Kosciusko REMC — August 2022 Indiana Connection

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Kosciusko Connect setting records for fiber-to-home connections.

Kosciusko REMC’s




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Snack time

from the editor

Ever since preschool conditioned us to expect mid-morning orange slices or crackers spread with peanut butter, snack time has become a high point in many of our days. These between-meal indulgences treat tummies and tastebuds to craveable salty, sweet or savory flavors before the “hangries” hit. And that’s a good thing for everyone concerned! Snacks can be junk food or something more nutritious. They could be chosen from a vending machine, grabbed at a service station, or purchased during a weekly grocery store run. Since they are synonymous with “treats,” they invariably evoke special memories and smiles. I fondly remember how I thought blobs of Cheez Whiz on white bread was the best snack in the world when I was a kid or when heating Pop-Tarts in a toaster qualified as “cooking.” Snack food, like the cast of “Friends,” has seemingly always been there for you. Generations of snackers just like you have probably thrown bags of potato chips into shopping carts only to rip them open right after returning to their cars. But after recently discovering a timeline chronicling when our snack favorites came to be, I learned “always” is truly a relative term. In the case of potato chips, their snack icon status didn’t happen until the first continuous potato processor was invented in 1943 leading (thankfully!) to large scale production of the chips. In the decades following, new taste sensations have been created to tempt us. In 1967, Doritos and Pringles entered the snack scene, putting a tasty new spin on crunch. In 1973, it was Cup Noodles, the easy-peasiest way to make ramen. Come 1979, Ring Pops were all the rage, followed in 1983 by Skittles. In 1989, Lunchables joined grocer’s refrigerated cases and kids’ lunchboxes were never the same. But in the 2010s snacking became less about cheat eating and more about making healthy choices. Snack trends over the past 10 years include kale chips, avocado toast, chickpea puffs, plant-based jerky and low-carb treats. We’re all realizing that our indulgences don’t always have to make us feel guilty and we can satisfy cravings while taking dietary concerns into account. I don’t know what the next trend in snack food will be, but I can’t wait to taste what mid-morning treats await me down the road. Bon appetit!

EMILY SCHILLING Editor eschilling@indianaec.org

On the menu: November issue: Recipes prepared in a slow

cooker, deadline Sept. 1. December issue: Cocoa recipes, deadline Oct. 1. If we publish your recipe on our food pages, we’ll send you a $10 gift card.

Three ways to contact us: To send us recipes, photos, event

listings, letters and entries for gift drawings, please use the forms on our website indianaconnection.org; email info@indianaconnection.org; or send to Indiana Connection, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606.

Giveaway: Keep your cool this month by treating yourself to some ice

cream! This month’s giveaway features ice cream-themed bowls, spoons, toppings and a scoop. To enter to win this sweet basket of goodies, visit indianaconnection.org/talk-to-us/contests or send your contact information to the address above. The deadline to enter is Aug. 31.

VOLUME 72 • NUMBER 2 ISSN 0745-4651 • USPS 262-340 Published monthly by Indiana Electric Cooperatives Indiana Connection is for and about members of Indiana’s locally-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives. It helps consumers use electricity safely and efficiently; understand energy issues; connect with their co-op; and celebrate life in Indiana. Over 304,000 residents and businesses receive the magazine as part of their electric co-op membership. Member’s cost per issue is approximately 32 cents, plus postage. CONTACT US: 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600 Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606 317-487-2220 info@indianaconnection.org IndianaConnection.org INDIANA ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES OFFICERS: Randy Kleaving President Steve McMichael Vice President Dr. Richard Leeper Secretary/Treasurer Tom VanParis Interim CEO EDITORIAL STAFF: Emily Schilling Editor Richard George Biever Senior Editor Holly Huffman Communication Support Specialist Ellie Schuler Senior Digital and Layout Design Specialist Lauren Carman Communication Manager Kiley Lipps Graphic Designer Amber Knight Creative Manager Mandy Barth Vice President of Communication ADVERTISING: American MainStreet Publications Cheryl Solomon, local ad representative; 512-441-5200; amp.coop Crosshair Media 502-216-8537; crosshairmedia.net Paid advertisements are not endorsements by any electric cooperative or this publication. UNSOLICITED MATERIAL: Indiana Connection does not use unsolicited freelance manuscripts or photographs and assumes no responsibility for the safe‑keeping or return of unsolicited material. SUBSCRIPTIONS: $12 for individuals not subscribing through participating REMCs/RECs. CHANGE OF ADDRESS: If you receive Indiana Connection through your electric co-op membership, report address changes to your local co-op. POSTAGE: Periodicals postage paid at Indianapolis, Indiana, and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send change of address to: Indiana Connection, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606. Include key number.

No portion of Indiana Connection may be reproduced without permission of the editor.








03 FROM THE EDITOR 05 CO-OP NEWS Energy news and information from your electric cooperative. 10 ENERGY Discovering beneficial electrification benefits. 12 INSIGHTS

backyard 14 COUNTY OF THE MONTH Spotlighting Porter County. 16 SAFETY Create an electrical safety plan before you plant a tree. 18 BACKYARD Tough beans? Possible solutions to a green bean problem.


