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ENERGY Cooperative

contents March 2017



PRESENT at the Founding



Early Wisconsin cooperators helped form national organization.

6 15 28 30


ENERGY Efficient Trees

Landscaping can help you save energy.

Plan your spring yard projects.


Keep up to date with industry news.



On the COVER

Community remains the focus of Lena Swamp Archery.


Celebrate the luck of the Irish with potatoes.



Cute co-op kids get cozy with their critters.


Renaissance or REINVENTION?

Small modular reactors may be the future of nuclear energy.


Find out what’s happening at your local electric cooperative.


Buy, sell, and trade with readers from across Wisconsin.


Get out and about with our March events.

Courtesy of

March 2017

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THE EDITOR Time for spring

“Spring is a time of planning and projects.” —Leo Tolstoy

Dana Kelroy, Editor

I know I’m not alone in wishing for spring’s quick arrival. I’ve had enough of being cooped up inside. I am ready for more daylight hours and fresh air. Early March is usually still a time of project planning, and on page 10, we have some tips to consider when landscaping your yard. Homeowners are encouraged to plan for summer shade and winter windblocks when making decisions about their landscape. Safety needs to be a part of the planning process, too. If you live near powerlines, contact your electric co-op for guidelines on how far away from the lines any trees should be planted, or see the general guidelines below. But don’t forget about the powerlines you can’t see. On page 19 we have a reminder to call 811 before you dig. One easy call gets your utility lines marked, preventing injury and expense. Make 811 part of your spring planning process—always call a few days before you’ll need to start digging. Once the weather cooperates, enjoy that first long day spent outside doing yardwork and putting those plans into place. According to, water, sap, and chemicals in trees make them able to conduct electricity. Be sure that no one climbs a tree near power lines. If branches are touching the wires, the tree could be energized. Happy (and safe) planning, planting, and spring!

Tree Planting Guide

March 2017 Vol. 77 No. 9 The Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News (Formerly Wisconsin R.E.C. News) has been published monthly and distributed since July 1940 to members of Wisconsin’s non-profit, consumer-owned rural electric cooperatives. It is available to non-members for $10 per year or $28 for three years. Published by the Wisconsin Electric Cooperative Association, 222 W. Washington Ave., Ste. 680, Madison, WI 53703. Steve Freese, president & CEO. USPS number: 688-480. Postmaster: please send address changes to Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News, 222 W. Washington Ave., Ste. 680, Madison, WI 53703. Periodicals postage paid at Baraboo, Wis. Send correspondence to Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News, 222 W. Washington Ave., Ste. 680, Madison, WI 53703. Phone (608) 467-4650. Web site:


Co-op Members: Please send address changes to your local electric co-op. Contact information can be found on page 18.


Steve Freese Dana Kelroy Mary Erickson David Hoopman Ann Bailey Tina Walden Geri Miller

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Small Tree Zone: Trees less than 25’ tall/spread at least 25’ from lines.



Medium Tree Zone: Trees 25’-40’ in height/spread at least 40’ from lines.


Large Tree Zone: Plant trees larger than 40’ in height/ spread at least 60’ from lines.

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Prevention of cyberattacks on utility systems is important, but more crucial is certainty of detection followed by a swift response to contain and minimize damage, participants were told at a recent Wisconsin Energy Providers Conference in Madison. Represented in the audience were Wisconsin Electric Cooperative Association members, Dairyland Power Cooperative, the Wisconsin Utilities Association, Madison Gas and Electric, Alliant and Xcel Energy, WEC Energy Group, the Municipal Electric Utilities of Wisconsin, and WPPI Energy. Panelists from Dairyland Power, the American Transmission Company, and the Wisconsin Army National Guard, led by Public Service Commission Chairperson Ellen Nowak, advised that customers, businesses, and government need to develop

relationships with local utilities to help prioritize corrective actions if a problem occurs. Elsewhere, five U.S. Senators have introduced legislation seeking a low-tech approach to cybersecurity. Chief sponsor Angus King (I-ME) indicated the bill emphasizes low-tech defenses over automated systems that can be more susceptible to cyberattack. The impetus is the December 2015 attack, presumably by Russian hackers, that blacked out three Ukrainian utility service areas. The Ukrainians were able to restore service within six hours in part because their systems—less automated than those of Western utilities—were brought back on line by human operators with physical access to controls that the hackers didn’t have.


