Kosciusko REMC — June 2021 Indiana Connection

Page 1

Your registration card and voting ballot are on the back cover!

Kosciusko REMC’s

Join us for the Kosciusko REMC

Drive-through

Annual Meeting Thursday, June 10

Registration opens at 3:30 p.m. at KREMC! 370 S. 250 E. in Warsaw

JUNE 2021


32.06¢

RESIDENTIAL

Average Cost per kWh Used 9.2¢

9.71¢

KREMC

LOWEST STATE AVERAGE (WASHINGTON)

12.49¢

12.58¢

13.01¢

MIDWEST REGIONAL AVERAGE

INDIANA AVERAGE

NATIONAL AVERAGE

HIGHEST STATE AVERAGE (HAWAII)

PUBLISHED OCTOBER 2020 BY THE U.S. ENERGY INFORMATION ADMINISTRATION, WWW.EIA.GOV/ELECTRICITY/ANNUAL

STATEMENTS OF OPERATION

BALANCE SHEET

Years ended Dec. 31, 2020 and 2019

Operating revenues

Years Ended Dec. 31, 2020 and 2019

2020

2019

$ 47,904,118

$49,509,212

Operating expenses

2020

2019

$89,092,247

$84,809,748

Assets Electric plant

Purchased power expense

34,858,024

36,741,098

(26,468,351)

(24,974,108)

Operations & maintenance

2,013,241

2,189,883

Net plant

62,623,896

59,835,640

Collections, admin. & general

4,204,330

3,926,267

Depreciation

2,577,287

2,510,074

Total investments & other assets

23,463,071

23,775,985

Other operating expenses

1,773,153

1,866,796

86,086,967

83,611,625

45,426,035

47,234,118

456,974

453,576

2,478,083

2,275,094

Patronage capital

52,972,637

51,688,397

Margins & equities

11,597,904

9,862,282

65,027,515

62,004,255

15,896,839

16,618,011

5,162,613

4,989,359

$86,086,967

$83,611,625

Total operating expense Operating margins Other income Interest income Misc. income

35,677

36,890

95,813

94,274

G&T capital credits

1,532,145

1,510,973

Total non-operating margins

1,663,635

1,642,137

$4,141,718

$3,917,231

Net margins

Less accumulated depreciation

Total assets Equities & liabilities Membership

Total margins & equities Long-term debt Current liabilities & deferred credits Total equities & liabilities

Financials are unaudited for year ended Dec. 31, 2020.

PURCHASED POWER OPERATIONS & MAINTENANCE COLLECTIONS, ADMIN. & GENERAL DEPRECIATION OTHER OPERATING EXPENSES


See you at our drive-through annual meeting on June 10.

Kosciusko REMC’s

Something old,

something new…

BARN VENUES OFFER COUPLES RUSTIC AMBIENCE FOR THEIR SPECIAL DAY

pages 18–23

JUNE 2021



from the editor

how to be a rock star Either I’m late to the whole rock painting trend or I was actually way early.

The summer when I was 10, I found a rock that I thought was shaped like a foot. Immediately, I was inspired to pick up a paintbrush and enhance that resemblance. That was literally my stepping-stone to adorning a handful of other rocks that summer with simple motifs like flowers and bubble letters that spelled “LOVE.” Who would have thought that my childhood obsession with rocks would someday roll into a phenomenon rooted in kindness? Through the “Kindness Rocks Project,” anyone can grab a plain ol’ rock and add color, designs and inspirational quotes on it. The fancified stone can then be placed somewhere where it will be found — perhaps just when its discovery could change someone’s day, outlook or even life. Interested in rocking some kindness? First wash the rocks. Place them in a colander and run some water over them. Then rub each rock with some mild soap to remove any dirt. Rinse again. Place clean rocks on a towel to dry.

WE’D LOVE TO SEE HOW YOU’RE “ROCKING”

Use non-toxic multi-surface or outdoor-rated acrylic paint. Use paint pens to write on the rocks or add details. Be sure to write #thekindnessrocksproject on the back of the rock so the person who finds the rock can share pictures of it on social media.

kindness.

Share photos of your painted rocks on our social media channels.

When you’re finished painting your rock, add a top coat of clear acrylic spray. Don’t put stickers or googly eyes on your rock as they can be harmful to animals. Also, don’t leave your rocks on others’ property, in national parks or forests, or in places with “Leave No Trace” policies in place. Visit www.thekindnessrocksproject.com for more ideas on how you can spread some love one rock at a time.

EMILY SCHILLING Editor eschilling@indianaec.org

On the menu: November issue: Pumpkin, deadline Aug. 1.

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

Giveaways: Two prize packages are available to win this month. J. Ford’s Black Angus,

which is showcased on page 15, is providing a $50 gift card. Meanwhile, Do it Best store owners are offering a gift package that includes pantry organizers ($250 value). For details and to enter, visit indianaconnection.org/talk-to-us/contests. Entry deadline for giveaways: June 30.

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.

VOLUME 70 • NUMBER 12 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. CONTACT US: 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600 Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606 317-487-2220 info@indianaconnection.org IndianaConnection.org INDIANA ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES OFFICERS: Walter Hunter President Randy Kleaving Vice President Steve McMichael Secretary/Treasurer John Gasstrom CEO EDITORIAL STAFF: Emily Schilling Editor Richard George Biever Senior Editor Holly Huffman Communication Support Specialist Ellie Schuler Senior Creative Services Specialist Taylor Maranion Creative Services Specialist Lauren Carman Communication Coordinator Stacey Holton Director of Creative Services 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, Ind., 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.

JUNE 2021

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contents

JUNE

12

16

insights 03 FROM THE EDITOR

food

13 CALENDAR

05 CO-OP NEWS Energy news and information from your electric cooperative.

14 COUNTY OF THE MONTH Spotlighting Benton County.

09 ENERGY New devices can help you control your energy use.

Well-deserved reputation.

12 I NSIGHTS

26

15 INDIANA EATS J. Ford’s Black Angus:

16 FOOD The berry best.

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Indiana Connection

29

pets

18 COVER STORY Something old, something new in barn wedding venues. 24 DIY

safety

27 TRAVEL Sounds of bluegrass and nature at Bill Monroe Music Park. (Not in all editions)

Organize your way to the pantry of your dreams.

28 H OOSIER ENERGY/ WABASH VALLEY NEWS

25 RECALLS

29 SAFETY Stay safe when setting sail.

26 PETS How to include your pets in the family vacation. (Not in all editions)

30 PROFILE Building trust in the workplace.

On the cover Christine and Derek May have opened up their refurbished (and rebuilt) barn for hosting weddings. Their Vignette Farms near Attica, which includes the 1910 cornfield cathedral and their historic 1865 Italianate home, is one of the latest vintage venues finding new life in creating new memories. PHOTO BY TAYLOR MARANION

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JUNE 2021


co-op news

the annual meeting:

what you need to know

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 William Stump Jr., Chairman Dan Tucker, Vice Chairman John Hand, Secretary/Treasurer Kim Buhrt Terry Bouse Tony Fleming Pam Messmore Steve Miner Rick Parker

REPLACE AIR FILTERS A dirty filter causes your air conditioner to work harder than necessary. Remember to change your air filter every month (or every two months) to prevent dust buildup, which can lead to even bigger problems. — U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Use your Co-op Connections Card to save at local businesses The Spectacle Shoppe Inc. 15% off materials.

