Sept. 2022 Alger Delta

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COUNTRY LINES DeepRootsThe OF APPLEMICHIGAN’SINDUSTRY Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association September/October 2022 MICHIGAN Supporting Youth Agriculturists And Providing Food To The Community Annual HighlightsMeeting Alger Delta’s Community Impact

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Michigan’sCooperativesElectric Contents September 2022 Vol. 42, No. 8 /michigancountrylines 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. EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Casey Clark EDITOR: Christine Dorr GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Karreen Bird RECIPE EDITOR: Christin McKamey COPY EDITOR: Yvette Pecha CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: Emily Haines Lloyd PUBLISHER: Michigan Electric Cooperative Association Michigan Country Lines, USPS-591-710, is published monthly, except August and December, with periodicals postage paid at Lansing, Mich., and additional offices. It is the official publication of the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association, 201 Townsend St., Suite 900, Lansing, MI 48933. Subscriptions are authorized for members of Alger Delta, Cherryland, Great Lakes, HomeWorks Tri-County, Midwest Energy & Communications, Ontonagon, Presque Isle, and Thumb electric cooperatives by their boards of directors. Postmaster: Send all UAA to CFS. Association Officers: Robert Kran , Great Lakes Energy, chairman; Tony Anderson , Cherryland Electric Cooperative, vice chairman; Eric Baker , Wolverine Power Cooperative, secretary-treasurer; Craig Borr , president and CEO. CONTACT US/LETTERS TO EDITOR: Michigan Country Lines 201 Townsend St., Suite 900 Lansing, MI 248-534-735848933 MI CO-OP COMMUNITY To enter contests, submit reader content & more, visit MYSTERY PHOTO Win a $50 bill credit! Enter a drawing to identify the correct location of the photo. See page 18. GUEST COLUMN Win $150 for published!stories Submit your fondest memories and stories at RECIPE CONTEST Win a $50 bill credit! Up Next: Healthy Living, due Nov. 1 Submit your recipe at, or send it via email (include your full name and co-op) to 6 ROAD TRIPPIN’ WITH CHRISTAL FROST Legends, Loss, & Restoration: A day spent on South Manitou Island. 10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN Pasta Salads: These classics are perfect for your next cookout! 14 THE DEEP ROOTS OF MICHIGAN’S APPLE INDUSTRY The Mitten State’s climate— coupled with their growers’ devotion—make apples a booming business for local farmers. 18 GUEST COLUMN An everyday raccoon hunt became a lesson in courage that will last a lifetime for one PIE&G member. #micoopcommunity A blue heron takes flight @sarah.k.smith.180 (Sarah Smith) Be featured! Use featuredfor#micoopcommunityachancetobehereandonourInstagramaccount. 3MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES

Given how electricity powers our modern lifestyle daily, it’s a great value, especially compared to other common services and expenses. For example, think back to the cost of a gallon of gasoline 20 years ago. Consider the cost of groceries or a cup of your favorite specialty coffee from a few years back.

The bottom line: Electricity brings everyday value. In fact, Alger Delta members experience an average of 0.64 outages per member, lasting just 194.9 minutes each year. Considering that electricity is something that we all use around the clock, I’m very proud of our track record. At the same time, we strive to increase our service reliability, reduce those brief interruptions, and reduce costs. We are continually improving our operations to ensure a smarter grid and exploring more renewable energy options where possible.

Because electricity is so abundant, we don’t think much about it. Since many of us have spent more time at home over the past few months, we are likely using more energy. And yet, we still expect an endless supply of power with uninterrupted service 24/7. The only time we really think about electricity is when the power goes out or perhaps when the monthly bill arrives.

Alger Delta provides the reliable service you expect and deserve as valued co-op members. And as your trusted energy advisor, we want to help you save your energy and money.

ven though I work in the energy industry, like most people, I still don’t think much about the electricity I use. I expect the lights to turn on when I flip the switch and the coffee maker to work each morning.

We recognize that the past few months have been challenging for many of our members, and we’re here to help. If you have questions about your account or are looking for ways to save energy at home, please give us a call. Alger Delta Electric Cooperative is your electric co-op, and our sole purpose is to serve you and the needs of our community. That’s everyday value.

In comparison, the cost of electricity has remained essentially flat, unlike most other consumer goods.