While operators of large nuclear plants in Illinois and New York have obtained subsidies to help them compete with cheaper gasfired generation and often-mandated wind energy, federal regulators are ready to begin reviewing an application to build multiple small modular reactors (SMRs) at an existing nuclear site in Tennessee. The Tennessee Valley Authority announced that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in January accepted and has opened a docket on its early site permit application to build and operate SMRs on the Clinch River site at Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The utility (TVA), which last October began commercial operation of its 1,150-megawatt Watts Bar Unit 2 nuclear

plant 43 years after announcing the project, said a decision on construction of SMRs at Oak Ridge is still years away. “Nevertheless, the NRC’s docketing of TVA’s early site permit application moves the nuclear industry closer to potential commercialization of the technology,” the utility said in a statement on the regulatory action. Development of the early site application received financial assistance through the Energy Department’s SMR Licensing Technical Support program, initiated in 2012 to accelerate market entry by SMR technologies, the TVA said. The utility currently operates three nuclear plants with a combined capacity of more than 8,000 megawatts.


The first of five annual 20 percent reductions of the federal production tax credit (PTC) for wind energy took effect January 1, and developers of what would be Wisconsin’s largest wind farm say they don’t know when construction of their project might begin. The Public Service Commission’s (PSC) 2013 approval of the proposed Highland Wind Farm in St. Croix County required quarterly progress reports, and in an update received by the commission at the end of January, William Rakocy, managing member of project developer EEW Services, wrote that, “A formal start date for construction is difficult to estimate at this time.” 6

Approved by the PSC after a prior denial, Highland Wind obtained permit extensions in October and December of last year from the Department of Natural Resources and from St. Croix County and the Town of Cylon, respectively. Value of the PTC subsidy has varied. First enacted in 1992 at 1.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, it had climbed to 2.3 cents per kilowatt-hour for the first 10 years of a project’s operation, but the value now depends on the year construction starts. The full credit was available for projects begun through 2016. This year started the clock running on annual 20 percent reductions continuing through 2020.


Both monthly and full-year average natural gas prices were the lowest in almost two decades during 2016, helping gas eclipse coal as the primary U.S. electric generation fuel for almost the entire year, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports. Spot gas prices at the national benchmark Henry Hub averaged $2.49 per million Btu during 2016, the lowest annual average price since 1999, EIA said. Though the mid-January report included data only through the first nine months of 2016, the EIA concluded that last year was the first in which, measured on an annual basis, natural gas was the nation’s primary generation fuel, contributing about 34 percent of total utility-scale generation compared with about 30 percent for coal. Gas also led coal through the second half of 2015, but coal was dominant or virtually tied with gas through the first half of that year. Gas-fueled generation, briefly and for the first time, exceeded coal as the primary source of U.S. electricity in April of 2015, the EIA said. Seven gigawatts of coal-fired generation shut down in 2016, retiring 2.5 percent of the coal-fired capacity active at the end of 2015, the EIA said.


The nation’s biggest carbon capture project, Mississippi Power’s Kemper County plant, began generating electricity from gasified lignite coal during the last weekend in January. But company officials said adjustments are needed, full commercial operation was delayed until the end of February, and the plant was not yet capturing carbon dioxide released in the gasification process. The CO2 is to be used to help recover oil from depleted wells. The project is two years past its planned start-up date and more than $4 billion over its original $2.9 billion budget. In February, Moody’s Investors Service said it might lower Mississippi Power’s investment-grade bond rating based on the Kemper plant’s cost overruns and difficulty competing on its price of power compared with generation from conventional natural gas-fired plants.