FOLLOW KOSCIUSKO REMC ON FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM AND TWITTER

We have finally made it to the month of our annual meeting, and we are excited to see all of you on June 10. Before you head our way, I want to share some information that will help make our first-ever drive-through a success. This edition of Indiana Connection is a crucial part of our drive-through meeting. As you may have noticed, this month’s issue has some extra pages. On the back of the magazine, you will notice a perforated section. On one side, there is an official notice and a barcode. This barcode is personalized to you; we will scan it at the meeting to quickly register you to vote and receive your bill credit. Your voting ballot is on the other side of the perforated section. This year, we have a contested election for three open seats on our board of directors. We ask that you please read over the provided candidate information and fill out your ballot before you come to the meeting. We want to make this drive-through meeting an enjoyable, convenient experience for everyone, so we are doing everything in our power to keep it efficient. Bringing your registration card with the ballot filled out will help us avoid backups and keep things running smoothly. Since we will not all be together in one room, we have made our business meeting into a video that we will publish in the days leading up to the meeting. Be on the lookout for this video on our social media pages and in your email — we recommend watching it before you come to the meeting. This year, our business meeting contains reports on our 2020 finances, projects, and progress. I look forward to telling you more about the steps we took to care for you, our members, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and to giving you a full picture of what our future looks like with the addition of our new subsidiary, Kosciusko Connect. I hope you will join us at our annual meeting. We will have a $10 bill credit, a to-go dinner, and a gift ready for you when you come. Remember to bring your ballot and registration card!

KURT CARVER President and CEO

KREMC rates and rebates RATES

REBATES

Residential and farm service Service charge ............................$24.50 per month Kilowatt-hour (kWh) charge ......@$.0922 per kWh Tracker charge ................... @-$0.002315 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.

JUNE 2021

5


co-op news

Apply for a scholarship CHANGES TO SCHOLARSHIP REGISTRATION PROCESS Applicants for our 4-H and John H. Anglin education scholarships must

SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE FOR...

register to qualify. Though we typically only offer scholarship registration at our annual meeting, we are opening it up this year! While we hope you will still join us for the drive-through event, applicants can now come into our offices at any time from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. to check in and qualify the week prior to the meeting. Our member service representatives will be ready to help! Please note: Registration must be completed on or before June 10. We will announce the winners after our annual meeting is over.

4-H PROJECTS

CONTINUED EDUCATION

Save money with the Home Energy Advisor As a not-for-profit electric cooperative, we actively look for ways to help our members use less electricity and lower their electric bills. Our Home Energy Advisor is an important part of that mission. The Home Energy Advisor was created to help you understand the way you use electric energy, and how you can reduce your use without impacting your quality of life. All you have to do is enter a few details about yourself and your home to get your free home energy report. This report is personal to you and will give you tips to reduce the amount of energy you use — often in ways that you would not notice!

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JUNE 2021

These reports can cover everything from how to minimize energy use while on vacation, to seasonal tips about how to heat or cool your house without breaking the bank. You can access the Home Energy Advisor on our website, kremc.com/service/homeenergy-advisor. You are also always welcome to call us! Our member service representatives love helping you find ways to save on your electric bills. Reach out any time at 574-267-6331.


co-op news

COMMITTED TO KREMC This month, two of our operations team members are celebrating their 20-year service anniversaries. Please join us in celebrating Lineman Larry Roe and Operations Supervisor Jon Justice.

Larry Roe

Jon Justice

Larry Roe started his utilities career right after high school when he got a job doing tree work around power lines. That job inspired him to become a lineman, and he chose to make the move to KREMC.

Jon Justice began his KREMC career as an apprentice. He had been working in the field of electricity before applying at KREMC, but he was interested in learning linework.

After graduating from Indiana Electric Cooperatives’ REAP program, Roe never looked back. He loves the challenging nature of linework and getting to spend most of his time outside. He uses his experience to look out for newer linemen, making sure that they stay safe on the job.

He graduated from REAP and worked as a lineman for eight years. During that time, he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Grace College. He was promoted to lead lineman in 2014, and he became KREMC’s operations supervisor in 2020.

“I am proud to have Larry as a part of our work family,” said Operations Supervisor Jon Justice. “I hope that he keeps up the good work for many years to come!” Roe enjoys being able to help people through his work — whether he is restoring members’ power after a storm or increasing reliability by maintaining and upgrading equipment.

“Jon has proven himself to be an excellent employee and leader over the past 20 years,” said Jeff Moore, manager of engineering and operations. “From apprentice lineman to operations supervisor, he works hard and holds both himself and his team to high standards.” Justice is motivated by KREMC’s member-focused mindset — something that has meant a lot to him over his 20 years of service.

WELCOMING OUR NEWEST EMPLOYEE We are pleased to welcome a new member service representative — Molly Studebaker — to our KREMC team! Before coming to KREMC, Studebaker worked in customer service at a local bank. Studebaker was born and raised in Portland, Indiana, and moved to Warsaw when she got married. Her hometown was very small, so she enjoys being a part of the Warsaw community and everything that it has to offer. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, especially her nieces and nephews. “Molly will be a great asset when it comes to helping our members,” said Stephanie Scott, manager of member service and billing. “She has a great blend of customer service and banking in her background, and she has a passion for helping people.” Please join us in welcoming her to our member services team! JUNE 2021

7


co-op news

ARE YOU READY FOR STORM SEASON? It’s storm season in Indiana! From lightning to high winds, summer storms are powerful forces that can deliver major damage to power lines. We are ready to respond quickly when outages occur, and we want to make sure that you are too. We created our website’s Outage Center to give you the information you need to stay safe when you lose power and to let you in on what we are doing to get your lights back on.

Outages are an unwelcome disruption, but if you know what to do when they occur and what precautions to take beforehand, you will be able to weather them with as much ease and peace of mind as possible. The Outage Center is also the place to get live outage updates. Our Outage Map is updated when power goes out anywhere in our service territory, and it will show you our progress as we work to restore it. In the case

of a large outage, we will also post updates to our Facebook page. We do everything in our power to minimize outages, but when they do occur, we want to make sure that you are safe and that you know what to do. Rest assured; our teams work tirelessly to restore power as quickly as possible. Find our Outage Center at kremc. com/service/outage-center.

See you at the fair We are so excited to once again be a part of the Kosciusko County Fair! This year, the fair will take place from July 11-17. Our team will be there on Tuesday, July 12, welcoming you in at the front gate and keeping you hydrated with our water station. Mark your calendars and make plans to come see us! The fair has something for everyone — from carnival rides and fun foods to 4-H barns and grandstand events. Visit the official Kosciusko County Fair website, www.kcfair.com, for the event schedule.

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JUNE 2021


energy S MART ER HO MES , PA RT 1

New devices allow homeowners to better control their energy use Wi-Fi enabled devices

Unlike programmable

H O ME E N E RG Y MO N I TO RS

quickly. Home energy

allow users to stream

thermostats that came

These devices come in

monitors can inform

movies or ask a virtual

before them, it is

two different types. One

you about the majority

assistant such as

much easier to set up

kind, such as SiteSage,

of your home’s energy

Amazon’s Alexa about

a schedule for Wi-Fi

monitors each circuit

use and what devices

the weather. Some

thermostats or adjust

of your home’s circuit

potentially cause

homeowners also use

them on the fly. Some

breaker box to tell you

energy waste. In fact,

Wi-Fi gadgets to better

models utilize machine

how much electricity

some energy advisors

control energy use in

learning to figure out

is used at each circuit.

have even used these

their homes.

how deep of a setback

They do not show more

to get greater insight

your home can handle

detailed energy use; if

on a home’s energy

to maximize energy

multiple appliances or

consumption!

savings, even for heat

devices are powered

pumps.

on the same circuit,

As technology has improved, more devices that increase homeowners’ comfort have become available.