Indiana Connection



cover story 20 FOOD Ramen Redo: Upcycling a college meal staple. 23 COVER STORY Youth programs back in full swing. 27 OUTDOORS Return of the eagle. 28 H OOSIER ENERGY/ WABASH VALLEY NEWS


29 TRAVEL Here comes the sunflower: Celebrating the state’s sunflower festivals. (Not in all editions.) 30 PROFILE Samantha Kuhn found a “gem” of a career in her own backyard. (Not in all editions.)

On the cover Using cumbersome rubber gloves protected by outer leather gloves, Fulton Goeppner focuses on attaching an electric insulator to a crossarm at the Indiana electric cooperatives’ Camp Kilowatt in June. Along with regular summer camp activities, camp-goers learned about electricity and what it’s like wearing electric lineworkers’ gear. PHOTO BY LAUREN CARMAN



co-op news

Creating new kinds of connections www.kremc.com CONTACT US Local: 574-267-6331 Toll-Free: 800-790-REMC EMAIL mail@kremc.com OFFICE HOURS 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday-Friday ADDRESS 370 S. 250 E., Warsaw, IN 46582 SERVICE INTERRUPTIONS To report a service interruption after hours, please call 267-6331 or 800-790-REMC. BOARD OF DIRECTORS Tony Fleming, Chairman Dan Tucker, Vice Chairman John Hand, Secretary/Treasurer Terry Bouse Pam Messmore Steve Miner Rick Parker Loretta Schafer Todd Smith

SEAL AIR LEAKS AND HOLES WHERE PLUMBING PIPES RUN THROUGH WALLS IN YOUR HOME You can also check wall-mounted cabinets for plumbing holes or air gaps in the back. Fill any holes or gaps with spray foam. Wear protective gloves and use a damp rag for clean-up. — U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Use your Co-op Connections Card to save at local businesses Fahl Manufactured Homes Inc. $1,000 off retail price with home purchase, applicable on first visit only.


KOSCIUSKO CONNECT IS SETTING RECORDS FOR FIBER-TO-HOME CONNECTIONS! KREMC’s subsidiary, Kosciusko Connect, has gone above and beyond expectations in installing fiber internet. Our Connect team hit over 2,500 fiber installations, providing each of these homes with fast, affordable, quality internet access without interruptions. Not only are the installations speeding up, but we’re also excited to introduce our KREMC members to Connect’s new residential telephone service, debuting next month. This service includes anonymous call rejection, do not disturb, three-way calling, and voicemail to email, as well as many other convenient features. Kosciusko Connect’s residential phone services use Voice over Internet Protocol technology, which is delivered through the fiber network that has already been installed in 2,500 member homes. The result is a superior phone connection that raises the bar when it comes to quality, reliability, and clarity. This service also features unlimited local and long-distance calls. In other words, your phone connections will never be the same. Providing this service for our KREMC members is an honor, and we’re overjoyed to have our community alongside us as each new development unfolds.

KURT CARVER President and CEO

KREMC rates and rebates RATES


Residential and farm service Service charge ............................$24.50 per month Kilowatt-hour (kWh) charge ......@$.0922 per kWh Tracker charge .................... @$0.002904 per kWh

Electric water heaters 50 gallons or larger: • Gas to electric replacement — $125 • New construction water heater — $125 • Geothermal desuperheater — $50

Outdoor Lights* 40w LED........................................$8.75 per month 70w LED......................................$12.25 per month

HVAC: • Geothermal system installation — $250 • Air-source heat pump system — $150 • Programmable thermostat — up to $25 Visit www.kremc.com for complete guidelines and restrictions. Additional rebates can be found at powermoves.com.



co-op news AUGUST IS MEMBER APPRECIATION MONTH! Kosciusko REMC invites all our members to visit our drive-through kiosk between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on any Friday in the month of August. We’ll be giving out free treats, gifts, and a few prizes! We love interacting with our members, and we can’t wait to see you on a Member Appreciation Friday this month.

NEED HELP PAYING YOUR ELECTRIC BILL? Sometimes managing bill payments is difficult. As your electric provider, we understand and want to help. If you need assistance paying your bills, log onto your online portal and choose “Payment Arrangements” under “Billing and Payment.” There, you’ll be able to see if you qualify for an online bill arrangement.



KREMC John H. Anglin scholarship recipient:


Congratulations to Aimee Hagg, one of the 10 winners of the 2022 John H. Anglin scholarships! Hagg is attending Ball State University for her master’s degree in educational psychology with gifted and talented certification. She currently teaches first grade at Harrison Elementary School in Warsaw. Hagg is familiar with Kosciusko REMC’s impact on her community. Her dad, Bruce Goslee, was once KREMC’s CEO and president, and Hagg's daughter has been a John H. Anglin scholarship winner herself. “My family has a deep connection with KREMC. I knew the scholarship was easy to apply for, and I like what KREMC stands for in the community,” she said.

Hagg graduated from Warsaw High School and then received her bachelor’s degree in education from Franklin College. Because her children are almost completely grown up, she decided it was the right time to return to higher education. Although it can be difficult to balance her studies with her work and family life, Hagg has found that her first grade students and her family are a strong support system. “I can use what I learn in the classroom to help further their knowledge and feedback,” she reflected. “If we try something and it’s not working, first graders are honest. They also inspire me to want to do better.”