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hose of you who have been reading this column for the past year and a half have probably come to realize I love history, particularly Wisconsin history. Last year, we celebrated the 80th anniversary of the Wisconsin Electric Cooperative Association (WECA) as the first statewide electric co-op organization in the United States. A few years after its 1936 founding, WECA was an important part of another historic moment in the development of electric co-ops and their service to rural America: It helped found the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) in 1942. This year, NRECA marks its Steve Freese 75th anniversary. President and CEO Recently, I ran across a reminder of how electric co-ops have changed rural life for the better during the past eight decades. I was going through some of my grandpa’s farm records and came across the 1926-27 annual report from the director of the Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of Wisconsin. One section, titled “Electricity Helps Lift the Load from Bended Backs,” described farmers taking a keen interest in the growing utilization of electricity to reduce farm costs, lessen and lighten manual labor, and make household conveniences as usable as they had become in urban areas. The trouble was, in 1927 only about 13,000 Wisconsin farms were receiving electric service. That was an increase of nearly 300 percent over 1924, but the large, city-based, investor-owned utilities still had little if any interest in extending service to rural Wisconsin where individual customers were too far apart to deliver urban-style profit margins. Clearly, the report recognized this unmet need. It described “Electro-Test Farms” being established to secure data from a wide range of conditions across the state, determine baseline costs, show the importance of electrifying farms, and help clarify realistic cost expectations in terms of both equipment and purchased electricity. All very helpful information: The only deficiency was the lack of an entity willing to deliver the product. The arrival of that entity would take another decade, but then it would change life on our family farm, which had operated without electricity for its first 53 years. As NRECA notes in commemorating its anniversary, nine out




Electric co-op members met 75 years ago to form the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. From the region that included Wisconsin was Erle Stoneman, a Grant Electric Co-op (now Scenic Rivers Energy) director who was also on the boards of the Wisconsin statewide electric co-op association and the newly formed Dairyland Power Cooperative. Stoneman was NRECA’s first vice president and second president. The E.J. Stoneman plant in Cassville, shown at its 1951 dedication, was named after the cooperator.

of 10 rural homes were without electric service, and dairy farmers milked their cows by hand in the light of kerosene lanterns while housewives had to use wood-burning stoves for cooking and washboards for laundry. Early WECA leaders helped illuminate this rural landscape, first close to home and then more broadly. One early WECA board member, Erle J. Stoneman, was the first Wisconsin electric cooperative leader to rise to national prominence. Stoneman headed Dairyland Power Cooperative after assisting with its creation in 1941 and participated the following year in the founding of the NRECA, an event that occurred, in large part, because of the peculiar utility politics of the time. Investor-owned utilities were eager to discredit the rural cooperatives. NRECA notes that not long after America’s entry into the Second World War, false claims that electric cooperatives were hoarding copper wire brought co-op leaders from different states together to defend themselves. In 1942, NRECA was formed to provide a loud and unified voice for cooperatives and to represent their interests in the nation’s capital. This month, NRECA begins a yearlong celebration of its 75 years representing not-for-profit electric cooperatives in the United States. The organization points out that it fulfills its role to ensure our ability to provide safe, affordable, and reliable electricity to co-op members by spearheading federal government relations, management and director training, public relations initiatives on behalf of its members, and overseeing cooperative employee benefits plans. Present at the founding in 1942, WECA extends its heartiest congratulations to the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association as it marks its historic milestone.

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Energy efficient trees? How landscaping can help you save energy The two best strategies for improving the energy efficiency of your home with landscaping are to incorporate shading in the summer and wind blocking in the winter.

Dear Nancy: Late winter and early spring are great times to think about changes you want to make to your home’s landscape. While the goal of most lawn and garden projects is to bring beauty to your outdoor space, a well-designed project can also improve your energy bill, increase the overall value of your home, and provide additional benefits, such as reduced noise pollution, optimized water use, and cleaner air around your home.

Summer shading According to the U.S. Department of Energy, shading your home is the most cost-effective way to reduce heat gain from the sun and reduce your air conditioning costs in the summer. Having more plants and trees in your yard can reduce the air temperature by up to 6 degrees Fahrenheit. Planting deciduous trees on the south, southwest, and west sides of your home can cut heating during hot sum-

Photo Credit: Alan Davey

Photo Credit: Ruth Hartnup

Dear Pat: This year, I am planning to redesign my yard. Are there landscaping features I can incorporate that will help my home be more comfortable indoors? —Nancy

An arbor or trellis over a door or window can provide both an interesting focal point and summer shade. Deciduous trees on the south and west sides of your home can deflect hot summer sun.


Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News

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mer months, while allowing sunlight through during the fall and winter, when the trees have lost their leaves. When planting trees, consider the expected shape and height of the mature trees and where they will shade your home. A tree with a high mature height planted on the south side of a home, for example, will provide all-day roof shading in the summer, while a lower tree on the west side of your home can protect your home from the lower afternoon sun. Plant trees an appropriate distance away from your home so they do not disrupt your foundation or your roof as they grow. While it will be five to 10 years before a newly planted tree will begin providing shade to your roof, it can start shading windows immediately. Incorporate other plants to provide nearterm shade. Shrubs, bushes, and vines can quickly shade windows and walls. Also consider any paved areas around your home and how you can shade them during the summer. Think about walking across your driveway barefoot on a hot July afternoon—if your driveway or patio is unshaded, it is probably quite difficult. That absorbed heat is also reflecting onto your home, causing your air conditioner to work even harder. You can use trees, hedges, and other landscaping structures such as arbors to shade these paved areas.

Wind-blocking techniques

If your home is in an open area without many structures around it, cold winter winds may be increasing your heating bills. A windbreak on your property can help deflect these winds over your home. The most common type of windbreak uses a combination of conifer (evergreen) trees and shrubs to block wind from the ground to the top of your home. For the best windbreak effect, plant these features on the north and northwest sides of your home at a distance of between two and five times the height of the mature trees. Incorporating a wall or fence can further assist with the wind break. Another insulating technique is to plant shrubs and bushes closer to your home, but at least one foot away. The




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space between these plants and your home is “dead air space,” which helps insulate your home during winter and summer months. The particular landscaping strategies you should focus on will depend on your climate zone. If you live in a hot, arid climate, you should focus on maximizing shading to your roof and windows for much of the year, while a home in a hot, humid climate will want to maximize summer shade. Regardless of where you are located, if you live near powerlines, talk with your electric co-op about how far away newly planted trees should be from these lines before making any final design changes to your yard. This column was co-written by Pat Keegan and Amy Wheeless of Collaborative Efficiency. For more ideas on energy efficient landscaping, please visit:

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or Reinvention? Downsizing may be the key to nuclear power’s future


f “agreement” isn’t precisely the right word, it’s certainly true that recent years have brought serious movement toward the viewpoint that low-carbon electricity production on a global scale will require a large nuclear contribution. At the same time, movement away from the familiar, large nuclear power plant design yielding two gigawatts (2,000,000,000 watts) and more from a single site, while not yet inexorable, can’t be dismissed. Among many factors influencing these realities, two stand out: 1) Big nukes work. In terms of capacity factor—industry’s term for the percentage of any given time period in which a generation source will deliver the full energy output it’s designed to produce— the U.S. nuclear fleet consistently rates in the 90s, well ahead of any other technology and without any carbon dioxide emissions. 2) Big nukes are expensive. The up-front cost of building a large nuclear plant is so high as to deter smaller utilities from considering them, despite huge emission and reliability advantages. The turn of the 21st century brought much talk of a “nuclear renaissance” in the United States, but construction starts on new plants trail plant retirements. Recent developments suggest if there’s going to be a


renaissance, it may come more in the shape of a reinvention of the industry than a resumption of what used to be the norm.

Smaller Means Cheaper…

Mentioned elsewhere in this issue (see “News Briefs,” page 6) is the announcement earlier this winter from the Tennessee Valley Authority that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) had accepted its application for an early site permit to begin examining the possibility of building several “small modular reactors” (SMRs) on its existing Clinch River plant site at Oak Ridge, Tennessee. A decision on whether the idea ever moves forward is years away. But SMRs are widely thought to be the wave of the future for nuclear generation. Size is one obvious reason, but smaller size compared with conventional large reactors brings other advantages. If you’ve seen a few large nuclear plants you know they tend not to look the same. Because of their size, they’re designed around their physical situation. Internal components are standardized but as size increases, so does the uniqueness of the design. SMRs, on the other hand, are sparking interest because the entire unit can be Small modular reactors are smaller than conventional nuclear reactors and offer many advantages.

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2/6/17 10:42 AM

1/25/17 1:59 PM

small enough to haul on a truck or rail car. That means standardized design produced in a factory rather than built at the plant site, theoretically reinforcing safety and undoubtedly reducing cost.

…but Will It Mean Easier?

