enter contests, submit reader content & more, visit

Instagram Contest

Use #micoopcommunity for a chance to be featured here and on our Instagram account. Win $100 for photos published!

Recipe Contest

See details on page 10. Chocolate due July 1. Win a $100 bill credit!

Guest Column

Share your fondest memories and stories. Win $200 for stories published. Visit to submit. Win $200 for stories published!

Mystery Photo

See details on page 18. Win a $100 bill credit!

Contents May 2023 Vol. 43, No. 5 /michigancountrylines /michigancountrylines

/cherrylandelectriccoop @cherrylandec


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.

Signing Off, Moving Forward

Alittle over 20 years ago, I wrote my first column as the manager of your cooperative. This column will be my last. I contemplated all the things I could write about. While immensely proud of many accomplishments over the past two decades, I choose to look forward and not back. I will leave my legacy to you, the readers, and not rehash history.

What’s ahead for me? As Michigan representative and president of the board, I will serve beside cooperative board members from 47 other states on the board for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association until March of 2026. I will volunteer my time for as long as possible to the Cooperative Family Fund, a nationwide nonprofit serving kids who lose a parent who was a full-time co-op employee at any of the 900 electric cooperatives nationwide. Finally, as much as possible, I will enjoy my wife, grown children, and grandkids at our home in Elk Rapids and on the clear blue waters of Elk Lake. (Wave at the old guy in the red chairs just past the no-wake zone on the river or stop by the house with the only Green Bay Packer mailbox in town).

At your cooperative, the future is so very bright. The board has named Rachel Johnson as your next CEO. Rachel has been a valuable member of my management team for the past 10 years. She has all the things you

will need in the years ahead—youthful energy, passion for our mission, great intelligence, work ethic beyond compare, and a commitment to our communities. There should be no talk of “filling shoes.” Rachel is a leader with the confidence and talent to walk her own path.

Below Rachel, Frank Siepker will continue to lead an engineering and operations team with talent and depth. CFO Mark Wilson will train and guide the financial team, who will keep the cooperative numbers on the right track. Operations Supervisor Jeff Puffer has a very strong team of linemen that will be with the cooperative for a long while. Over in the HR department, Kerry Kalbfleisch retired in March after 13 years of dedicated service. She was replaced by Deidre Charnes, who comes with solid experience. Going into the future, the management team I have leaned on is solidly in place to support Rachel, as they have held me up for years.

The remaining employees are just as strong. Over the years, I have overseen the hiring of 57 of the 60 employees who will keep the lights on in the years ahead. I have all the confidence in the world that there is great talent willing and able to serve far into the future. It is a cliché, but your cooperative really is in good hands.

I won’t be far away. While I am confident that my phone won’t ring, I will always be ready to lend a hand to help, an ear to listen, or advice from years gone by. Cherryland will forever be in my heart. I feel so lucky to have had this time to serve all the members of your cooperative.

I believe I have received more than I have given over the past 20 years. I can only hope that you all give the people who remain as much as you have given me. Together, Cherryland Electric Cooperative will grow, improve, and remain a source of pride for everyone.

My long goodbye is over. I know that I will fade from collective memories in time. That’s okay. It’s part of life and part of moving forward. Please know that your place in my heart will last until my ultimate goodbye.

Scan here to learn more about Tony’s career, the moments he’s most proud of, and what’s next on the Co-op Energy Talk Podcast

4 MAY 2023

Signing On, Embracing The Moment

In January, my six-year-old nephew and I went to Disney World. It was his first time and mine. We were only there for a few days, but it was one of those rare times in life when you’re completely aware of how special and fleeting the moment is. He and I spent those days completely in the here and now, completely in the present, and fully embracing the moment.

Leadership transitions often cause stress, uncertainty, and organizational anxiety. But, as I reflect on the leadership transition at Cherryland, I’m mindful of the Disney lesson to embrace this moment, experience it fully, and celebrate it.