But considering what electricity does for us, it’s a tremendous value for our quality of life and our budgets. For comparison, consider that the average rent increase was nearly 4% (from 2014–2019) according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index (CPI). The cost of medical care increased by 3% during this time, and education was not too far behind at 2.6%. So, where did electricity rank? According to the CPI, electricity increased by less than half a percentage point, 0.4%.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS District 1—Big Bay Darryl 906-345-9369Small • District 2—Harvey/Deerton Karen 906-249-1095Alholm • District 3—Grand Marais Mike 906-494-2080Lawless • District 4—Cedar River/Palestine Dave 906-424-0055Prestin • District 5—Gourley/LaBranche/Cornell Steve 906-639-2812Wery • District 6—Nathan/White Rapids Jesse 715-923-4946Betters • District 7—Stonington/Rapid River Kirk 906-399-1432Bruno • District 8—Nahma/Isabella Don Johnson 906 280-0867 • District 9—Hiawatha/Maple Ridge Doug 906-573-2379Bovin • GENERAL MANAGER: Mike mfurmanski@algerdelta.comFurmanski HEADQUARTERS: 426 N. 9th St, Gladstone, MI 49837 906-428-4141 • 800-562-0950 Fax: 906-428-3840 • OFFICE HOURS Monday–Thursday 7 a.m.–5 p.m. (EST) Alger Delta Cooperative is an equal opportunity provider and employer. /algerdeltaelectric E Electricity Brings Everyday Value By Mike Furmanski, General Manager 1 2 9 7 456 8 3 Effective Oct. 3, 2022, Alger Delta Electric Cooperative will return to winter office hours and will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST, Monday–Friday. 4 SEPTEMBER 2022

Like many of you, I have a cell phone to stay connected, and I subscribe to cable channels to enjoy more viewing options. Many of us consider these necessities for modern-day life. We can see what we’re getting for our money and pay the price for those services. In contrast, when we use electricity, we don’t necessarily “see” all that we’re getting for our money.

Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association contracted with the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association (MECA) to administer the Energy Waste Reduction (EWR) efforts to comply with PA-295 as amended. MECA filed a two-year EWR plan with the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) on July 28, 2019, as required by PA 295 as amended. The MPSC approved this EWR plan on Dec. 8, 2019, and we began implementing our 2020–2021 EWR Plan on Jan. 1, 2020. Slipstream was selected to implement all Residential, Commercial/Industrial Programs, and the EWR website,

lger Delta Electric Cooperative purchased livestock from co-op member families participating in the Junior Market Livestock Sale auction. The auction was held on Aug. 20 at the Upper Peninsula State Fair, and Alger Delta made these purchases through the generous financial support of WPPI. Supporting the community we live and work in is a core cooperative principle, and Alger Delta is proud to support these young agriculturists who worked so hard raising their animals. We want to double the impact of our community-minded purchase by donating the meat we purchased. As such, we are raffling off the meat bundles (average retail value of $150) to our members. To enter, please complete the form and place it in an envelope postmarked no later than Sept. 24, 2022. The drawing will be held on Sept. 29, and winners will be notified by mail.


Public Act 295 as amended: The Clean and Renewable Energy and Energy Waste Reduction Act 2021 Energy Waste Reduction Annual Report

$150 meat bundle

Chloe Hanson, daughter of Ted and Amber Hanson, poses with her 2022 market lamb, Dolly. Chloe showed Dolly, as well as her market steer, Dallas, at the 2022 Upper Peninsula State Fair held Aug. 15–21, 2022, in Escanaba. Mayce Hanson profiles her market steer, Bleu, at her family’s farm in Cornell, Michigan, in preparation for the 2022 Upper Peninsula State Fair.

Supporting Youth Agriculturists And Providing Food To The Community


AccountName: No: Service Address: ToPhone:enter, complete this form and place it in an envelope postmarked by Sept. 24, 2022. Send to: Alger Delta Cooperative, 426 N. 9th St., Gladstone, MI 49837. Winners will be notified by mail. Winners will need to arrange pickup from the processing plant in Hyde, Michigan.

Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association MPSC Case Number U-20379

Slipstream has subcontracted with WES Utility Services, Michigan Energy Options, ES Contracting, and Nuwati, LLC to assist with implementing the EWR programs. MECA contracted with DNV-GL as the independent third-party evaluation contractor for the certification of kWh savings. In 2021, Alger Delta collected $195,195 through the EWR Surcharge and spent $172,492, resulting in an over-collection of $22,703. Alger Delta achieved 873 MWh of energy savings in 2021 compared to their annual kWh goal of 813 MWh. The full report can be obtained at your cooperative’s headquarters and or


Pro Tip: Be sure to bring snacks, lunch, and water with you to the island!

Exploring Manitou Island Transit offered a tour, and our first stop was a “farmhouse” with the most amazing waterfront view I’ve ever seen. Built by the Burton Family in the late 1800s, this idyllic structure—featuring eight rooms, each with its own sink—was purchased in the early 1900s by those who wanted to push the island resort transformation. As previously noted, that never came to be. Now, the boarded-up house is home only to a large bat population.

The History Settled in the 1830s by William Burton, the island was first seen as another resource for timber, but logging operations eventually fizzled because of difficulty getting there. A small village formed, and at one point many thought South Manitou might become a vacation destination, but, again, the travel difficulty ended those plans.

think everyone can relate to wanting to “get away from it all.” The chance to disconnect from our modern lives and reconnect with nature, and ourselves, is not just appealing…it’s necessary.

That’s what I kept thinking about as I hiked through the majestic beauty of South Manitou Island, just 16 miles off the coast of Northwest Michigan and yet another world away from where I’d woken up that morning.

South Manitou Today Although two family cottages remain, it’s not home to permanent residents. Instead, it’s occupied by National Park Service rangers, campers, and day trippers, like us.

Arrival When our ferry docked and we set foot on South Manitou, the first thing I noticed was the beauty. Lake Michigan is remarkable from any vantage point, but being surrounded I by her blue waters was magnificent. The second thing I noticed was how incredibly quiet the island is, immersing myself in the natural sounds of rustling wind in the trees and light waves almost tiptoeing to meet the shore.

Fueling Up

Legends, Loss, & Restoration A Day Spent on South Manitou Island By Christal FrostTRIPPIN'ROAD

In the southwest corner of the island lies a valley of cedars that time forgot, twice the typical size. Being underneath


The day began in downtown Leland at Leelanau Coffee Roasting Co.’s Breakfast Bistro, where I enjoyed a delicious omelette and steaming mug of Sumatra dark roast.

Afterwards, a quick stop across the street to the Leland Mercantile for supplies, and then down to the waterfront to Manitou Island Transit—our ride to South Manitou.

See the MANITOUSOUTHISLANDinAction Christal Frost filmed her adventure, now available on

ManitouSouthIsland ManitouNorthIsland Fishtown,Leland

these gigantic trees reminds me of the Japanese concept of “forest bathing,” or “taking in the forest atmosphere.” No soap and water required—the practice encourages you to spend time in nature, citing all the restorative effects that time in the woods has on a person.

There are three campgrounds on S. Manitou Island. Campers must bring their own tents and water filtration equipment because there is no source of purified drinking water. There is no transportation for gear, so campers must pack in their own supplies. No outside firewood is allowed on the island. Instead, campers may collect dead and down wood for personal use.

Christal Frost is a northern Michigan native and frequent explorer of the Mitten state. D N O T ES:

Saying Goodbye As we sat on the dock, awaiting the ferry’s return, I couldn’t help but already miss the island I had yet to leave. It is a place to slow down, reflect, and appreciate the strident majesty of Lake Michigan. Plans to return to camp are already in the books.

The island has seen its fair share of tragedy and is riddled with heartbreaking tales of slaughtered native tribes, sailors dead from cholera thrown into mass graves, and lighthouse keepers losing children to the harsh waves of the Manitou Passage. And, of course, the over 50 shipwrecks surrounding both North and South Manitou. None are more visually striking than the Francisco Morazon, located off the southern shore. She passed over another shipwreck and ran aground in 1960. Seven years later, Michigan Attorney General Frank Kelley filed a lawsuit to have the wreck removed, citing rotting cargo and leaking fuel oil as a health hazard. The next day, the Francisco Morazon caught fire, and all its contents were consumed in flames. The shipwreck is now property of the state.



• Wash full loads: Your washing machine uses the same amount of energy no matter the size of the clothes load, so fill it up.

Smart light bulbs o er convenient control through voice commands or a smart phone app, and you can save additional energy (and money!) with LED options.