Because KREMC has been so influential on her family, having its support means everything. “I think it’s wonderful,” Hagg explained. “KREMC has always been a source we can turn to. They’re not just your electric company. They care and give back to the community.” As Hagg works to earn her master’s degree, she looks forward to the finish line, when she will have even more expertise and insight to take with her into her classroom. Whether she’s pursuing education as a teacher or a student, she knows her family, students, and community are supporting her. By supporting Hagg, KREMC is supporting so many more, especially the first graders who are learning from her every day. “By trying to achieve my dreams,” Hagg said, “it helps me reach theirs.”

2022 JOHN H. ANGLIN SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS Aimee Hagg Taylor Hinson Ashley Irwin Jacob Kissling Arrington Krull Ty Legan Molly Lewis Katherine Ousley Mackenzie Schannep Tanner Stiver


KREMC 4-H scholarship recipient:

JACOB WESTERBERG Jacob Westerberg, North

year, he got a

Manchester, is one of our 2022

hearing aid,

KREMC 4-H scholarship winners.

which made

Westerberg recently graduated from Whitko High School and is bound for a pre-vet major at Huntington University. This is his 10th year

a significant difference in the classroom.

participating in 4-H, and he has


shown in every barn but three,


enjoying the poultry, swine, and

is headed

feeder calf categories the most.

into his first

“It’s a great club and community,” he said.

Jacob Westerberg

four years of a pre-vet degree and coming to the close of his last year in 4-H. According to him, farmers in

Westerberg has always loved

the area have helped him, and his

animals, but his passion for raising

godfather has always been a strong

them was born when he witnessed

support for his journey through the

a veterinarian tend to one of his

start of his career.

grandpa’s sick cows. From there, his interest in animals only grew. Besides animals, Westerberg has also found great value in pursuing his education, despite the barriers he faced growing up. At the beginning of high school, he experienced hearing damage, and his classes became challenging in a new way. After his freshman

“He’s a dedicated worker and he always told me to keep going,” Westerberg said. After college, Westerberg hopes to come back to Kosciusko County and open a vet clinic. KREMC is honored to support him in his 4-H experience and beyond.

2022 4-H SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS Marisa Alvarez Miranda Alvarez Jace Beer Jared Beer Jenna Beer Gentry Bouse Emily Goon Ayden Tusing Jacob Vargo Jacob Westerberg





Discovering beneficial electrification benefits GREENER ENVIRONMENT AND GREENER WALLET! As gas prices soared over the last several months, more drivers considered the appeal of electric vehicles. Those thoughts likely grew stronger when drivers stared at the gas pump’s ever increasing price display while they filled the tank. Transitioning from a gas-powered vehicle to an electric vehicle can help drivers save on long-term energy costs. Switching to a more energy efficient model can also reduce dependence on fossil fuel. It’s an example of beneficial electrification. The nonprofit Beneficial Electrification League defines “beneficial electrification” as applying electricity to uses that achieve one of the following conditions while not harming another: • •

• •

Saving consumers money Benefiting the environment while reducing greenhouse gas emissions Improving people’s quality of life Fostering a more resilient energy grid

It is not an “electrify everything” approach. Beneficial electrification has become possible in recent years as more renewable energy resources such as wind and solar



energy have been added to the grid while more fossil fuel sources, such as coal plants, are scheduled to be retired in the coming years. There are several reasons families and businesses would consider beneficial electrification improvements: It can help people achieve their sustainability goals. Families and businesses that switch to more efficient electric appliances and HVAC systems will reduce their carbon footprint. Many businesses now incorporate sustainability goals into their corporate strategy. Lowering their dependence on fossil fuels by reducing their energy use can help them reach those goals. Energy efficient upgrades can lower long-term energy costs. Energy Star-certified appliances use less energy and last longer than other products on the market, which lowers overall operation costs. Some electric co-ops may offer rebates for qualifying energy efficient upgrades, making them even more economical. In some cases, newer technology such as LED lighting can have additional benefits, including a longer lifecycle compared to older kinds of lighting.

Reduce dependency on volatile energy resources. Coal, natural gas and oil have seen drastic price fluctuations in the last few years given supply chain issues and global demand. Electricity is generated from a variety of resources, including wind, the sun, nuclear power and even landfill gas. By upgrading appliances and HVAC systems to efficient electric alternatives, you will be able to utilize the diverse resources generating electricity. Families and businesses that take advantage of beneficial electrification can reduce their carbon footprint and lower their long-term energy use. Contact your local electric cooperative’s energy advisor for details on options you should consider.

by Brian Hawk Energy Advisor Noble REMC


insights STATE FAIR NAMES FEATURED FARMERS Eighteen farm operations from throughout Indiana have been named this year’s Indiana State Fair Featured Farmers. The Featured Farmers will showcase different agricultural products throughout the 18-day fair.