Tony announced he would retire from the co-op 320 days ago after 20 years of service to our members and community. I’ve had the privilege of working alongside him and learning from him for 10 of those years.

Tony has dedicated his entire career to serving electric cooperatives across the country. He is passionate about the mission of electric cooperatives and deeply committed to championing the needs of rural communities. As he wraps up his service to Cherryland in the coming months, his service to

America’s electric cooperatives is only ramping up. We are lucky to have Tony at the helm of our National Rural Electric Cooperative Association board in the coming years.

It has been a true privilege to be part of this amazing team at Cherryland. Together, we have built this cooperative to be the best in class. Our members enjoy best-instate electric reliability while paying electric bills that are consistently more than 15% lower than our neighboring investor-owned utility. That commitment to our members shows; we lead the nation for member-consumer satisfaction and loyalty.

Through our partnership with Wolverine Power Cooperative, we’ve built an industry-leading 62% carbonfree power supply portfolio and built a well-rounded power supply strategy that has protected our members from price volatility in the energy markets.

As we sit in this moment of leadership transition, we have so much to be proud of and so much to celebrate.

As I look forward, I see significant opportunities. I also see a few challenges our cooperative needs to be prepared to meet. Our industry is undergoing a significant and transformational change as we incorporate more renewable energy, utilize more distributed resources to balance the electric grid, and prepare to deliver more electricity to our communities than ever before in order to support electric vehicles.

We will meet those challenges through investments in technology and through advocacy at the state and national level for smart, grid-enhancing infrastructure improvements that keep the lights on and keep electric bills affordable.

In the coming months, I’ll use the pages of this magazine to share with you more details about this energy transformation and how we can position this cooperative and our rural community to lead the way.

But for today, I hope you all join me in celebrating how far we’ve come and how well-positioned we are to meet the challenges of the future.

“As we sit in this moment of leadership transition, we have so much to be proud of and so much to celebrate.”

Casting for Recovery Michigan

An unconventional, but life-changing, retreat helps women fish their way toward healing from breast cancer

In late August, 14 women who have been afflicted with breast cancer will gather at the beautiful Barothy Lodge in Walhalla, Michigan, on the Pere Marquette River for a weekend of camaraderie, discussion, medical and psychological guidance, and, surprisingly enough, fly fishing. It’s all part of a Casting for Recovery (CfR) retreat, where participants get a few days to set aside worries about their diagnosis, doctor appointments, and fear of the future, and come away from their respite equipped with powerful tools that enable them to face challenges moving forward.

Casting for Recovery is a nonprofit organization that was established in 1996 in Vermont. It was created by a breast cancer reconstructive surgeon and a professional fly fisher, with the idea to take the healing power of nature and combine it with the casting motions of fly fishing. These motions closely mimic those that are prescribed to breast cancer patients after radiation or surgery to help them increase mobility in the arms and upper body.

Karen O’Briant, the co-coordinator of the CfR Michigan program, and a Great Lakes Energy Cooperative member, came upon the organization in an unfortunate manner—she

was diagnosed with breast cancer herself in 2020, right at the beginning of the pandemic. “Normally, when you go through chemo, you can take someone with you for support,” she said. “But I had to go through it by myself.” O’Briant, who said she was not big on support groups at the time, found herself looking for some comfort. One day in her surgeon’s office, she was discussing her hobby of fly fishing with a nurse, and the nurse told her there was a group that offered a fly fishing retreat for breast cancer patients. After investigating and discovering CfR, O’Briant applied for the 2021 retreat and got in as an alternate. The experience meant so much to her that she jumped at the chance to work for the organization, where she now helps arrange and fundraise for the annual retreat.