Traditionally, the

Some new thermostats

recommendation for

the monitor will not be able to tell how much electricity each appliance

These new devices can allow you to minimize your home’s energy waste and save money.

can be controlled by

heat pump thermostat

a smartphone, and a

settings is to “set it and

few even use machine

forget it.” Setting and

That’s where the other

energy use can be

learning to better control

forgetting is a tried and

type of energy monitor,

improved, contact your

heating and cooling

true method to minimize

such as the Sense,

local electric co-op’s

systems. For those

expensive auxiliary heat.

can come in! It uses

energy advisor.

willing to go to the next

Newer Wi-Fi thermostats

electrical harmonics

level, real-time energy

can take advantage of

and machine learning to

monitors will display

setbacks by learning

detect appliance patterns

your home’s energy use

when the heat pump

to “learn” what devices

and may even show

needs to turn on to reach

are using electricity in

when specific appliances

the desired temperature,

your home. They have

cycle on and off!

while preventing the

been on the market long

W I- FI T HE RM OSTATS

auxiliary heat from

enough that they can

Wi-Fi thermostats are

turning on.

identify many frequently

a proven technology.

is using.

used appliances fairly

For more information about how your home’s

by Kevin Carpenter Energy Advisor Tipmont REMC

JUNE 2021

9


ADVERTISEMENT SPECIAL ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE

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SPECIAL ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE (Continued from previous page)

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insights

editor LETTERS TO THE

Pondering writing a letter to yourself

As I thought about what I would say to myself in a few years (after reading the April 2021 editor’s column) I thought if I could only have written to myself, gone back in time, to change things I did or did not do. Not that I was thinking about financial gain or having things easy, more like missed opportunities with friends, family and such. Then later I realized just how tough that would be. A little like if I were to tell my grandchildren how best to live or make life choices. Probably best to let them make their own decisions. But I may just think more on that letter to myself in the future. Tom Clarkson, via email

A true ‘story’ book

I know that some people are not skilled at crafting words into an interesting story or discourse but others like us do like to write and do appreciate the opportunity to pass on a little of what we’ve learned or experienced. Jay Wilson, Rochester, Indiana

Clarification Regarding the May 2021 County feature, the Noble County Historical Society has pointed out that the county is named for James Noble, Indiana’s first U.S. senator. For decades, historians and textbooks have wrongly credited his brother, Noah, who was 12 JUNE 2021 governor of Indiana from 1831 to 1837.

As we approach the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, Indiana Connection would like to hear your stories about this fateful day and see your photos. What were you doing when you learned about the planes crashing into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon? Do you have a personal connection to the events that happened that day? How did Sept. 11 change your life? If we publish your story or photo in our September issue, we’ll send you a check for $50. We’ll also send $50 to a randomly selected reader who sends us their recollections. The deadline to share your stories is July 6. Send them to us at www.indianaconnection.org/ share-your-9-11-stories-and-photos or mail us at Indiana Connection, Sept. 11 Stories and Photos, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240.

Marketplace Our Marketplace offers maximum exposure for your business or organization at a minimal cost. A limited number of display ads (such as those below) is available each month.

Don’t miss this opportunity to reach over 900,000 readers at an affordable rate! Please contact Cheryl Solomon, 847-749-4875 or cheryl@amp.coop, for other small business advertising opportunities in Indiana Connection. ipshewan Sh

a

The editorial “A Letter to Myself” prompted me to tell you what my daughter found, purchased and sent to me. Storyworth is a prepared and developed plan by which a person is given a question to answer at regular intervals. The answers to these openended questions are collected for a year, then put into a book which is then available to one’s children or grandchildren. The stories (answers to the questions) can be added to, edited, or deleted by the writer or by the one who purchased the Storyworth plan.

SHARE YOUR SEPT. 11 STORIES AND PHOTOS

e s t. 1 9 2 2

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Due to the ever-changing COVID-19 situation, please note that the events below may not occur at their originally scheduled times. Be sure to reach out to the event contacts below to ensure that the programs you are interested in are still taking place. JUNE 17–19: HAUBSTADT SOMMERFEST, Haubstadt (Gibson), Old Haubstadt Gym Grounds. Three days of rides, live music, food and Southern Indiana’s finest Bierstube! Laufenfest 5k Run, Walk and Lil’ Dutch Run on Saturday. Free. 812-385-0999. haubstadtsommerfest.com JUNE 27–JULY 11: LIBERTY BICENTENNIAL AND FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION, Liberty (Union), Courthouse Square and citywide. Two weeks of festivities. Arts and craft vendors, live entertainment, food booths, contests and a parade. Free. 765-458-5976. ucdc.us JULY 9–17: THREE RIVERS FESTIVAL, Fort Wayne (Allen), Headwaters Park. Nine-day celebration with over 80 events. Live music, junk food alley. Free. 260-426-5556. threeriversfestival.org MORE EVENT LISTINGS AT INDIANACONNECTION.ORG/EVENTS

JUNE 2021

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county feature Benton County’s sculpture at the Indiana State Museum represents Dan Patch.

Benton County Benton County’s two most

county fairs. A year later, he began

prominent claims to fame both

racing on a national circuit to great

pertain to the “harness” — as in

acclaim. In a surprise move in 1901,

harness racing and harnessing the

Messner sold his prized stallion

wind.

to a New York casino owner for

At the turn of the 20th century, harness racing was one of the most popular sports in the nation. And into the limelight paced Dan Patch, a dark bay Standardbred stallion who went undefeated in open competition. Dan Patch’s achievements made him a sports

$20,000, a record price at the time. A year later, he was sold for $60,000 to the owner of a stock feed company in Minnesota. Dan Patch retired undefeated in 1909 as the holder of nine world records. He died of a heart attack at the age of 20 in 1916.

celebrity, possibly the most famous

Though buried in Minnesota, Dan

athlete in America until Babe Ruth.

Patch is remembered in Oxford

Born in 1896 in Oxford, Indiana, Dan Patch became so dominant on the racetrack after just two seasons of racing that other owners eventually refused to enter their horses against him. With his short

with a memorial tombstone. The town holds its annual “Dan Patch Days” festival on the weekend following Labor Day each year. The festival is scheduled this year for Sept. 10–12.

racing career over, he performed

Benton County is also known for

time trials and traveled extensively

harnessing wind. Sitting along the

on exhibition. He earned millions

Illinois state line between Chicago

of dollars in purses, attendance

and Terre Haute, Benton County is

gate receipts and product

positioned at the door to the great

endorsements while breaking the

prairies to the west. Benton County

world speed records at least 14

is among the windiest areas of the

times in the early 1900s.

state which led to its selection as

Dan Patch was bred by Daniel

site of the state’s first wind farm.

County Facts FOUNDED: 1840 NAMED FOR: U.S. Sen. Thomas H. Benton of Missouri, architect and champion of U.S. westward expansion POPULATION: 8,653 (2018 estimate) COUNTY SEAT: Fowler INDIANA COUNTY NUMBER: 4 TRIVIA: The descendants of Sen. Thomas Hart Benton have continued to be prominent in Missouri life; his great-grandnephew, also Thomas Hart Benton, was a 20th-century painter who painted the celebrated and controversial “Indiana Murals” for the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. The works are now permanently displayed at Indiana University in Bloomington.

the southern part of the county, opened in 2009. The two large wind farms make Benton County the largest wind producer in the state, and, with over 620 turbines, the county has one of the largest

Messner Jr., a dry goods merchant

Benton County Wind Farm began

concentrations of wind turbines

in Oxford, and began his harness

operating in 2008. A second

in the United States east of the

racing career in 1900 at Indiana

farm, Fowler Ridge Wind Farm in

Mississippi River.