July 29: Sheller Family Farms (corn), Hamilton County July 30: Martin Family Farms (swine), Warren County July 31: Red Frazier Bison Ranch (bison), Greene County Aug. 3: Goin’s Blueberry Lane (blueberries), Starke County Aug. 4: Gutwein Popcorn (popcorn), Pulaski County Aug. 5: Hodgen Farms (soybeans), Putnam County Aug. 6: New Age Provisions Farm (urban farmer), Marion County Aug. 7: Eggersman Brothers Cattle (beef cattle), Jackson County Aug. 10: Salomon Farms LLC (corn/ soybeans, custom baling), Whitley County Aug. 11: Countryside and Apple Hill Orchards (apples), Vanderburgh County Aug. 12: Wagler Dairy (dairy cattle), Brown County Aug. 13: Dutch Valley Growers (tomatoes and onions), LaPorte County Aug. 14: Superior Dairy (dairy cattle), DeKalb County Aug. 17: 3D Valley Farm (maple syrup and other farm delicacies), Harrison County Aug. 18: Mark and Peggy Jones (hardwoods), Orange County Aug. 19: Bourbon Bound Farms (whiskey/corn/cover crops), Jackson County Aug. 20: Lick Creek Flower Company (flowers), Madison County Aug. 21: Scott Farms (wheat, corn and soybeans), Cass County




Five tips to stay safe in extreme heat The dog days of summer typically bring the warmest, sultriest temperatures of the year. Even if you’re a summertime enthusiast, it’s important to stay cool during extreme heat. Take extra steps to cool off, keep hydrated and stay informed. Here are five tips recommended by the CDC to help you stay cool during extremely warm weather:


Stay in an air-conditioned home or building as much as possible. Limit outdoor activity, especially midday when the sun is hottest. If your home is not air conditioned, call the local health department to locate public facilities or shelters.


If you must be outdoors, wear loose, light-colored clothing and apply sunscreen often.


Drink more water than usual. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink more.


Take cold showers or baths to cool down.


Avoid using the oven or stove to cook. These appliances add heat to your home. Try using the microwave or a slow cooker instead.


county feature

Porter County Porter County sits in the middle of the three Hoosier counties touching Lake Michigan. This unique

Winds out of the north push white caps onto the shore of Indiana Dunes National Park. Across the southern end of Lake Michigan, the skyline of Chicago is visible through the blue haze.

geographical location gives the county its amazing “otherworldly”

County Facts

landscape and ecosystem that is the

alter how the National Park Service


Indiana Dunes.

cared for and maintained the 15,000

NAMED FOR: Capt. David Porter, an officer in the U.S. Navy who served in the First Barbary War, the War of 1812 and in the West Indies.

The lakeshore offers some of the most unspoiled natural areas in the state and is home to Indiana’s only “National Park.”

acres of property, it did elevate the Dunes in the eyes of the public. As Indiana’s only National Park, it now is listed among the likes of Acadia, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon and

Indiana Dunes National Park hugs 15 miles of the southern shore of Lake Michigan and offers beaches, sand dunes, bogs, marshes, swamps, prairies, rivers, oak savannas, and woodland forests. The park is also noted for its singing sands. More than 350 species of birds have been observed in the park, and it has one of the most diverse plant communities of any unit in the U.S. National Park System. The park is

Great Smoky Mountains. Before the change in name and the onset of the pandemic,


the National Lakeshore, and its

COUNTY SEAT: Valparaiso

neighboring Indiana Dunes State


Park, received 3.6 million visitors a year, the equivalent of the seventh most-visited national park, behind

watching, camping, hiking, fishing,

Yellowstone. Indiana’s top tourist

swimming, cycling, horseback

attraction, the Dunes pulls heavily

riding, and cross-country skiing.

from nearby Chicago.

The park also features the historic

home to more than 1,100 native

The park also features the 1822

Indiana Dunes State Park Bathhouse


Joseph Bailly Homestead. Bailly was

and Pavilion on the beach.

Indiana Dunes was established by Congress in 1966 as “Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore” to preserve and

a fur trader on Lake Michigan. The Chellberg Farm, established in 1869, is also an historical attraction.

Visitors should also note that the National Park and the State Park operate separately and entrance

protect the area’s unique natural

Indiana Dunes State Park is also

for one doesn’t provide entrance to

habitat. It became the nation’s 61st

located on the lakeshore and is

the other. The NPS began requiring

“National Park” quietly in 2019.

surrounded by the National Park. The

entrance fees in April. A non-

While the change in name didn’t

park provides opportunities for bird

commercial family-sized vehicle is $25. A walk- or bike-in pass is $15.