CfR retreats run for two and a half days. They are totally free for the women in attendance, who are chosen through a drawing of applicant names, and all of the fishing equipment, food, and lodging is provided. The guided fly fishing excursion occurs on the last day of the retreat. In preparation for that, the women learn about things like tying fishing knots, casting, bugs they’ll find on the water, the flow of the river, etc. When not in educational sessions, the women participate in discussions with each other and

6 MAY 2023

the volunteer medical and psychological facilitators. The conversations help in two ways—the women get to talk about their own experiences and feel the catharsis that comes with opening up, while also benefitting from hearing the stories of people who are going through the same thing they are. Reflecting on her own experience, O’Briant said, “We all laughed and cried. I hadn’t really been able to talk to others about it because they didn’t understand. The emotions you go through are healing, and you can find inspiration and hope from the other women. I’ve made lifelong friends.” After two days of learning, talking, and eating the meals provided by the Pere Marquette Bistro in Reed City—which O’Briant says is amazing—the women are ready to hit the river. Each participant pairs up with one of the volunteer river helpers, who are all experienced anglers, and the groups are assigned to particular stations (with accommodations given to those who need them). Whether they catch anything or not, the experience is transformative. “It’s so tranquil just being there and listening to the water,” O’Briant said. The day concludes with a lunch and a graduation ceremony, where women take pictures with their helpers, and receive a certificate and a lanyard.

CfR is still accepting applications for this year’s retreat. O’Briant said she strongly recommends that you apply if you are a woman who has or has had breast cancer. “There is no experience like it,” she said. “It totally changed my outlook on cancer and treatments, and it gave me hope for the future.”


• Retreats are appropriate for women in all stages of treatment and recovery, and are open to women of all ages.

• There are 40+ retreats nationwide, and CfR has inspired similar programs in six countries outside the U.S.

• To date, CfR has helped over 10,000 women with breast cancer.

CfR relies on the support of more than 1,800 volunteers nationwide, including medical and psychosocial professionals, fly fishing instructors, and alumnae. It also relies heavily on fundraising. If you would like to donate money or your time, visit and click on “Ways to Help.”

Support the Michigan program by directing your donation to the secure online form at and choose Michigan or use this QR code.

“ We all laughed and cried. I hadn’t really been able to talk to others about it because they didn’t understand. The emotions you go through are healing, and you can find inspiration and hope from the other women. I’ve made lifelong friends.”

Cherryland’s 85th Annual Meeting Scheduled for June 15

Cherryland’s 85th Annual Meeting will take place Thursday, June 15, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Incredible Mo’s in Grawn. For more information about this year’s event, refer to this issue’s cover wrap, and find updates and details on our website and through social media.

Vote in Cherryland’s Election

Vote in the 2023 Cherryland Election, and you could win a $100 bill credit! Vote on SmartHub, by mail, or in person during our 85th Annual Meeting on June 15. For more information about voting, check the back of this issue or visit our website. This year, members will choose one at-large director and one Leelanau County director. You can read about the candidates and proposed changes in the Annual Report at the center of this issue of Michigan Country Lines.

Members Earn Rebates With Energy-Efficient Upgrades

Cherryland members are eligible to receive rebates for energy-efficient upgrades in their homes or businesses. For a guide to our residential rebate program and a complete listing of rebates available, visit our website at

Cherryland Office Closed Memorial Day

The Cherryland office will be closed Monday, May 29, in observance of Memorial Day. Normal business hours resume Tuesday, May 30.

Line crews are on call to respond to any outages or emergencies. You can report an outage by texting OUT to 800-442-8616, logging into SmartHub, or calling us at 231-486-9200.

Cherryland Cares Awards $15,000 to Five Nonprofits

At its first-quarter board meeting, the Cherryland Cares board awarded grants to Grow Benzie, the Leelanau County Cancer Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Michigan, Child & Family Services of Northwest Michigan, and Benzie Senior Resources. Cherryland Cares awarded a total of $15,000 in grants to these area nonprofit agencies.