• Dry heavier cotton separately: Loads dry faster and more evenly.

• Use the highest spin speed: Doing so removes more moisture from your clothes, reducing drying time.

• Dry on lower heat settings: Even if you dry for a longer amount of time, lower heat means less energy consumption.

• Wash with cold water: Switching from warm water to cold water can cut one load’s energy use by more than half.

• Use dryer balls instead of dryer sheets: help keep clothes separated for faster drying.

• Inspect your dryer vent periodically: machine run more efficiently and reduces fire hazards. Also, use rigid venting materials, not plastic.

Photo Credit: Philips Get smart about lighting.

• Clean the lint filter after every load: helps reduce a potential fire hazard and improves air circulation.

• Purchase ENERGY STAR ® -rated washers and dryers. New washers and dryers that receive the ENERGY STAR ® rating use about 20% less energy than conventional models.

Save Energy In Your Laundry Room

• Use the cool-down feature on your dryer: finish drying with the remaining heat in the dryer.

Explore Michigan customers: This website is your one-stop shop for all things energy efficiency. Learn about ways to save money and apply for rebates on energyefficient appliances. You can also participate in free programs to help you assess and improve your home’s overall efficiency. Business and farm programs are available as well.

Farms & Harvest 1. Kings of the hill! Jan Gratteau 2. Farmer in training. Megan Webber 3. Our mushroom harvest from Alger County. Hans Eriksen SNAP SHOT Submit Your Photos & Win A Bill Credit! Alger Delta members whose photos we print in Michigan Country Lines will be entered in a drawing. Four lucky members will win a $50 credit on their December 2022 energy bills! Upcoming Photo Topic And Deadline: Christmas Trees, due Sept. 20 (Nov./Dec. issue) To submit photos, go to We look forward to seeing your best photos! Submit a photo & win energy$50abillcredit! 1 2 3 9MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES

WINNING RECIPE! RECIPE CONTEST Healthy Living due Nov. 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. Submit your recipe at, or send it via email (include your full name and co-op) to Win energy$50abillcredit! PASTA SALADS These classics are perfect for your next cookout! 10 SEPTEMBER 2022

SUMMER ORZO SALAD Linda Kindy Hoch, Cherryland

1choppedcuphalf-moon sliced cucumber (from a large cucumber or 2–3 mini cucumbers)

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved 2 cups loosely packed baby spinach, coarsely

1 teaspoon kosher salt 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup), ½dividedcuproasted, salted pistachios, chopped Cook orzo according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water until pasta feels cool to the touch. While pasta is cooking, stir together the pesto, oil, lemon juice, and zest in a large bowl. Add the pasta, beans, tomatoes, spinach, cucumber, salt, and a ½ cup feta cheese to the pesto mixture. Stir to combine. Let stand 10 minutes. Sprinkle with pistachios and remaining ½ cup of feta cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serves 8.

¹⁄ ³ cup basil pesto (homemade or jarred)

Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at

1 (15-ounce) can white beans (I use cannellini), drained and rinsed

Photos by Robert Bruce Photography || Recipes Submitted by MCL Readers and Tested by Recipe Editor Christin McKameyMI CO-OP Recipes

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound uncooked orzo

2 teaspoons lemon zest + 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

3 cups shredded iceberg lettuce

1 pound ground beef, cooked/ drained (for vegetarian, sub 1 can black beans—or half meaty and half meat-free)


¼ cup red wine vinegar

2 cloves garlic, crushed 2 teaspoons dried oregano • salt and pepper, to taste

NO-COOK TABBOULEH SALAD Jean Nishimoto, Great Lakes Energy

2 hard-cooked eggs, sliced 2 tablespoons chopped tarragon leaves

• scant teaspoon chopped mint leaves • salt & pepper, to taste

2 cups penne pasta

2 tablespoons chopped thyme leaves

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

10 cherry tomatoes, halved 1 small red onion, chopped 1 green bell pepper, chopped 1 red bell pepper, chopped ½ cucumber, partially or fully peeled, sliced ½ cup sliced black or Kalamata olives

½ cup crumbled feta cheese

1½ cups French dressing

5 ounces Spicy V8 juice • salt and pepper, to taste 1 small box couscous (about 1 cup dried) Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow to sit at room temperature for 4 hours. Serve immediately.