Indiana Dunes National Park www.nps.gov/indu/index.htm

Indiana Dunes State Park www.in.gov/dnr/state-parks/parkslakes/indiana-dunes-state-park/


CREATE AN ELECTRICAL SAFETY PLAN before you plant a tree Trees and power lines often coexist without problems. However, there are precautions to take when planting a tree. Not only do dangers lurk for the person planting the tree, nearby power lines and trees can be harmed as well. Trees growing too close to electrical lines are the primary cause of momentary short circuits and flickering lights. When it storms, tree limbs that are too close to power lines can knock the lines out completely and create a greater threat to your safety. Overhead utility lines are the easiest to see and probably the ones we take for granted most. Although these lines look harmless enough, they are extremely dangerous. Meanwhile, underground utility lines can be buried very close to the ground’s surface. That’s why it’s so important to call before you dig. “You can’t spell plant without a plan!” is what Indiana Electric Cooperatives wants its DIY’ers to remember when landscaping. “Before you start planting, we encourage you to call your local 811 call center at least a few working days, but no less than two full working days, before you start planting,” said Jon Elkins, vice president of safety, training and compliance at Indiana Electric Cooperatives. “Never assume



the utility lines are buried deeper than you plan to dig.” Once you know where to plant to avoid underground utilities, find out where the prime planting spots away from overhead utility lines are. If you are planting a small tree that will grow no larger than 25 feet tall, planting it 25 feet away from power lines is a safe distance. If the tree is 25-40 feet tall, plant it 40 feet away from power lines. The bigger the tree, the farther it should be. So, if the tree is expected to grow more than 40 feet high, it should be planted 60 feet away from utility lines.

TIPS FOR SAFELY PL ANTING A TREE Call 811 to have underground utilities marked at least a few working days, but no less than two full working days, before digging (IC 8-1-26). Knowing their locations helps you dig safely, and planting a safe distance away will help prevent damage from roots. Create a basic plan, or a sketched diagram, before you begin planting to avoid future troubles. Using the information from the underground utility locator service will be a big help in setting some guidelines.

Keeping trees away from these utility lines not only keeps you safe, it keeps the trees safe as well. Trees planted too close to underground lines can suffer root damage. Trees planted too close to overhead lines need regular pruning.

Consider a tree’s potential growth when choosing its location. If it’s expected to grow higher than 15 feet, choose a spot 25 to 50 feet away from utility lines and your home.

Indiana Electric Cooperatives works hard to provide you reliable electric service. You can help by following these few simple guidelines when managing the trees on your property. Being aware of these dangers and how to avoid them can keep you, your home and the trees safe.

Call your local cooperative if you need help trimming a tree away from power lines. This will keep you and everyone around you much safer.


Ask Rosie TOUGH BEANS? Here are possible solutions to green bean problems. I have planted White Half Runner green beans in the same location in my garden for decades. For five years or more, I have experienced growth issues with my beans. I buy my seed from local farm supplies. My beans are not maturing to a full bean. I have thin, tough beans that are hard to eat. They break up, but the edges of the break are ridges. Some beans are just plain thin. Robie Beverly, Jennings County Do other plants grow in the same garden area and, if so, how do they perform? It’s difficult to be certain, but I suspect your beans may have inadequate nutrients. Have you applied any fertilizer to the bean plants? If not, I recommend applying a fertilizer product labeled for vegetable garden use. Be sure to follow label directions for application rate. If you have tried fertilizer in the past without success, you might try another garden location. You could make a raised bed or container garden using good quality soil mix and see if that improves performance. For more information on vegetable gardening, check out Purdue Extension Home Gardeners Guide at https://www.extension.purdue.edu/ extmedia/HO/HO-32-W.pdf.



Longtime Indiana Connection contributer B. Rosie Lerner, a Tipmont REMC consumer, is a retired Purdue Extension consumer horticulturist. Questions about gardening issues may be sent to “Ask Rosie,” Indiana Connection, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606, or use the form at IndianaConnection.org.


pull or dig weeds while they are

keep weeds out of a flower

young and before they set seed. A

garden filled with perennials? Becky Williams, Fulton County

pre-emergence herbicide in spring can help reduce many weed species by killing weed seedlings as they

It is a challenge to control

germinate. These products usually

weeds among perennial

need to be applied to soil and

plants, a challenge shared by most

watered in before mulch is applied

gardeners! For new gardens, it is

and early enough before weed

critical to start with a clean bed

seeds germinate.

before planting. Once the garden is established, you’ll use a combination approach to reduce weeds as much as possible. But there will always be weeds to battle. Applying a mulch can be super helpful in suppressing weed seed germination. Mulch makes weeds that do sprout easier to pull and helps conserve soil moisture. Hand

A general rule of thumb is to apply pre-emergence herbicide around the time that forsythia shrubs in are bloom. More information on weed control can be found in this Purdue Extension article: https://www. purdue.edu/hla/sites/yardandgarden/ weeding-is-good-exercise/.






First, ditch the powdered soup mix for a more flavorful homemade broth.

EASY HOMEMADE RAMEN BROTH 1 T. sesame oil 3 t. grated ginger 4 t. grated garlic 4 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth) 4 cups water 1 oz. dried shiitake mushrooms 2 packages instant ramen (noodles only!)


Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet over medium low heat. Add the garlic and ginger; stir fry for 2 minutes or until soft and fragrant. Add the broth and the water. Bring to a simmer; add the mushrooms and simmer for 10 minutes or until the mushrooms have softened and the broth is flavorful. Remove mushrooms from broth. Remove stems from mushrooms, then slice mushrooms and return to the broth. Add the instant noodles to the hot liquid and simmer for an additional 5 minutes or until the noodles have softened. Top as desired. Makes about 4 servings. (Feel free to double or triple the recipe to feed a crowd.)