The Cherryland Cares board is comprised of five volunteer Cherryland members. The funds distributed by Cherryland Cares come from members electing to round up their monthly bills to the nearest dollar. Members can contribute to the Cherryland Cares fund by calling 231-486-9200, signing up through SmartHub, or emailing us at

If you are an area nonprofit agency seeking financial help, second-quarter grant applications are due Thursday, June 1. For more information, please call Dawn Garrock at 231-486-9234 or email her at

8 MAY 2023


Fun to eat morning and night.

Recipe Contest

Win a $100 energy bill credit!

Chocolate recipes due July 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


Ann Utter, Presque Isle

1 pound mild pork sausage (or substitute w/ small cubes of cooked ham)

12 eggs

2 cups (16 ounces) small curd cottage cheese

3 cups (12 ounces) shredded Monterey

Jack cheese (or pepper jack cheese)

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese

½ cup all-purpose flour (or gluten free)

½ cup butter or margarine, melted

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms, optional

¾ cup onion, finely chopped

1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies, drained

• grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 F. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook sausage (if using) until no longer pink; drain. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, cheeses, flour, butter, and baking powder. Stir in mushrooms, onion, chilies, and sausage (or ham). Transfer to two greased 9-inch round baking dishes (dishes will be quite full). Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 35–40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Makes two quiches (6–8 servings each). Divide recipe ingredients in half to make one quiche.

Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at

|| Recipes submitted by MCL readers and tested by recipe editor Christin McKamey MI CO-OP Recipes
Photos by Robert Bruce Photography
10 MAY 2023


Janet Cather, Midwest Energy

1 pound ground pork, browned (I use chorizo, but you can use plain/ Italian too)

2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheddar cheese, divided

1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles, drained

8 (8-inch) flour tortillas (I use whole wheat)

6 large eggs

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup unsweetened milk of choice (I use unsweetened soy milk)

1 tablespoon flour

• favorite jarred salsa

• diced green onions, for topping, optional

Optional Serving Sides:

• sour cream

• hash browns/tater tots

• Mexican street corn

• additional salsa

Spray 9x13 metal pan with cooking spray (if using glass, cooking time may vary).

Combine browned sausage with 1 cup cheese and diced green chiles. Place ¹⁄ 8

(around ½ cup+) of the mixture down the center of each tortilla. Roll up and place seam side down in the baking dish. In another large bowl, whisk/beat the eggs, heavy cream, milk, and flour (note: it’s best to first shake the flour with a portion of the milk in a small lidded container, around 4 ounces, to ensure the flour is blended in). Pour egg mixture evenly over the tortillas in the pan. Cover the dish and place in fridge for 6+ hours (this allows the tortillas time to absorb the egg mixture and prevent it from being too runny). Preheat the oven to 350 F when ready to bake. Remove cover from the dish and sprinkle the remaining 1 cup cheese over the tortillas. Bake covered with foil for 40–45 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 10–15 minutes. Remove dish from oven and spread as much salsa as you want on top of the tortillas. You can add the diced green onions at this point too. Serve with remaining salsa along with any other chosen sides. Enjoy! Note: I prep this recipe around 10 a.m. for a 7 p.m. dinner. Or, you can prep the night before for a hearty breakfast.


Deanne Quain, Great Lakes Energy

1 (13.8-ounce) tube refrigerated pizza crust

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

6 large eggs

2 tablespoons water

6–8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400 F. Unroll and press dough onto the bottom and ½ inch up

the sides of a 15x10x1-inch pan. Prick thoroughly with a fork, then brush with 1 tablespoon oil. Bake until lightly browned, 7–8 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk egg and water. In a nonstick skillet, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add eggs and scramble over medium heat until thickened, slowly moving the eggs around until softly scrambled and fluffy. Spoon over crust and sprinkle with bacon and cheese. Bake until cheese is melted, about 5–7 minutes.