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JUNE 2021


Indiana eats Have a hankering for an eggtopped burger? At J. Ford’s Black Angus bar, order a “create your own burger” and go crazy with your toppings. PH OTO B Y MA R TY JON E S

WELL-DESERVED

Reputation For Jeff Ford, the path to a successful culinary career began in the back of a catering company’s semi-trailer. He perfected his chicken frying technique there when he was just 17 and that led to stints as sous chef and executive chef at various country clubs and restaurants in Indiana and Kentucky. In 2006, he was named the top country club chef in an Ohio Valley Club Managers Association competition. Wife Kelly’s food service background includes working at restaurants in high school and college and after graduation before transitioning to a successful career in sales. So, when the Fords took over the Black Angus, an established Terre Haute steak house in 2007, good things — and good eating — were bound to happen. With Jeff as

J. Ford’s Black Angus offers fine food in a comfortable setting

executive chef and Kelly running front of the house operations, J. Ford’s Black Angus has a well-deserved reputation for serving excellent food in a comfortable setting. State. Rep. Bob Heaton, a restaurant regular, can attest to J. Ford’s commitment to providing its customers an outstanding and unique experience. After all, how can you go wrong with a kitchen commandment like this one: “We wouldn’t serve a customer anything we wouldn’t be proud to serve our mother.” The menu rotates regularly so be sure to visit www.jfordsblackangus.com to see what’s currently being created in the kitchen. Perennial favorites are the Lobster Corn Dog appetizer and the tightly trimmed New York Strip Steak, chef Jeff’s choice. Even the House Salad — a menu staple that rarely

gets a shout out — is a show-stopping medley of greens, mandarins, feta cheese and red onion rings in a creamy vinaigrette dressing. A six-time Wine Spectator Award of Excellence winner, J. Ford’s offers an extensive selection of wines of all varieties, domestic and imported as well as full bar of other spirits. J. Ford’s is located in historic downtown Terre Haute at the corner of 7th and Walnut streets, two blocks south of Wabash Avenue. Guests can enjoy food and drinks in the bar, the dining room and in J. Ford’s three private dining rooms.

J. Ford’s Black Angus 129 S. 7th St., Terre Haute, Indiana 812-235-5549

jfordsblackangus.com

ABOUT STATE REP. BOB HEATON: Rep. Bob Heaton (R) represents District 46 which covers portions of Clay, Monroe, Owen and Vigo counties. Not only is Heaton the House Majority Whip, he is the Ways and Means committee chair. He serves on that committee’s Higher Education subcommittee as well as the Financial Institutions and Insurance committee. Heaton is president of Heaton Financial Services. An Indiana State University graduate, he played forward in the university’s famed basketball team — led by Larry Bird — that played for a NCAA Division 1 championship during the 1978-79 season. JUNE 2021

15


food APPLE BERRY BREAKFAST CRISP Robert M. Winters, Rensselaer, Indiana 4 cups thinly sliced cooking apples 2 cups blueberries, blackberries, raspberries or mixed berries ¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar ¼ cup frozen orange juice concentrate 2 T. all-purpose flour Mix together thoroughly and spread into a buttered 8-by-8-inch square baking dish. Prepare topping. Topping 1½ cups quick or old-fashioned oats (do not use instant oats) ¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar 3 T. all-purpose flour ½ cup melted butter Stir dry ingredients thoroughly in a bowl. Add melted butter in slowly and mix with fingers until it resembles medium crumbs. Sprinkle evenly over fruit. Bake in oven at 350 F for 30-35 minutes or until apples are tender. Serve warm with cream, half and half or vanilla ice cream. Cook’s notes: Although I prefer fresh berries, frozen berries are acceptable. I sometimes melt ice

BLUEBERRY DELIGHT Mari J. Briggs, Sheridan, Indiana

the crisp for breakfast. Although I

1 (11 oz.) box vanilla wafer cookies, crushed 1 cup sifted powdered sugar

call it a “breakfast crisp,” it makes a

½ cup butter

cream overnight and pour it over

great dessert on those cold winter evenings.

2 eggs 1 (16 oz.) can blueberry pie filling ½ pint whipping cream, whipped ½ cup chopped pecans Fresh blueberries, washed and dried

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JUNE 2021

Spread half of the crushed wafer cookies on the bottom of an 8-by8-inch pan. Cream sugar and butter together. Add eggs and blend in well. Carefully spread over the wafer cookies. Cover creamed mixture with pie filling. Spoon the whipped cream on top of the pie filling. Sprinkle the pecans and reserved cookie crumbs on top. Dot with fresh blueberries. Refrigerate 24 hours before serving.


The

food WHICH READERSUBMITTED RECIPE WILL YOU TRY FIRST? TAKE YOUR PICK!

berry best

BAKED HAM IN STRAWBERRY SAUCE Fancheon Resler, Albion, Indiana 1 (2-inch-thick) slice of boneless ham 1 T. dry mustard 4 T. brown sugar ⅓ cup white vinegar 1 (10 oz.) package frozen strawberries, undrained 2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks 2 whole cloves ½ t. ginger Gash the ham fat in several places and brown ham slice on both sides in a skillet. Place in a baking dish. Combine mustard, brown sugar, and vinegar; sprinkle over ham. In a saucepan, simmer strawberries,

QUICKIE COBBLER Shirley Todd, Columbus, Indiana ¾ stick (6 T.) butter 1 cup sugar ½ cup all-purpose flour 2 t. baking powder ½ cup milk 3 cups fresh berries

Melt butter and pour into an 8-inch square pan. Mix together sugar, flour and baking powder. Gradually add milk, stirring to blend. Pour into the pan. Stir a few times, then add berries and rake them through the batter with a fork. Bake at 375 F for 25-30 minutes or until crust is brown. Serve warm. Cook’s note: I use blackberries or blueberries in the recipe.

cinnamon, cloves, and ginger together for 10 minutes. Remove cinnamon sticks and cloves and pour over ham. Bake in 320 F oven for 1 ½ hours.

FO O D PREPARED BY I NDI ANA CO NNECTI O N STA FF PHO TO S BY TAYLO R M ARAN I O N

JUNE 2021

17


Something old,

something new …

Barn venues offer couples rustic ambience for their special day BY RICHARD G. BIEVER


L

aura Burton was never the kind of little girl who dreamed of having

that big, fancy, “Barbie-style” ballroom wedding. “I was more of a tomboy,” she said. But on Sunday drives with her parents, she did like to daydream while gazing out the back windows at the passing farmland and countryside. Though they lived in rural Benton County, her mom had family in adjoining Warren and Fountain counties to the south near Attica. They attended a rural church in the area and would visit. “We liked to cruise around in the country,” she recalled.

Just east of Attica, one particular old home with a wooden barn out back always caught Laura’s eye. “I remember driving by a house that was just beautiful. I’m a vintage, Victorian kind-of-girl. And I just always loved that house.” The house (pictured above) was a two-story red-orange brick Italianate with gingerbread trim built in 1865. Laura never would — or could — have imagined then that one day her past and future would be joined together at that roadside home. But last October, just inside the double glass-paned wooden doors of that house, in a special room to the left of the wooden balustrade of its steep curved staircase, she readied herself to be a bride. Then, before family and friends, she and her fiancé, Ben Fisher, said their timeless vows to each other out back by that old barn under God and a big Indiana autumnal sky.