Then, personalize your ramen bowl with toppings of your choice. Here are some of our favorites. PROTEINS • Cooked shrimp • Thinly sliced pork tenderloin • Sliced Spam • Boiled or soft-boiled eggs, halved • Cubed tofu

VEGGIES • Shredded napa cabbage • Thinly sliced jalapeno peppers • Drained canned water chestnut slices • Drained canned bamboo shoots • Shredded carrots • Sauteed shiitake mushrooms • Baby corn • Chopped bok choy • Fresh bean sprouts • Thinly sliced green onions • Edamame • Boiled spinach

FLAVOR BOOSTERS • Chopped cilantro • Strips of seasoned nori (dried seaweed) • Sesame seeds • Chili oil • Sesame oil • Sriracha sauce • Soy sauce

Now, grab your chopsticks and dig in! 22


Camp Kilowatt comes with a lineman's view of the world — a bucket truck ride into the tree tops. Doug Williams, substation maintenance technician at Tipmont REMC, gives a lift to Katie Sterk, a camper from Kosciusko REMC.




“I touch the future. I teach.” is a quote attributed to Christa McAuliffe, the star-crossed classroom teacher who was to be the first teacher in space aboard the ill-fated Space Shuttle Challenger. In their own ways, Indiana’s electric cooperatives have been touching the future, too … for decades. Fulfilling the cooperative commitment to community and education, they have taught our younger consumers — who will someday be their members, directors and civic leaders — about our country and the roles of co-ops and electricity. “Creating opportunity for our youth to have experiences outside of our communities broadens their personal growth,” said Neil Draper, president and CEO at Jay County REMC. Draper chairs the Youth Engagement Committee of Indiana Electric Cooperatives, the statewide association of Indiana’s 38 member distribution cooperatives. IEC coordinates two vital youth programs, Camp Kilowatt and the Indiana Youth Tour to Washington, D.C. Because of the pandemic restrictions and concerns for safety, this year’s camp and tour were the first since 2019. “Youth Tour and Camp Kilowatt give us the chance to offer some of our younger members the opportunities of a lifetime,” Draper said. “These programs are educational, fun, and oftentimes life-changing for the students who participate. Youth programs are vital to the growth of our community so it’s important that enterprises like this continue to flourish.”

On Youth Tour, Miriam Kline, left, and Autumn Miller give a “thumbs up” before the Reflecting Pool and the Washington Monument.

IN JUNE, 140 STUDENTS PARTICIPATED IN THE TWO PROGRAMS. Over the next four pages is a look back … at the faces of our future.



Riding the zipline at Camp Kilowatt are Jayden Wright, left, sponsored by NineStar Connect, and Damian Arnold, sponsored by Dubois REC.

CAMP KILOWATT For almost 20 years, Indiana’s Camp Kilowatt (formerly Touchstone Energy Camp) has mixed typical summer camp fare with little electrical twists: wall climbing and utility pole climbing; ziplines and zapping power lines. Because of the pandemic, this year’s camp, held June 8-11 at YMCA Camp Tecumseh in Brookston, was the first since 2019. Electric co-ops from

Assembling circuit boards gives Camp Kilowatt participants a chance to learn a little more about electricity and the electronic products they use.

around the state sent 71 participants who will be entering seventh grade this fall.

Traditional camp activities are also a big part of Camp Kilowatt, held at YMCA Camp Tecumseh. Conor Lowry (far left) and Bentley Fross, try their hands at canoeing, while Kaylee Fricke tests her marksmanship with archery.



The giant sculpture of Albert Einstein near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is always a popular stop for a group photo on Youth Tour.

YOUTH TOUR From June 16-23, 69 incoming high school seniors participated in this year’s Indiana Youth Tour to Washington, D.C. The tour provides young Hoosiers the opportunity to visit the nation’s capital, learn about government, experience American history and gain a better understanding about their electric cooperatives. The group represented 24 Indiana electric co-ops. Like Camp Kilowatt, this was the first since 2019 because of COVID. Hoosiers visited the Flight 93 Memorial, the Gettysburg Battlefield, Arlington National Cemetery and the museums, monuments and memorials in and While Youth Tour is a lot of fun, visits to the war memorials and places like the Holocaust museum are a time of reflection. Participants at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial take time to check out names of fallen soldiers engraved into the V-shaped black granite wall and read the Father’s Day notes that had been left just days before. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

around D.C. The group also spent a day on Capitol Hill, where they met with members of Indiana’s congressional delegation.



OTHER NOTABLE YOUTH PROGRAMS CALENDAR ART CONTEST Each year since 1999, Indiana Connection, supported by participating electric cooperatives around the state, has published a calendar illustrated with student art. The art is selected the previous spring from a contest open to all Indiana students, grades K-12. The calendar for 2023 is in production and will be available later this year. Beginning Aug. 26 and running through Oct. 1, the works of the 26 first place and honorable mentionwinning artists for the 2023 calendar will be exhibited at the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis, in conjunction with the opening of the Hoosier Artists Salon exhibition.

PAGE DAY High school students affiliated with an Indiana electric cooperative can apply to spend a day as a page at the Indiana State Legislature when it reconvenes next January. Look for details later in the fall.