Jack Schonert, Great Lakes Energy

1 pound bacon, divided

1 pound ground sausage, divided

1 (8-count) can biscuits

1 cup finely chopped onion

2 cups grated cheese, divided

6 eggs

3¹⁄ ³ cups milk, divided

¹⁄ 8 teaspoon nutmeg

½ cup flour

¹⁄ 8 -¼ teaspoon salt

¹⁄ 8 -¼ teaspoon black pepper

• Optional: mushrooms, diced red or green bell pepper, red pepper


Preheat oven to 350 F. Fry the bacon and sausage; drain grease. Cut or crumble the

bacon into pieces and place both together back into a big frying pan or saucepan. Grease sides and bottom of 9x13 pan. Cut biscuits into quarters and place in bottom of the pan. Layer a quarter of both the bacon and sausage over the biscuits; sprinkle with onion and 1 cup cheese. Whisk eggs in a bowl; stir in ¹⁄ ³ cup milk and nutmeg. Pour evenly over the biscuits. To the remaining ¾ of sausage and bacon, add flour, salt, and pepper (and optional ingredients), and remaining 3 cups milk. Cook over medium heat until bubbly and thickened. Pour over biscuits and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese. Bake for 45 minutes.



1990 1980 1970 1960
Congressman Guy Vander Jagt, representing Michigan’s 9th District, addresses Cherryland members at the 1968 Annual Meeting.
2008 2013 1981 2006
Members gather for the business meeting portion of the Annual Meeting under the big tent outside of the Cherryland office in Grawn. Cherryland’s Annual Meeting moves to Wuerfel Park! Members enjoyed an evening at the ballpark in addition to Annual Meeting festivities in 2013.
12 MAY 2023
Board members, along with General Manager Tony Anderson, prepare to begin the business meeting inside the Cherryland warehouse in Grawn.

From the Cherryland warehouse to Wuerfel Park to Incredible Mo’s to Turtle Creek Stadium and back to Incredible Mo’s—Cherryland’s Annual Meeting has evolved over time. One thing will always be true—it’s a special opportunity to connect with your cooperative! 2021 2022

Time to switch things up! Cherryland’s Annual Meeting moves down the road to Incredible



Bucket truck rides are always a highlight of the event!

2020 2010 2000
2023 2014 2018
After a Annual Meeting 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we returned to the ballpark (now Turtle Creek Stadium) in 2021.
Join us on June 15 at Incredible Mo’s to celebrate General Manager Tony Anderson at his final Cherryland Annual Meeting before he retires! 13 MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES
From bucket truck rides, magicians, an ice cream truck, and, of course, Willie Wiredhand, members spent valuable time with their cooperative at yet another fun-filled Annual Meeting!


Not many business models begin with an ending in mind. But that’s how Eagle Mine in western Marquette County started its business activity.

“With the last 10 years or so, that’s what sustainable mining means,” said External Communications Manager Matt Johnson of Lundin Mining Co., which owns Eagle Mine. “You design a mine for closure. Before you even open, you have to prepare to close it responsibly.”

Eagle Mine is the only active nickel mine in the United States right now, with a concentration on unearthing an ore body that hopes to produce enough nickel to meet the ever-rising global demand.

Nickel doesn’t have the same cachet as gold and silver, but it is an absolute necessity in the production of things like stainless steel products. Consider your favorite kitchen upgrade with a stainless refrigerator, stove, and dishwasher. Each of those appliances benefits from the antimicrobial, anti-rust, and anti-corrosion attributes of stainless steel, but the nickel makes them even stronger and more resistant to wear and tear.

In fact, there is an even greater demand for nickel these days as we see energy-efficient electric vehicles hitting the scene. Nickel is a mineral that helps increase energy storage in lithium-ion batteries, boosting the range electric cars can drive on a single charge.

14 MAY 2023

“At this point in our country’s production history, we need minerals, and those minerals need to be mined. But we’re going to make sure it’s done sustainably, responsibly, and transparently.”

“There is no electric vehicle battery without nickel,” notes Johnson. “In 2017, about 3% of nickel went into the EV industry. In the next 10 years, we’re looking at closer to 40%.”