Courtesy of

The U.S. Department of Energy in recent years seems to have taken a serious interest in development and promotion of SMR technology. Even some environmental activists have adopted a favorable view of nuclear. Not alone among them is Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore. His organization originated not in wildlife advocacy but in anti-nuclear protest, but Moore has grown outspoken on behalf of emissions-free nuclear generation. None of that means SMRs are likely to go unopposed. Much will depend on the ever-present politics of power plant siting, squared when the word “nuclear” appears, and even on fault lines within the energy industry. In Illinois and New York, operators of large nuclear plants have obtained subsidies from state lawmakers fearful that competition from cheaper natural gasfired generation would otherwise prompt the nukes’ early retirement, scuttling the states’ announced climate regulation goals. Other generators—most often but not only merchant power producers (non-utility generators seeking business on wholesale and, where they exist, deregulated retail) power markets—are challenging the legality of the subsidies. It gets complicated because some large nuclear plants operate as wholesale merchant generators. Anything involving nuclear generation automatically comes wrapped with extra layers of intricacy: political, legal, and economic. Note, however, that one presidential administration just left office after actively promoting SMR development and the new administration—in this case anyway—doesn’t appear eager to change course. But all that extra intricacy means it takes longer to find out what’s really going on. Check back in a decade. —Dave Hoopman


Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News

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One free, easy call gets your utility lines marked AND helps protect you from injury and expense. Safe Digging Is No Accident: Always Call 811 Before You Dig Know what’s below. Always call 811 before you dig. Visit for more information. March 2017

March 17_adsPasted.indd 19


2/10/17 3:46 PM

Photos and recipes courtesy of Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association.

Celebrate Irish the Luck of the

with Potatoes

Lightened-Up Loaded Baked Potato Soup 6 medium white potatoes, diced 2–1/2 cups frozen cauliflower 1 head broccoli, chopped into bite-sized pieces 1 leek, washed and chopped thinly 2 tsp olive oil, divided 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper 1–1/2 tsp garlic, chopped and divided 2 cups vegetable broth 2 cups 2 percent milk 3/4 tsp kosher salt 5 oz reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, for topping 5 slices center-cut bacon, cooked, crumbled for topping Chives, chopped for topping


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Fill large pot with potatoes and salted water. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 15 minutes. When potatoes have finished cooking, drain water and set potatoes aside in bowl or colander. While potatoes are cooking, line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. To prepare broccoli, remove bottom part of stem and slice into bite-sized florets, leaving an inch of the stem intact. Place broccoli on prepared baking sheet, lightly drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil, and sprinkle with pinch of salt and 1/2 teaspoon garlic. Roast in oven for 20 minutes until crispy. Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium heat. Sauté leeks, crushed red pepper, and garlic until leeks soften, about 1–2 minutes. Add cauliflower and vegetable stock, increase heat to medium-high, and cook until cauliflower is soft. Remove pot from heat, add potatoes, milk, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Using an immersion blender (or transfer soup to regular blender), puree soup until smooth and creamy. To serve, ladle one cup of soup into a bowl and top with cheese, bacon, chives, and roasted broccoli.

Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News

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2/11/17 12:51 PM

Photos and recipes courtesy of Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association.

Twice Baked Blues 1 lb small blue potatoes 1/4 tsp salt 2 oz gorgonzola dolce or feta cheese 2 Tbsp 2 percent plain Greek yogurt 1 Tbsp 2 percent milk 2 tsp olive oil 1 scallion (green part only), sliced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes until tender. Remove from the oven and let cool. Preheat the broiler to high. Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in half and scoop out the flesh with a melon baller or small spoon (be careful not to get too close to the skin). Transfer the flesh to a medium bowl and add the salt, cheese, yogurt, and milk, and mash with a large fork or potato masher. Place the potato skins on the rimmed baking sheet (get the potato halves to sit upright, slice a bit off the bottoms with a knife). Brush the potatoes with the oil and stuff each half with 1–2 teaspoons of the cheese filling, depending on the size of the potatoes. Broil for 3 minutes, until slightly golden and heated through. Sprinkle with scallions and serve hot.