GREEK PASTA SALAD Martha Grose, Great Lakes Energy

1 tablespoon chopped marjoram leaves

2 tablespoons chopped basil leaves

9¾ ounce bag nacho-flavored Doritos, crushed Pasta salad is great, and so are tacos. Why not bring the best of both together? Stir together beef (or black beans) with the taco seasoning. In a big bowl, combine beef (or black beans) with the noodles, pepper, onion, tomatoes, cheese, and lettuce. Then mix in the French dressing until everything is well combined. Lastly, stir in the chips (wait to do this until you are ready to serve so they keep their crunch!).

1 fresh red bell pepper, diced 1 red onion, diced 1 cucumber, diced ½ bunch cilantro, chopped ½ bunch parsley, chopped ¼ bunch mint, chopped 4 tomatoes, diced 3 lemons, juiced ¾ cup olive oil

²⁄ ³ cup extra-virgin olive oil

• Hellmann’s mayonnaise (don’t substitute), to taste Prepare the day before serving to allow flavors to blend. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Rinse under cool water. Add vegetables, eggs, herbs, seasonings, and mayonnaise. Extra mayo should be added the next day to moisten the salad. Makes 6–8 servings.

MACARONI SALAD Nancy Masters, Great Lakes Energy 6 ounces short-cut elbow macaroni • diced or sliced radishes, green peppers & green onions (equaling the amount of the cooked macaroni)

Rinse with cold water and drain well in a colander. Whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Set aside. Combine pasta, tomatoes, onion, green and red peppers, cucumber, olives, and feta cheese in a large bowl. Pour vinaigrette over the pasta and mix together. Cover and chill for 3 hours before serving. Serves 8.

Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Stir in the penne, and return to a boil. Cook pasta, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, about 11 minutes.


1 pound rotini (or any shape of pasta), cooked, drained, and rinsed with cold water • any color bell pepper, diced • small onion, diced 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half (or quarters if they are big fellas)

3 tablespoons taco seasoning

2 cups shredded cheese (choose your favorite, we like sharp cheddar)

• A quorum was present, and a motion was passed to approve the 2021 annual meeting minutes.

• Three re-elected directors, Darryl Small, Jesse Betters, and Doug Bovin (districts 1, 6, and 9, respectively), were seated. All three will serve a three-year term that will end in June 2025.

• 2022 Olympic gold medalist and U.P. resident Nick Baumgartner gave a heartfelt speech on his struggles to attain a gold medal.

n Wednesday, June 15, Alger Delta held its 83rd Annual Meeting. Approximately 420 cooperative members attended the event at the Island Resort Casino and Convention Center in Harris. The event included a business meeting, staff reports, a guest speaker, buffet dinner, and prize drawings. After dinner was served, President Mike Lawless called the meeting to order and introduced the staff and board of directors of Alger Delta.

• Thirteen lucky co-op members received prizes when their ticket was drawn during the prize drawing.

• General Manager Mike Furmanski presented his annual report on co-op operations.

• 2022 scholarship recipients Tyler Engel and Don Strazzinski Jr. were recognized.

Highlights Of The 2022 Annual Meeting

• Members posed questions relating to items such as shutoff fees, power line clearing, and plans for renewable energy, and received answers from staff.



Carbon Infrared Heater with Tripod Stand— Kathleen DuPont Carbon Infrared Heater with Tripod Stand— Mike HusqvarnaZembaPressure Washer—Dan Herman Window Air Conditioner—Paul Benam Chest Freezer—Ron Giese Metal Flag—Don Fyhr Metal Flag—Robert Therrian Electric Fireplace—Bill Reed Electric Fireplace—James Luczak 55" LED TV—Sue Strazzinski Bug Zapper—Colleen Sivertsen Bug Zapper—Rita Revall Portable Air Conditioner—Tammy Robertson 13MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES

Co-op member Bryan Grom said that he enjoyed the meeting, and being able to meet Baumgartner was a surprise and highlight for him. “I really enjoyed listening to him speak about how he triumphed over his injuries to achieve his goal. As a below-the-knee amputee, his words resonated with me, and I was very inspired by his speech,” Grom said.

“The connection a family has to their farm is unique. The roots literally run deep. It’s about family, food, as well as a legacy for us.”