It’s a complex cycle of electric vehicles helping to reduce emissions and the impact on the climate, and encouraging additional production of environmentally friendly cars. However, mining is at the heart of that production stream. While nickel could be mined and purchased from other countries, many of them have much looser rules and guidelines regulating them. There are big benefits to having a U.S.-based mine that holds itself to the highest environmental and social standards.

“Part of our company’s mission is to fund and partner with groups to delve deeper into the research, create bestpractice critical material development, and create a new stream for critical minerals for batteries,” said Johnson. “The increased demand for nickel is nearly 100 times what it was just a decade ago. So, we need to increase our level of responsibility to make sure we are helping to solve problems, not create more.”

Eagle Mine has developed many relationships to help create better systems for solving those problems. They’ve partnered with Michigan Technological University to develop new research technologies that create sustainable processes in order to supply critical minerals for battery manufacturing, as well as to make a concentrated effort to improve battery recycling. These efforts are necessary, but are also just the beginning to meet the ever-increasing demand for metal in new products and technologies.

“We are leaders in mining best practices,” said Johnson. “We need to balance meeting the demand with making sure our impact is as limited as possible.”

While Eagle Mine is identifying the environmental impacts, they also concern themselves with community impact. They hold local forums every six months to engage in folks’ questions and concerns and ensure they are responding in kind.

“Constructive dialogue is critical to what we do. We don’t have all the answers, because we can’t know all the questions. We listen and respond seriously to the community,” said Johnson. “We don’t just have a responsibility to the community while the mine is open, we need to make sure we don’t have a negative impact once it closes as well.”

Right now it looks like the mine could close sometime in the next four years, unless bigger ore stores are discovered. For now, Eagle Mine is keeping the nickel coming with the help of their nearly 400 employees to meet the needs of the electric vehicle industry and cleaner transportation.

“At this point in our country’s production history, we need minerals, and those minerals need to be mined,” said Johnson. “But we’re going to make sure it’s done sustainably, responsibly, and transparently.”

For more information:


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 12/31/22.

Your Board In Action

March Board Meeting

• Cherryland’s chief financial officer reported that February revenue came in under budget again, due to mild winter weather.

Fuel Mix

Regional Average Fuel Mix

• The board accepted the resignation of Cherryland Cares board member Jeremy Hawke and appointed Rebecca Sanford to the Cherryland Cares board.

• The board of directors re-elected Melinda Lautner to serve a two-year term representing Cherryland on the Wolverine Board of Directors.

Access To Rules And Rates

Please be advised that the following information is available to Cherryland Electric Cooperative members:

1. Complete rate schedules;

2. Clear and concise explanation of all rates that the member may be eligible to receive;

3. Assistance from the cooperative in determining the most appropriate rate for a member when the member is eligible to receive service under more than one rate;

4. Clear and concise explanation of the member’s actual energy use for each billing period during the last 12 months.

The information can be obtained by visiting or contacting Cherryland Electric Cooperative at 231-486-9200.

Emissions And
Comparison Of Fuel Sources Used
*Regional average information was obtained from the MPSC website and is for the 12-month period ending 12/31/22. Cherryland purchases 100% of its electricity from Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative, Inc., which provided this fuel mix and environmental data.
Your Co-op’s
NOTE: Biomass excludes wood; solid waste incineration includes landfill gas; and wind includes a long-term renewable purchase power contract in Wolverine’s mix.
Type of emission/waste lbs/MWh Your co-op Regional average* Sulfur Dioxide 0.50 0.92 Carbon Dioxide 634.8 1,061.3 Oxides of Nitrogen 0.43 0.84 High-Level Nuclear Waste 0.0094 0.0060 Fuel source Your co-op’s fuel mix Regional average fuel mix Coal 20.215% 33.472% Oil 0.248% 0.476% Gas 18.407% 29.441% Hydroelectric 0.518% 0.873% Nuclear 40.632% 25.901% Renewable Fuels 19.980% 9.837% Biofuel 0.316% 0.662% Biomass 0.181% 0.417% Solar 0.856% 0.766% Solid Waste Incineration 0.080% 0.011% Wind 18.341% 7.567% Wood 0.206% 0.414% 16 MAY 2023


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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 May theme is Camping! Photos can be submitted through May 20 to be featured in our July/August issue.