Steak and Potato Pizza Pizza

1–1/4 lbs potatoes 4 cloves garlic, minced 1/2 lb skirt steak 5 oz crumbled blue cheese Salt and pepper, to taste 2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped 1–1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


3 cups bread flour 1 cup lukewarm water 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp sea salt 1/2 tsp honey 1 pkg instant dry yeast

Place all dough ingredients in a food processor. Process for 30–60 seconds or until mixture forms a ball. Place in a lightly oiled bowl loosely covered with a damp cloth. Let rise in a warm spot for 1 hour.

Baked Potato Nachos 1–1/2 lbs Wisconsin russet potatoes 1–1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil 1/2 tsp garlic salt 1 tsp Mexican seasoning blend 1 cup Mexican blend shredded cheese

Place potatoes in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and cook on high for 8 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Let potatoes cool and slice 1/8-inch thick. Preheat grill to medium-high. Grill steak for 3 minutes on each side or until rare. Cut across the grain into thin, bite-size strips; season with salt and pepper and set aside. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Divide dough into 2 pieces and roll each into a 12 to 14-inch circle on a lightly floured board. Place on two parchment-lined baking sheets or pizza pans. Top evenly with cheese, potatoes, garlic, steak, and blue cheese. Bake for 10–12 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned. Remove from oven and sprinkle with rosemary.

1/4 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained 1/4 cup diced tomatoes 1/4 cup sliced black olives 1/4 cup sliced green onions 3 Tbsp canned diced green chiles Salsa, guacamole, and sour cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Scrub potatoes and cut into 1⁄2-inch thick wedges. Place potatoes into a medium-sized bowl with the oil, garlic salt, and Mexican seasoning. Stir well to coat potatoes with oil and seasonings. Transfer to a large baking sheet and spread into a single layer. Bake for 25–30 minutes, stirring several times, until crisp and golden brown. Top with cheese, beans, tomatoes, olives, onions, and chiles. Bake for 5 minutes longer to melt cheese. Optional: serve with salsa, guacamole, and sour cream.

Mashie-Topped Meatloaf Cupcakes Meatloaf

1–1/4 lbs extra-lean ground beef 1 cup green bell pepper, finely chopped 3/4 cup onion, finely chopped 1/2 cup egg whites or fat-free liquid egg substitute 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats 1/4 cup ketchup 2 tsp garlic powder 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp black pepper Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with foil baking cups or spray it with nonstick spray. In a large bowl, combine all meatloaf ingredients. Thoroughly mix. Evenly distribute meatloaf mixture among the muffin cups and smooth out the tops with the back of a spoon. Bake until firm and cooked through with lightly browned edges, 20–25 minutes.

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3 medium white potatoes, peeled and cubed 2–1/2 Tbsp light sour cream 1–1/2 Tbsp light whipped butter 1/2 tsp onion powder 1/2 tsp garlic powder 1/4 tsp salt 1/8 tsp paprika 1 dash black pepper (optional) Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add potatoes and once returned to a boil, reduce heat to medium. Cook until very tender, 15–20 minutes. Drain and transfer potatoes to a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients for mashies, except paprika. Thoroughly mash and mix. Evenly top mini meatloaves with mashies and sprinkle with paprika. March 2017


2/11/17 12:57 PM

RECIPE EXCHANGE Submit your favorite recipes to be featured on our reader recipe page. Email to

Raspberry Yogurt Salad

Baked Buffalo Wings

32 oz vanilla yogurt 1 cheesecake instant pudding mix 1 vanilla instant pudding mix 12 oz Cool Whip 1 bag frozen raspberries

3/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 1/2 tsp garlic powder 1/2 tsp salt 20 chicken wings 1/2 cup melted butter 1/2 cup hot pepper sauce

JoAnn Fenlon, Francis Creek

Mix yogurt and pudding mixes together. Fold in Cool Whip. Top with frozen berries but do not mix in. Cool in refrigerator overnight.


Florine Goulet, Colfax

2 cups granulated sugar 2 cups corn syrup 2 Tbsp vinegar 1/8 tsp baking soda 1 Tbsp butter

Chocolate Sauerkraut Cake Karen Cottingham, Three Lakes

Boil sugar, syrup, and vinegar without stirring until 252 degrees. Add butter and baking soda; remove from heat. Pour into buttered tin and when sufficiently cool, pull. Then cut into small pieces and wrap in wax paper.