By Emily Haines Lloyd I


—Jon Friske are particularly coveted for the production of pies for national brands, as well as the more recent need for highquality apples in the “fresh slice” industry (think about your kid’s favorite Happy Meal) and the booming hard cider Michiganindustry.apples appeal to all industries because of their wide variety of flavors. Michigan’s specific climate and weather conditions lend to the specific flavor profiles, with local soil, temperatures, and the warm days and cool nights of the Mitten State adding to the tastiness. Growing conditions aside, Michigan apples are particularly special due to the farmers’ hard work and energy put into the crop.

Over a five-year period, Michigan apple orchards produced approximately 25 million bushels on over 700 farms, making the Great Lakes state the third-largest producer in the nation. Our doctor-repelling products are sold in over 30 states and nearly 20 different countries, making Michigan apples a pretty impressive business.

“We take pride in all of our products,” said Scott Kromer, owner and operator of Knaebe’s Apple Farm, a PIE&G member in Rogers City. “We’re not only feeding your family, but our own. The orchard is our yard. It’s part of the community—and we put our whole heart into what we do.”


“It’s easy to think that the only way to support local apple producers is to buy from the farmer’s market or a nearby orchard,” said Diane Smith, executive director of the Michigan Apple Committee. “But every Michigan apple farm is family-owned, so when you buy Michigan apples in your local supermarket or even a big-box store, you’re supporting a local farm and family.”

Jon Friske, a third-generation farmer and Great Lakes Energy member who runs Friske Farm Market in Ellsworth with his siblings, Heidi and Rich, agrees.

t’s easy to picture roadside stands and quaint orchards when we think about apples, but right along with those nostalgic mental pictures is a booming industry in our state.


It’s easy to see apples in our grocery stores and farmer’s markets, but there are many less-obvious areas where Michigan apples are utilized. Interestingly, Michigan apples

If reliable energy enables the farms, it is the farmers’ hearts and souls that truly power the industry.

Standing in front of Ida Red apples planted by Grandpa Friske (Richard Sr.).


Friske Farm Market

If you’re looking to support the hardworking apple farms of Michigan, check out this handy locator:

Knaebe’s Apple Farm

Pictured from left to right: Scott, Matthew, Alison, and Luke.

Pictured from left to right: Evelyn (who was pregnant with now 3½-month-old son Laith), Jon, Ryker, Kasey, Tessa, Rich, Richard Jr., Wendy, Heidi, Eddie, Clara, and Kenny.

“The connection a family has to their farm is unique,” said Friske. “The roots literally run deep. It’s about family, food, as well as a legacy for us.”

The pride in growing amazing products is vital, as is a reliable energy source, according to both farms. At Knaebe’s, Kromer and his family had a tree fall on a power line the day before they took over ownership of the farm, but with a quick response from PIE&G, they were able to face their opening day with running coolers and operating cash registers. At Friske Farm, they’ve invested in several energy upgrades, including a solar photovoltaic system for their on-site housing unit, and are evaluating and considering a geothermal system for the new farm market.

“All of our apple farmers are this amazing combination of artists, gamblers, and scientists. It’s one of the hardest jobs in the world,” said Smith. “We’re so proud of the work they do and the legacy they have created and continue to build for our state.”

“We appreciate the way our co-op communicates with us. We get a lot of information and feel very involved,” said Friske. “It really is a partnership.”

ALGER DELTA Making A Difference In The Community


We Serve Alger Delta Awards Scholarships

Congratulations to our 2022 scholarship recipients—Tyler Engel and Don Strazzinski Jr.! Tyler and Don were each presented a $1,000 scholarship at Stephenson High School’s awards night on May 11, 2022. Both young men are enrolled at Lake Superior State University, where Tyler will be studying engineering and Don will be studying accounting. Pictured to the right are Dave Prestin, District 4 director; Tyler Engel; Don Strazzinski Jr.; and Jesse Betters, District 6 director.  Alger Delta employees, family, and friends helped the community to Independencecelebrate Day by participating in the Gladstone July 4th parade.

Mike Furmanski (far left), general manager of Alger Delta Electric Cooperative, presents a $2,500 check to Sheila Krueger (middle left), associate director of the Delta County Chamber of Commerce; Ann Harrington (middle right), treasurer of the U.P. State Fair Authority; and Vickie Micheau (far right), executive director of the Delta County Chamber of Commerce, to be a Blue Ribbon Sponsor of the 2022 U.P. State Fair. An additional $2,500 check was presented from CoBank.