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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.


6 7 1 2 4
2. “Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail.” Amy Truchan 3. “The reward for a long ride ... wine!” Joan Peyerk 4. “Reverting back to my childhood.” Lori Sanderson 5. “Onekama block party on the penny farthing.” Michael McCann 6. Great day for a ride in Leelanau County!” Randy Kraus 7. “Vintage BMX.” Trissa Killeen 8. “Milo & Me!” Kristi Charles 1. “Florida vibes ... waiting to take the elevator to the ground floor.” Amber Pomper

Reflections On Our Pond

Our 24-year-old son came over today with youthful enthusiasm and energy, claiming he would get the pond ready to skate on. Last year, to my delight, he and his girlfriend (now his wife) did the same thing.

Why is this a moment? It blesses me to my core. For over 20 years, my husband and I spent many winter afternoons using shovels to clear the pond so the kids could skate after school. It became my aerobic exercise for the day. What a treat it was to have our little sanctuary of winter fun, and now as we approach our senior years, our youngest son is taking it over and continuing the tradition—albeit in a different manner. Rather than shoveling, he tows the snowblower, mounted on the snow scoop, and pulls them both behind the snowmobile to take down to the pond. After removing the snow, he cuts a hole in the pond and spreads a fresh sheen of ice over its entirety with fivegallon buckets.

That pond has such precious memories. The children and I have had picnics on its shore in the spring before the mosquitoes hatch. One Father’s Day, we spent the day crafting a log raft. We have “fished” for leaves in the surrounding swamp. There have been turtle-catching days, especially for the elusive old man snapper. There was even a campout that my husband had with the two older boys in a tent on the pond’s shore while spring peepers and bullfrogs hammered in their ears. He didn’t get any sleep that night.

Many children have shared the joys of our little slice of nature as the kids have brought friends to share in the fun. My oldest son had the “best night of his life” and the “worst night of his life” on that pond within a span of 20 minutes. What started as an exciting night of potential hockey with brooms and a block of wood for a puck was quickly terminated shortly after we stepped onto the ice. Not only were we going to skate by the light of the moon, but stepping onto the ice made the loudest crack I’d ever heard. Images of being swallowed up in the dark, murky water took over my mind and ended our adventure—Ahh— the disappointments of youth.

Mystery Photo

Win a $100 energy bill credit!

There have even been a few magical winters when the swamp froze along with the pond. My daughter and youngest son would skate with me throughout the woods, circling trees and bushes in what felt like a magical fairyland. My husband and I bought this 12-acre parcel 25 years ago. That pond and its surrounding swamp have been our little escape from the world’s hubbub. It has felt like our own special ecosystem that has welcomed various birds and wildlife and given us a peaceful reminder of the beauty of God’s creation. The kids have all grown and have homes of their own now, but the memories remain. And now it’s time for me to go as my youngest has returned with the announcement, “The pond’s ready to skate on, Ma.” Let me grab my skates and head on down!

About The Author: Kathy is a retired physical therapist. She enjoys many outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, camping, birdwatching, and cross-country skiing with her husband and friends. She and her husband are beginning the grandparent stage of their lives with two beautiful granddaughters.

Guest Column

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Where In Michigan Is This?

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

March 2023 Winner!

Our Mystery Photo winner is Brian Soop, a Cherryland Electric Cooperative member, who correctly identified the photo as the Belle Isle Conservatory in Detroit. Winners are announced in the following issues of Country Lines: January, March, May, July/ August, September, and November/December.

MI CO-OP Guest Column


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