JOIN US NEXT YEAR The Youth Tour to Washington, D.C., in June 2023, will be for students who are entering their junior year of high school this month (for the 2022-23 school year). Camp Kilowatt next June will be for students now entering sixth grade. If you are interested in participating or know someone in either of those classes, please look for application information and deadlines beginning later this year or early in 2023.



YOUTH POWER & HOPE AWARDS Indiana’s electric cooperatives honor middle school students who are committed to helping others in their communities. This year’s deadline to enter the Youth Power and Hope Awards is Oct. 3. Qualified candidates must be in grades 5-8. Up to five winners will each receive $500 and be featured in an upcoming issue of Indiana Connection. Learn more and apply online at www.indianaconnection.org/ youthpowerandhope.




Driving along the Big Flatrock River in Rush County, I had the exhilarating experience of seeing a fully mature bald eagle soaring across an open field. No mistaking the huge size, dark body and brilliantly white head of our nation’s emblem. Earlier in the year, I was mesmerized as an eagle perched in a large sycamore tree and proceeded to catch its dinner from the shallows of the river. My grandfather once owned the land where I watched the eagle fishing. He never had the chance to see this majestic bird. Bald eagles nested in Indiana until the 1890s. They are found mostly along major rivers and other large bodies of water. The loss of habitat, primarily Indiana’s drained wetlands and razed woodlands throughout the latter 1800s, chased them away. Small numbers still wintered in the state from November through March. In 1985, the first project of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program was the reintroduction of bald eagles.

Funded by private donations, 73 eaglets (7-8 weeks old) were obtained from Wisconsin and Alaska from 1985 through 1989 and brought to Indiana. They were placed in a 25-foot nest tower in a secluded bay on Lake Monroe. The birds were monitored and fed daily until they were old enough to fly at 11 to 12 weeks of age. Since then, the eagle population has continued to expand in this continuing comeback story. In 2020, there were over 350 nesting territories in Indiana. One of the great historical myths of our country is Benjamin Franklin proposing the national emblem to be a wild turkey! After the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, it tasked Benjamin Franklin — along with John Adams and Thomas Jefferson — with designing a seal to represent the new country. Given the opportunity to choose a national symbol, the Founding Father never

“ ...the eagle population has continued

to expand in this continuing comeback story. In 2020, there were over 350 nesting territories in Indiana.

suggested a turkey. According to his notes, Franklin proposed an image of “Moses standing on the shore, and extending his hand over the sea with the motto ‘Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God.’ ” While the committee selected the scene from the Book of Exodus for the reverse of the seal, the Continental Congress was not impressed and tabled the concept. It wasn’t until 1782 when the Great Seal of the United States with the bald eagle as its centerpiece was approved. till next time,


JACK SPAULDING is a syndicated state outdoors writer and a member of RushShelby Energy. Readers can contact the author by writing to this publication, or by email to jackspaulding@hughes. net. Spaulding’s books, “The Best Of Spaulding Outdoors” and “The Coon Hunter And The Kid,” are available from Amazon.com as paperbacks or Kindle downloads.



Wabash Valley Power news

After School Savings Tips for teens to lower afternoon and evening energy use

Buses steadily starting and stopping along subdivision streets signal the start of the season’s school day schedules.

from coming in. (More heat coming in means more work for the AC!)

As teens settle back into the school year, they’re also getting used to their afterschool routines: fall sports, homework or parttime jobs. Regardless of when teenagers arrive home, there are steps they can take to minimize their electricity use.



As teens get ready to do homework, they may instinctively turn on all the lights in the house. Yet energy can be saved by leaving lights off and opening blinds and curtains instead. The sun can often provide enough needed light naturally, saving electricity. This should only be done when it’s cool; if it is still hot outside and the air conditioner is turned on, then curtains should remain closed to keep the outside heat



It may be instinct to just let the thermostat control the climate in the house. However, if the afternoon is cool enough, teens can turn off the air conditioner and open windows and let fans circulate air. A breeze flowing through the house can make it comfortable without the AC.


Some people habitually leave devices on all day, even when not in use. Yet the standby modes for computers and gaming systems can use a surprising amount of electricity. Teens can save energy (and money) by turning off these devices. If they must be on,

selecting a power save mode can minimize their energy use.


Mobile phones, iPads and other devices with rechargeable batteries can be charged overnight so they are ready the next morning on a full charge. This is the most efficient use of the energy grid: electricity demand on the grid peaks in the afternoon and evening, and if you have time of use rates, every little watt used off-peak can help. By taking simple steps, teens can benefit the environment and even save money by lowering their energy use. Contact your local electric co-op’s energy advisor for advice on steps you can take to improve your home’s energy efficiency.


The “Sunflower State” is Kansas. But Indiana is no shrinking violet when it comes to celebrating the giant, sun-loving flower that brings the radiance of the sun to our fields and gardens. Beginning this month and continuing until the sun starts to fade into fall, Hoosiers will be celebrating sunflowers at various festivals and events. Here are several to set your sights on. Be sure to take your sunglasses and sunscreen!