CASUAL YET CL ASSIC The wedding took place in the historic home and barn known as Vignette Farms. It opened as a wedding venue at the start of 2020,

just before the pandemic. The newly rebuilt 110-year-old post and beam barn features 3,200 square feet and includes a bar area and two bathrooms. The home, meanwhile, includes an elegantly decorated bride room and a masculine groom room with separate entrances, bathrooms and staircases, and an entryway accented by dramatic, tall windows and that breathtaking sweeping staircase. The farm, served electrically by Tipmont REMC, is “something old” transformed into “something new.” It’s one of the latest around Indiana providing a place for this generation of brides and grooms trading the traditional formal locales for more relaxed, casual and natural settings. (Please see sidebar on page 22 for a partial listing of similar venues.) “There’s something about country living that is charming to a lot of people,” said owner Derek May. May and his wife, Christine, purchased the farm in the summer of 2018. They have worked tirelessly to bring Vignette Farms to life. “What we wanted to provide here is a timelessness,” said Chris. continued on page 20

PH OTO B Y R A CH E L S ITA R Z, B OH EMIA N L IGH T S P HOTOGR A P H Y

JUNE 2021

19


co ntin ue d fro m pa ge 19

Vintage weddings at venues like barns and farms have become popular in the past decade as many couples shun the glitzy trappings of ballrooms and banquet halls. They are trading the ritz for rustic. Doing so, they are finding a bucolic beauty at venues close to nature which reflect the timelessness of the vows they’ve made. Call it “rural chic,” “rustic chic” or “rustic elegance.” “We’re pretty laid-back people,” said the bride, now Laura Fisher, of Ben and herself. “I just wanted something casual but classic and pretty, not real trendy. I just wanted a more elegant style, Victorian classic.” According to an annual survey from The Knot, an online wedding-planning platform and magazine, 15% of

“There’s just a serenity out here, I think people sense it when they come out.” D E R E K M AY, V I G N E T T E FA R M S

couples getting married in 2019 chose a barn, farm, or ranch for their wedding reception which was the second most popular choice. And while traditional banquet halls remained number one, they are losing their appeal. In the past decade, the number of couples choosing to celebrate their wedding in banquet halls dropped from 27% in 2009 to 17%. Couples today want their wedding to express their identity, The Knot noted. Couples gravitate toward locales that say something about them. By choosing to get married in a barn or a state park or similar outdoor venue, a couple might want to show their love of nature or that they fell in love hiking or camping. Other unique locales gaining in popularity are historic homes, museums and historic sites for history buffs, and rural vineyards for wine lovers. “There’s just a serenity out here,” said Derek. “I think people sense it when they come out.” Derek also noted there’s grandeur in the historic barns themselves — what you might call the old cathedrals of the cornfields. “There’s just something so special about an old historic barn, the

story that’s behind it,” he said. “We tried to create this experience when people walk in where they are just in awe, how big and how high it is.”

A NEW PURPOSE The Mays call themselves “serial entrepreneurs.” Both hail from Indianapolis and its suburbs. They’ve had their hands in various businesses: owned a coffee shop, a catering service, and a lawn care business; and built and sold custom furniture. “I call her the ‘visionary’ and myself ‘operations,’ said Derek. “She has all the ideas, and I help carry them out.” After Chris binge-watched a Netflix show about a woman and her daughters establishing a barn wedding venue in Canada, her adult daughters, Courtney and Chelsea, convinced her that was something they could do. They also had a couple of friends who owned wedding barns. Courtney, 26, developed a marketing plan for barn wedding venues for a marketing research course she was taking. The Mays sold their home, moved into a rental, and began looking for a property in eastern, northeastern suburban Indianapolis to begin a new chapter in their life. They put in an offer on 10 acres in Hancock County they thought would be ideal, but it fell through when their variance for the venue was rejected by the zoning board. They continued their search and broadened their search. They finally found the historic home and barn outside of Attica. It was an hour and a half drive from Indy’s north side, a little farther than they planned, but they drove out to the open house. “I just knew there was something special about this property,” Chris said. The location was close enough to Lafayette/West Lafayette and Purdue University that they believed they could make it work.

20

JUNE 2021


D E R E K A N D C H R I S M AY M O V E D T O AT T I C A F R O M I N D I A N A P O L I S T O S TA R T T H E I R V I N TA G E W E D D I N G V E N U E , V I G N E T T E FA R M S , I N 2 0 1 8 . T H E I R F I R S T S E A S O N WA S L A S T Y E A R .

The home had been restored in the 1970s by a family that had lived there for 40 years. There had been other owners since, one updated the kitchen. Coincidentally, they later learned the kitchen designer from Home Depot was Ben Fisher’s mom. The Mays realized the barn to be the wedding venue had some issues: there were sagging areas and rotted flooring; a turkey vulture had taken up residence; and, though it had been decades since animals inhabited the barn, it still smelled like an old barn. But they put in an offer and were able to purchase the home, barn and seven acres in September 2018. The Mays first sought out a wellknown Amish construction crew from Adams County to help restore the barn, but the team was too busy to schedule them in. So, the Mays turned to other contractors. “It was such a horrible mess. We had many crews come and did not call us back. They did not want the job,” noted Chris. Finally, they hired a crew and were repairing footers, replacing bad siding, and having new concrete poured. Then, on May 23, 2019, straight line

winds came through, picked the barn up a bit, dropped it, and the whole thing collapsed into itself. It was among four barns in the area to topple in the storm that day. Fortunately, Derek had an engineering friend out earlier who did a schematic drawing of the barn down to every post. He had a perfect blueprint to rebuild it exactly as it was. At that point, the Amish barn builder, Ruben Schwartz, had cleared his schedule and agreed to reconstruct it. “It was so devastating. But long story short, it was a blessing in disguise,” said Derek.

The Amish crew salvaged about 80% of the original posts and timbers and were able to clean and treat them, getting rid of the old barn odor. A small crew then came and rebuilt the barn over the course of about six weeks in the fall of 2019, completing it in November. The end result: Essentially a brand new 1910 barn built with clean like-new original timbers. The Mays also had a new stamped concrete floor poured, and Chris, a skilled carpenter, put much of the original barn wood not reusable for the rebuild to another use. She and the continued on page 22

LAURA & BEN

PHO TO S BY RACHEL SI TARZ, BO HEM I AN LI G HTS PHO TO G RAPHY

Laura and Ben Fisher wanted a simple but elegant wedding venue. They found it in the rebuilt barn and home she remembered passing by as a little girl.


family, which also includes 17-year-old son Preston, built the long dining tables for the barn. She and Derek credit the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs for a matching grant that, along with insurance funds and other help from the Attica community, allowed them to rebuild the barn for the new business venture. “We never, ever dreamed that we would have a brand new ‘old’ barn, cleaned, repaired, that will hopefully last 100 years,” added Chris. While Vignette Farms only had two weddings its first year, because of COVID, 12 have been booked for 2021, and two already for 2022. The barn also will be used to host an international soil/agricultural meeting this summer.

A HIDDEN GEM Chris has other plans beyond a wedding venue for Vignette Farms, thus the “s” on the end, she said. They’ve purchased a small greenhouse to start growing and selling flowers. She’d like to open up a roadside coffee shop and raise chickens, and a Victorian garden is on her bucket list. A vineyard, Chris said, would be appropriate down the road ... to go with “Vignette” which is derived from the French word for “vine.” Vine also happens to be the name of a crossroads community just up the road. “I have visions for this and this and this …,” she said.