Darryl Small (left), Alger Delta Electric Cooperative’s District 1 (Big Bay area) director, along with Brett Niemi (right), senior energy services manager, Team LeadMichigan Services of WPPI Energy, presents a $2,500 check to Dr. Clare Lutgen (middle), executive director of Bay Cliff Health Camp. An additional $2,500 check was presented utilizing CoBank’s Sharing Success Program, for a total donation of $5,000. Helping to Make the U.P. State Fair a Success

Assisting Local Schools

Alger Delta donated $5,000 in sponsorship money to the U.P. State Fair with the generous financial support of WPPI and by utilizing CoBank’s Sharing Success Program.


Emergency Generator for Holmes Township

Mike Furmanski (left), general manager of Alger Delta Electric Cooperative, along with Brett Niemi (right), senior energy services manager, Team Lead-Michigan Services of WPPI Energy, presents a $2,500 check to Ray Guard (middle), Holmes Township supervisor, as a donation toward a generator for the township. An additional $2,500 check was presented utilizing CoBank’s Sharing Success Program, for a total donation of $5,000. According to Ray Guard, “We are purchasing a generator for the township hall so that we can create an emergency shelter for area residents to go to during extended power outages. This donation will help greatly in achieving our goal.”

Mike Travis (left), superintendent of Munising Public Schools, accepts the donation of a 2013 Ford F250 pickup from Troy Tiernan (right), operations manager at Alger Delta Electric Cooperative Association. The pickup will be a plow truck for the Munising school district.

Lending a Hand to Bay Cliff Health Camp

y dad had 17 coon hounds and a war surplus Willys Jeep (circa 1940s). It had a canvas top, a windshield, and no doors. I often went with him coon hunting. He would drive his Jeep slowly down back roads with the dogs strapped in the back seat of the Jeep. When the dogs would pick up the fresh scent of a raccoon, they would start howling and jumping around. Dad would stop the Jeep and let the dogs out. They would run off into the woods howling and running like their tails were on fire.

M Column

Coon Hunt

By John Vick, a Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op member


Where In Michigan Is This?

July/August 2022 Winner! Our Mystery Photo winner is Connie Bortle, a Thumb Electric Cooperative member, who correctly identified the photo as the Crossroads Village Carousel and Huckleberry Railroad park in Flint.  Winners are announced in the following issues of Country Lines: January, March, May, July/August, September, and November/December.

Identify the correct location of the photo to the left by Sept. 20 and be entered into a drawing to win a $50 electric bill credit. Enter your guess at

Share your fondest memories and stories. Win $150 for stories published. Visit to submit.$150!Win Win a $50 energy bill credit!

Then Dad would wait until the raccoon would tree (climb into a tree) to get away from the dogs. The hounds would bark, howl, and stay there until Dad came and shot the raccoon. Then he would take the raccoon and the dogs back to the Jeep. Then started the process over as many times as possible within the limited time he had. One of our most memorable adventures started just like every other hunt. He and I went about four miles south of Maple Valley with two dogs in the back of the Jeep. The dogs started howling. Dad stopped and turned them loose. They were still heading east when their howling started to get fainter off into the woods. We started after them. I clearly remember walking a long time. I wasn’t paying attention to the dogs or anything except keeping up with Dad. It was a pleasant fall night, and we went far into the woods. Finally, Dad stopped and said, “Let’s take a break. OK??” I said, “Sure, Dad.” We sat and leaned against a giant oak tree. The next thing I remember was waking up in daylight. I was resting against my Dad, covered with his coat and very comfortable. He said it was time to go home. He took off his coat and left it next to that oak tree. He said the dogs would get tired of chasing that raccoon and track our scent back to the tree. They would lay down on the coat. He would come back and get them later. I figured it

John is a Vietnam combat veteran with two Purple Hearts. He is retired from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and enjoys his time hunting, fishing, and enjoying northern Michigan’s outdoors. was a part of the plan. Mom was upset about us being out hunting all night when we got home. I thought a little more about that hunting trip until I got older. When I look back on that night, what stands out is the appearance of normalcy. No hint that we may have been lost. No talk about anything that may have made me, a child, worry. I have tried to keep that strength whenever I get nervous or frightened with my family.

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