SUNFLOWER MEADOW Tuttle Orchards 5717 N. 300 W. Greenfield, Indiana


Explore Tuttle Orchards’ Sunflower Meadow — two acres planted with sunflowers for exploring, taking photos, and more. Meadow visitors with a paid admission can cut their own sunflowers that are available in a separate area. A Tractor Town Kid’s Play Area will be open this year as well as a café with outdoor seating for lunch and Tuttle’s famous apple cider slushies. Tuttle Orchards reminds folks sunflowers typically are in bloom for only about two weeks, so stay posted for when they are in season at the orchard.

CONNER PRAIRIE SUNFLOWER FIELDS 13400 Allisonville Road Fishers, Indiana

August, September

At Conner Prairie living history museum, sunflower lovers will discover over three acres to explore. Thousands of blooms of three varieties provide perfect photo opportunities. Regular admission is charged.

SUNFLOWER U-PICK Kankakee Valley Homestead 6737 Ind. 104 Walkerton, Indiana

Aug. 6-7

Visitors to the Homestead, a market solely for naturally grown gardens and producers, can celebrate summer by picking their own sunflowers from its garden. The vegetable stand will be available, too.

STUCKEY FARM Sept. SUNFLOWER 2-5, 9-11 FESTIVAL 19975 Hamilton Boone Road Sheridan, Indiana Envision seven football fields covered with sunflowers to get an idea of what you’ll see at the annual Stuckey Farm Sunflower Festival. Over 176,000 sunflowers have been planted in a seven-acre field. Visitors will see a dazzling array of over 20 different varieties of sunflowers. There is a forest of giant Skyscraper and Mammoth sunflowers that can grow to 15 feet tall, all the way down to Dwarf Teddy Bear sunflowers.

LAMBRECHT FARM’S FALL SUNFLOWER MARKET 5262 Leatherwood Road Bedford, Indiana

Sept. 9-10

Over 75 sunflower pickers, makers, and farmer market vendors will gather. In addition, live music, a petting zoo, and food trucks will be on hand to entertain and serve visitors.


Sept. 10-11, 17-18

Festival highlights include a Sunflower U-Pick, kids’ activities and a delicious variety of seasonal treats. Spend time in Johnson’s Farm’s beautiful sunflower patch and take photos. Johnson’s has also planted a field of zinnias to check out.

LA PORTE SUNFLOWER FAIR Downtown La Porte, Indiana

Sept. 17

The Sunflower Fair in downtown La Porte is one of the largest festivals in the northwestern part of the state. Over 100 craft and nonprofit vendors and groups offer artisan wares, food, entertainment, kids’ activities, and much more. Enjoy the many activities of the day: La Porte Farmers Market, kids’ fun zone, a rib cook-off, Artists Gallery Walk, and sunflower growing contest.

Before planning a visit to any of these places or events, Google the site for up-to-date information about dates and times, admission fees, and availability. AUGUST 2022


cooperative career Professional progression:

FINDING A ‘GEM’ OF A CAREER IN HER OWN BACKYARD Samantha Kuhn grew up surrounded by all things electric cooperative. For most of her life, her dad was a cooperative CEO, including the CEO of Kosciusko REMC in northern Indiana. But as a college student interested in journalism, she never dreamed she’d follow her dad’s footsteps into a career at an electric utility … until she discovered all the different career gems the cooperative world contained. “I had a love for writing, wordsmithing, storytelling,” Kuhn said. “But when I found out the cooperatives had a magazine with statewide-level journalism, I was sold.” Today, Kuhn is marketing and communications manager at Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative, which serves consumers in northwest Ohio and northeast Indiana. She also provides contract services in that position for three other northwest Ohio electric cooperatives. After college, she went to work for Ohio’s statewide trade association based in Columbus. As she and her high school sweetheart made plans


for marriage, she knew she’d have to find something closer to home. Her fiancé was tied to a family RV business in northwest Ohio. “The great thing about the co-op world is people really care about their employees. Four Northwest Ohio coops, which I had fostered relationships with as associate editor of the Ohio electric cooperative magazine, were able to build a shared services position to fill a need the co-ops had in that area for communication,” Kuhn said. She was hired by Paulding Putnam but divides her time among four cooperatives in the area. In the communication positions, she writes, designs and manages various communication materials, news releases, social media messaging and marketing campaigns. “Every day is different — from designing to writing. Every day is something new. And I like the challenge of working with four different companies and building relationships,” she said.

2013 hired

2016 HIRED

Intern Kosciusko REMC

Associate Editor Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives


Samantha Kuhn Marketing and Communications Manager

Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative She also loves the culture of cooperatives and the concern they have for their communities, consumers and employees. “It is a good job for your soul,” she said. “Community service is part of the job description. We prioritize training, development, and a family atmosphere. We wear so many hats that every day is a challenge. So, growth opportunities are endless, and people are able to flourish if they choose to,” she said. “If you are able to find the hidden gem that co-ops are, it’s impossible not to fall in love and want to stay and grow yourself.”

INTERESTED IN AN ELECTRIC CO-OP CAREER? Visit WePowerIndiana.org to learn about available careers or tell us about yourself.

2018 HIRED


Communications Coordinator Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative

Marketing and Communications Manager Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative

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