INDIANA BARN VENUES

continu ed from p age 21

“I walk around in awe of the history of this place,” she added. “We’re just stewards of this place. It’s ours for now, but it’s not ‘ours.’ We’ve had so many people come through, and, sometimes, they just stop and ask if they can look because they’ve always wanted to see inside the house. We love that.” It’s a funny coincidence that long before Vignette Farms was in care of the Mays, it belonged to the imagination of a young Laura Burton, riding past in her parents’ car. And just by chance, Laura’s mother, Kathy, came across the venue online when Laura began looking for a wedding site. “You mean the house I always used to like to drive by that had the barn?” Laura asked her mom. “That would be perfect.” And it was. Laura added, “I’m thankful Chris and Derek saw a hidden gem in the house and barn, and brought it back to life for people to enjoy.”

The list of non-traditional wedding/reception venues around Indiana has proliferated in the past decade. We reached out to the electric cooperatives that distribute Indiana Connection for recommendations of event centers in their areas. Here’s a list of places to consider: BARTHOLOMEW

Blackberry Hill Wedding Barn • Elizabethtown White Diamond Lavender Farms • Hope BOONE

JLH Wedding Barn • Jamestown The Barn in Zionsville • Zionsville CARROLL

Vintage Oaks Banquet Barn • Delphi CLARK

Franklin Farms Event Venue LLC • Marysville Montgomery Farms Weddings and Events • Underwood HARRISON

Cedar Bluff Weddings and Retreats • Corydon HENRY

Barn Thirty-Eight • New Castle The Belgian Horse Winery • Middletown Boondocks Farm • Knightstown Whitetail Tree Farm • Springport JASPER

The Pavilion at Sandy Pines • DeMotte JENNINGS

The Barn at Willow Lake • North Vernon LAPORTE

The Shed at Guse Christmas Trees • Wanatah NOBLE

Mid-America Windmill Museum • Kendallville Sylvan Cellars Events Center • Rome City OWEN

Abram Farm • Spencer RIPLEY

RomWeber Marketplace • Batesville Walhill Farm • Batesville SPENCER

The Corner House B&B • Rockport Matlida’s Event Barn • Evanston VIGO

Sycamore Farm • Terre Haute WA R R I C K

Tanglewood Weddings & Event Barn • Boonville WA S H I N G T O N

RICHARD G. BIEVER is senior editor of Indiana Connection.

The Farm • Salem

22

For links to these venues and others, visit this story on our website: IndianaConnection.org

JUNE 2021


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do-it-yourself

CLUTTER CONTROL Organize your way to the pantry of your dreams

A messy, disorganized pantry might be easy to ignore by simply closing the door. But the next time you need to grab something, you’ll face the half empty bags of chips and random canned foods strewn about or even falling down. Tackle those haphazard dry goods with some sensible steps and helpful organizational tools. Empty, toss, and donate Start by emptying out your entire pantry. Throw away any food that is expired or stale. When ditching clutter from any type of storage area, it’s good to have a usage timeline. In other words, toss something if you haven’t used it over a certain period of time. If you haven’t consumed or even touched it in a couple of months, you probably never will. Freshen up Now take a good look at the walls, shelving, and floor. Thoroughly clean and disinfect all surfaces, not just for overall cleanliness, but also to eliminate odors and hinder potential pests. Vacuum up any loose crumbs that have accumulated on the shelves or floor and wipe down every surface. A fresh coat of paint on the walls or wood shelving might give your pantry an extra lift. Try adding self-adhesive liners to solid shelving to protect them from future messes. They’re easy to install and don’t leave residue behind when peeled up. They also keep the bottoms of cans from scuffing up your newly painted shelves. Or add a thin, painted piece of plywood to wire shelving to keep items from falling through the rungs. If you lack shelving altogether, there are lots of modular units,

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JUNE 2021

simple bracket and plank shelving, or vinyl coated wire shelving systems available for any size pantry. Put everything in its place Now that you’re ready to put everything away, make sure the items you’re keeping are wiped free of sticky drips or residue. Don’t just throw items back on the shelves — organize them in a way that works for you. Consider categorizing your food staples for convenience and frequency of use. Group like-items together and place products you use most often right up front. Invest in organization Storage containers, especially for things like flour and sugar, keep your pantry tidy and organized. Pour these staples into air-tight containers that are both aesthetically pleasing and protective against bugs. A non-slip turntable keeps things within reach and maximizes space. Try a threetiered plastic organizer for displaying spices, baking supplies, teas, cans, or condiments so they’re all together and easy to spot. Let the pantry door work for you. Overthe-door or mountable storage organizers are easy to install and gain you extra real estate. Try a multi-roll rack that holds your aluminum foil, plastic wrap, and parchment paper boxes. It keeps them easily accessible right from the door and

by

rolls stay in place when you pull out a sheet. A mounted plastic bag organizer is great for stuffing spare bags and dispensing them for reuse later. Once you’ve gotten organized, keep it up! Return items to their proper bins or shelves after every use and encourage your family to do the same. Visit your local Do it Best store or doitbest. com for thousands of the best home improvement products, including supplies to help keep your pantry organized.

PANTRY ORGANIZATION

GIVEAWAY Motivated to spruce up your pantry? Enter to win a prize pack (valued at $250) — sponsored by Indiana Do it Best store owners — featuring pantry organization tools mentioned in this article. Turn to page 3 to learn how to enter the giveaway and visit our website for a listing of all the goodies in the prize pack.

Cynthia and Gregg Reed

Cynthia and Gregg Reed are the owners of Reed’s Hardware in Bluffton. He is a member-owner of Do it Best Corp., a Fort Waynebased cooperative of thousands of hardware stores, home centers and lumberyards throughout the U.S. and around the world. (This article is for informational purposes only. Indiana Connection and Do it Best Corp. assume no liability for the accuracy or completeness of the information contained herein, or for injuries, property damage, or the outcome of any project.)


product recalls One million Greenworks and Powerworks pressure washer spray guns recalled Greenworks and Powerworks pressure washer spray guns have been recalled. The spray gun connector can break, causing the hose and/or parts of the connector to become dislodged during use, posing an impact injury hazard to the user. This recall involves the Greenworks brand 2000 psi plastic pressure washer spray gun included in the Greenworks brand 2000 psi Plastic Gun Accessory kit, Greenworks brand Pressure Washer models ranging from 1500 -1800 psi, and certain Powerworks brand Pressure Washer models ranging from 1700-1800 psi. The spray guns and/or the power washers were sold nationwide at Lowe’s Stores and online from January 2017 through February 2021. The plastic gun accessory kit was sold for about $40 and the pressure washers were sold for between $100 and $180. Call Hongkong Sun Rise Trading at 833-211-9185; or go online at www.greenworkstools.com and click on “Important Safety Notices” at the bottom of the page for more information on model numbers and descriptions. As a service to our readers and to promote electrical safety, here is a recent recall notice provided by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Visit www.cpsc.gov/en/recalls for full details of this recall and for notices of many more.

JUNE 2021

25


pets

How to include your pets in the family vacation

Sixty years ago, author John

friendly hotels and parks, bring food

day, even with the windows

Steinbeck wrote a semi-nonfictional

and water that the pet is used to, and

open, a parked automobile can

travelogue called “Travels with

a collar with an ID and temporary

quickly become a furnace, and

Charley” about a road trip around

ID tag with the phone number of

heatstroke can develop.

America. Charley was his standard

your destination and your cell phone

poodle. A decade later, singer Lobo

number,” she says.

had a soft rock hit that detailed road trips with “Me and You and a Dog Named Boo.” While we may not be writing a book or a song afterward, traveling with our furry buddies has become more popular in recent years as hotels and places of accommodation have become more pet friendly. Still, there

carrier, try getting the carrier out a

to consider when traveling with a pet:

few days before departure. Feed

• Consider having your pet microchipped as a means of permanent identification. • Bring an extra leash, preferably a slip-loop leash. • When traveling in a car, pets should be in a crate, or a pet car

with Rover and meandering with

seat and harness, to ensure their

Mittens. If you’re planning to take your

safety as well as your own while

pet along on a family vacation this

driving.

should take to prepare your cat or dog for travel. To minimize stress, pets should be kept on the same schedule, says Lorraine Corriveau, wellness veterinarian and small animal community practice specialist at Purdue’s College of Veterinary Medicine. “You also should bring medical and vaccination records, research pet

26

JUNE 2021

have difficulty getting into a

Here are a few other tips from Purdue

are things to keep in mind when roving

summer, there are several steps you

• For pets, particularly cats, who

• Make frequent stops to allow your pet to exercise, relieve itself and drink water. • Prepare your pet for a long trip by taking him or her on a series of short drives. • Your pet’s travel-feeding schedule should start with a light meal three to four hours prior to departure. • Never leave your animal alone in a parked vehicle. On a hot

and put your cat’s food bowl in the carrier at home so that it’s not just used for transportation. If your cat loves catnip, place some in the carrier to make it more appealing. Sometimes it is best to put the carrier on its end, with the opening at the top, and put the cat in bottom first. • Some pets may react to being in a carrier by vocalizing excessively, drooling and salivating, vomiting and relieving themselves. If your pet displays these behaviors, a sedative may be needed. You should seek the advice of your veterinarian about whether your pet needs a sedative, and which sedative is appropriate. • If you intend to travel by air, check with the airline to make sure you have met all requirements and policies and with your vet for tips and special travel concerns.


travel

TH E HI L L S

are alive …

Visit Bill Monroe Mus ic Pa rk for t he s o u n ds of bluegra ss … and nature

To most folks, “bluegrass” probably

fire rings and picnic tables, and is pet

Indiana, … means a lot to me,” he later

conjures up the sprightly music played

friendly. In addition to the camp sites,

told an interviewer. “I bought this place

with a banjo, fiddle and mandolin from

rustic and primitive cabins, and two

… to have a home base here where

the hills of Kentucky or Tennessee. But

recreational campers are available to

we could to play to the folks and give

for those who know their bluegrass

rent.

them a chance enjoy and to learn about

music, the hills of bucolic Brown County come just as readily to mind.

Activities and amenities on the grounds also include catch-and-release fishing,

bluegrass music. And it’s really growing in this state, and I’m glad that it has.”

For over 80 years, the Brown County

non-motorized boating, biking, an on-site

The first annual “bluegrass” festival

burg of Bean Blossom has been home to

camp store, and free admission during

hosted by Monroe was in 1967 and is

some of the biggest names in this music

your visit at the Bill Monroe Museum and

now the oldest continuous bluegrass

genre at what was originally the Brown

Gift Shop.

festival in the world. After Monroe’s

County Jamboree. The names got no bigger than legendary Bill Monroe who came as a performer in 1951, bought the jamboree grounds in 1952, and

The park is located just five miles north of Nashville and Brown County State Park.

death in 1996, the Jamboree grounds changed hands a few times and has been renamed “Bill Monroe’s Memorial Park and Campground.”

maintained his presence there until his

T H E B I RT H OF BLUE G RASS

Improvements continued to be made to

death in 1996.

While Monroe was born and raised in

the campground, and the Bill Monroe

Kentucky, he and his brothers moved

Bluegrass Hall of Fame Museum was

to northwest Indiana at the start of

added.

Hoping to emerge from the shadow of COVID-19, the Bill Monroe Music Park and Campground kicks off the 2021 season early this month with the John Hartford Campout, June 2-5. The biggest event will be the Bean Blossom Bluegrass/Uncle Pen Jams, Sept. 17-25. As guidelines and pandemic protocols continue changing, please check its

the Great Depression to work at an oil refinery in Whiting when he was 18. They soon began playing music professionally, starting with a square dance in Hammond. His career took off from there as he pioneered what became “bluegrass.”

The genre takes its name from Monroe’s early band, the Blue Grass Boys, which set the standard for the music. The name, of course, came from Monroe’s home state of Kentucky. But Monroe’s performing career, which spanned 69 years as a singer, instrumentalist,

website — billmonroemusicpark.com —

The Music Park and Campgrounds

composer and bandleader, got its start

for up-to-minute information.

traces its roots back to 1939 when

in Indiana’s blue-collar northwest and

the Brown County Jamboree in Bean

its roots are deep in the hills of Brown

Blossom began. The jamboree grew

County.

When not enjoying the toe-tapping music inspired by Monroe, the “Father of Bluegrass,” sit back and listen to the sounds of Mother Nature beside a crackling fire under a star-filled night sky. The family-friendly campground is already open for the season. One of the largest campgrounds in southern Indiana, the 55-acre park offers uncrowded sites with water/electric,

as thousands of people gathered annually to see local musicians and stars of the Grand Ole Opry. In 1951, Monroe, by then a huge star, began playing the jamboree. A year later, so impressed with the enthusiastic crowds, Monroe bought the festival grounds.

B I L L MO N RO E M U SI C PA R K & C A M P G RO U N D

5163 N. State Road 135 Morgantown, Indiana 812-988-6422 info@billmonroemusicpark.com

“This festival here in Bean Blossom, JUNE 2021

27


Wabash Valley Power news

PUMP IT UP:

An old, clunky heat pump can help inspire you to upgrade to new tech and save!

Some of the coolest

A new cold climate air

home. While they are a

when the temperature

new tech for your home

source heat pump will

terrific energy efficient

outside drops to zero, a

will chill you out in the

not only provide energy

option in the summer,

cold climate heat pump

summer and keep you

efficient cooling, but

typical heat pumps can

will still operate at about

toasty in the winter –

it will minimize your

lose their efficiency

200% efficiency. That

while reducing your

energy bills even in

when the temperature

means your system will

carbon footprint and

winter’s brutal cold.

drops near 20 degrees

use a lot less energy –

Fahrenheit.

and minimize the use

lowering your energy costs.

Electric heat pumps have

of a backup heat source,

been around for a long

Fortunately, advances in

If your home is cooled

time, and they’re among

compressor technology

by an air source heat

the most efficient ways

allow new cold climate

Your local electric

pump, the system also

to cool your home. Air

heat pumps to gather

cooperative even offers

heats your home in the

source heat pumps

heat at much lower

Power Moves® rebates

winter. And if your heat

essentially pull heat

winter temperatures.

for qualifying upgrades

pump is more than 10

from the air — in the

When it’s 47 degrees

to a cold climate air

years old, it may be time

summer the system

or above outside, cold

source heat pump!

to upgrade to a new

pulls the warm air from

climate heat pumps

For more information,

system. Fortunately,

your home and pumps

operate at nearly 400%

contact your local

air source heat pump

it outside; in the winter,

efficiency (meaning

electric cooperative’s

technology also has

it pulls the heat from the

they produce nearly four

energy advisor, or visit

improved significantly

air outside and pumps

times the energy they

www.PowerMoves.com.

over the last decade.

that heat into your

consume). And even

28

JUNE 2021

saving you money.


safety

Stay safe when

SETTING SAIL Electric safety is as important on the sea as it is on the land. A key way to be safe while boating is to stay clear of power lines. Electric safety is probably the last thing that crosses anyone’s mind on a leisurely summertime boat ride. But because water and electricity are a deadly combination, before taking off, brush up on some boating safety rules. “It’s critical you stay away from electric

Among other maritime must-dos:

power lines and other electricity

• While on the water, watch for

sources when you go boating,” said

signs that indicate where

John Gasstrom, CEO of Indiana

underwater utility lines are

Electric Cooperatives. “After all,

located. Don’t anchor your boat

besides being a popular ingredient

near them.

for summertime fun, water is a good conductor of electricity. Even when you’re on a boat, electricity still tries to reach the ground below to the bottom of the body of water.” Boaters should constantly be aware of the location of power lines. On sailboats especially, that means paying close attention when raising or lowering the boat’s mast or spar and ensuring drying sails and sheet lines don’t blow into power lines. “When docking your boat, enlist the help of another person to help guide you at least 10 feet away from all

• When fishing, check for overhead power lines before casting your line. • If your boat accidentally comes in

• Equipment leakage circuit interrupters protect swimmers nearby from potential electrical leakage into the water around your boat. Consider installing them on your boat. To make sure your boat’s electrical system is in shipshape, periodically have a professional marine electrician inspect it. It should meet local and state safety codes and standards.

contact with a power line, whatever

Make sure the boat’s AC outlets

you do, don’t jump in the water.

are three-prong. All electrical

Stay on board and don’t touch

connections should be in a panel box

anything made of metal. Don’t

to avoid contact. Ground fault circuit

leave the boat until it has moved

interrupters should be installed on

away from the power line.

your boat and on the dock. When

• If you notice a tingling sensation while swimming, the water could be electrified. Get out quickly,

using electricity near water, use portable GFCIs labeled “UL-Marine Listed.” Test all GFCIs once a month.

avoiding metal objects like ladders.

power lines,” Gasstrom said.

JUNE 2021

29


cooperative career Professional progression:

BUILDING TRUST The day Mary Jo Thomas took the open

year history

accounting position at Whitewater Valley

of Indiana’s

REMC in 1996, she began working her way

REMCs. In

up the career ladder. In 2013, she became

more recent

president and CEO of the cooperative that

years, two

provides electricity to consumers in several

other women

counties along the Indiana/Ohio state line

have become

around Richmond.

CEOs at

“I did not set out to be CEO,” Thomas said. The person who was offered that accounting job turned it down when he found out it included a typical cooperative “wearing-of-

MARY JO THOMAS Thomas

Indiana electric cooperatives and a third has become the CEO at a power generation and transmission cooperative.

many-hats role,” which included answering

By the early 2000s, as Thomas was

the telephone and backing up the utility’s

promoted into new roles, she began working

front counter during the lunch hour. So,

closely with a new CEO who joined the

Thomas applied.

cooperative. In her, he saw his successor;

“I didn’t have any problem with that,” she said. “And that’s really been my work ethic: to help out wherever I can. That’s how you build trust in the workplace – by working shoulder to shoulder. If you think you’re better than anybody else and shouldn’t have to do something, that’s not a good way to build teamwork.” When she became CEO, she was the only female chief executive of a cooperative in Indiana and only the second in the 85-plus

he began mentoring her. Thomas accompanied him to meetings around the state and was exposed to all elements of the industry outside her local cooperative. When it came time for his retirement, he and the Whitewater Valley board of directors thought the succession was in place to go smoothly. Thomas, though, was hesitant. “I teetered back and forth,” she recalled. “I wasn’t sure I could do it.” But the retiring CEO assured her, “You’re doing it now.”

2005 promoted 1996 hired Accountant/ Computer Specialist

30

JUNE 2021

2001 promoted Director of Customer Service

Director of Administrative Services and Corporate Development

President and CEO Whitewater Valley REMC

stepped into the role she realized she’d been doing all along. What made the decision easier, she noted, was she knew the team she’d have behind her. “The staff I have, and that I knew I had going in, make my job easy,” she said. “We’re a team. It’s a group effort for sure. “You have in the back of your mind that you have to know it all. But when you have good people around you, you don’t have to know it all. I don’t have to have the answer to every question. I might need to know how to find the answer, but I know who to ask to get all the information to make a decision.”

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

2012 promoted Promoted to Chief Operating Officer

2013 promoted President and CEO




2021 voting ballot Terry Bouse (i)

vs.

B. Andrew Airgood

Steve Miner (i)

vs.

Dillon Whitacre

Rick Parker (i)

vs.

Ken Anderson

Please vote for ONE candidate from each row. THIS IS YOUR VOTING BALLOT.

M EET THE

director candidates

What interests you most about serving KREMC members in a director role? Terry Bouse (i)

B. Andrew Airgood

It is an honor and a blessing to sit on the KREMC board of directors,

Reliable, affordable energy is vital for businesses to compete

and I am compelled to be mindful and diligent in my service to

in today’s international market conditions. I have come

you. We are a top-rated electric cooperative, and we are privileged

to understand its importance at the local level as well,

to serve this community. My 22 years of experience on this board

as I operate a small farm and have connected with our

leaves me well-qualified for the challenges facing KREMC both

agricultural community. I am proud to live in Kosciusko

now and in the future.

County, and I see the opportunity to serve as a KREMC director as a way to give back to this great community.

Steve Miner (i) Through strategic spending and investing, KREMC has kept

Dillon Whitacre

rates among the lowest in the state while remaining fiscally

I own a business that serves three dairy cooperatives and

sound. I remain driven to lead us into the future as we adopt

over 50 of their members, so I understand the value of

new and exciting technologies, like high-speed broadband,

a cooperative like KREMC. I have seen first-hand how

which are critical to the continued success of KREMC. I will

cooperatives positively impact our community, both as a

strive to take the right steps and continue to make decisions

business owner and a KREMC member. It would be privilege

that keep KREMC moving forward.

to use my insight and experience from working with local cooperatives to serve you on the KREMC board of directors.

Rick Parker (i) I come from a conservative background, and I have raised my

Ken Anderson

family in rural Kosciusko County. I bring the knowledge and

I believe my experience in the electric industry will bring

experience that I have gained from running an agricultural

fresh, innovative ideas to the board room as we seek to

business to the KREMC board room. I feel very blessed

build upon Kosciusko REMC’s positive momentum. I have a

that we at KREMC have the benefit of serving a thriving

great deal of experience in creative problem-solving, team

community, which enhances our ability to provide efficient

building, and finding ways to use resources wisely. Finally,

and reliable electricity to our members.

I believe in the importance of providing sustainable energy that moves us into the future.


THIS IS YOUR OFFICIAL REGISTRATION CARD. Please bring it with you to the annual meeting on Thursday, June 10, to receive your $10 bill credit.

Don’t throw this card away! Your voting ballot is on the other side.

OFFICIAL NOTICE TO MEMBERS Notice is hereby given that the annual meeting for the members of Kosciusko REMC will be held at Kosciusko REMC located at 370 S. 250 E., Warsaw, Indiana. The meeting will be held on Thursday, June 10, from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Members are asked to bring this card to the annual meeting. This registration card must be presented in order to receive the $10 bill credit and to be eligible for the door prizes. YOU MUST BE PRESENT TO VOTE.

370 South 250 East Warsaw, Indiana 46582 574.267.6331 800.790.7362 www.kremc.com


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