Vinegar Candy Angela Nolt, Unity

2 cups sugar 1/2 cup vinegar 2 Tbsp butter Combine all ingredients and cook until mixture is brittle when dropped in cold water or 270 degrees. Pour into buttered pans. Let harden then break into pieces.

2/3 cup butter 1–1/2 cups sugar 3 eggs 1 tsp vanilla 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa 2–1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda 1 cup water 2/3 cup sauerkraut, rinsed, drained, and chopped Thoroughly cream butter with sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Sift together dry ingredients; add alternately with water to egg mixture. Stir in sauerkraut. Turn into two greased and floured 8-inch square or round baking pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Recipe correction: The recipe for Monster Cookie Bars in our January issue was incomplete. Here is the corrected recipe. We regret the error. Monster Cookie Bars Mrs. Miller, Athens

1/2 cup butter 2/3 cup white sugar 2/3 cup brown sugar 2 tsp baking soda 1 Tbsp light corn syrup

3 eggs 1–1/4 cups peanut butter 4–1/2 cups oatmeal 1/3 cup chocolate chips 1 cup M&M candy

Mix together in order listed above. Press into greased 12x17-inch sheet pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10–12 minutes. Be careful to not overbake.


Meegan Fry, Pardeeville

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly grease with cooking spray. Place the flour, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and salt into a resealable plastic bag; shake to mix. Add the chicken wings; seal and toss until well coated with the flour mixture. Place the wings onto the prepared baking sheet and place into the refrigerator; refrigerate at least 1 hour. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together the melted butter and hot sauce in a small bowl. Dip the wings into the butter mixture and place back on the baking sheet. Bake until the chicken is crispy on the outside and no longer pink in the center, about 45 minutes. Turn the wings over halfway during cooking so they cook evenly.

REQUESTS from our

READERS If you have a request of your own or would like to submit a recipe for publication, please write to Wisconsin

Energy Cooperative News, What’s Cooking? 222 West Washington Ave., Suite 680, Madison, WI 53703-2719 or email Thanks!

Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News

WECN MarReaderRecipes2017.indd 1

2/1/17 10:06 AM


ENERGY THAT’S RENEWABLE. INFORMATION THAT’S RELIABLE. Get localized information about the renewable energy options in our area at As your Touchstone Energy cooperative, we’re quite plugged in.


Your Touchstone Energy Cooperatives of Wisconsin ®

March 2017

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2/12/17 10:47 AM

Right on Target Community focus and customer care keep ‘em coming to Lena Swamp Archery


ena Swamp Archery in Oconto Falls is a bow hunter’s paradise. That’s pretty clear right as you walk in the front door and find yourself facing rows of bows and a full supply of colorful arrows. Owner Wade Jeske keeps more than 100 bows and crossbows in stock, and he’ll service any bow that’s brought in, whether it was purchased on site or not. However, it’s not the attention to products that sets this Oconto Electric Cooperative member/business apart —it’s the attention to people. Opened in 1998, Lena Swamp Archery has a shooting range behind the storefront that’s in almost constant use. First of all, it’s where Jeske’s motto of “Try Before You Buy, Sight In Before You Leave” is put into play. He encourages customers to try out a bow before buying one to make sure it’s just right. Knowledgeable staff is always on hand to help.

But the range also becomes a community center of sorts on certain winter weekday evenings, when archery leagues are in full swing. These leagues attract about 175 men and women who come year after year to hone their skills during the offseason and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow bow hunters. The range is unique in that it’s strictly for bow hunting rather than target shooting, with various stations set up to simulate hunting scenarios. 24

Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News

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1. She’s only 12, but this young bow hunter has an impressive shot. Bow hunting has grown considerably in popularity with women and children, according to Lena Swamp Archery owner Wade Jeske. He says at his shop, the sales ratio is generally two men’s bows to one youth or women’s bow. 2. Lena Swamp Archery keeps more than 100 bows and crossbows in stock. 3. The business also stocks a wide range of arrows and other accessories. 4. The shooting range offers up a variety of targets during league season.

“You don’t find too many courses like this,” Jeske said. “Some will have a 3-D target and you’ll have two little plants in front of it. We’ve got trees, corn stalks, a beaver pond, and a spinning target. And each week it changes. On Tuesday nights we tear it all down, move it around, and put some different things in it. I try to make the course tougher and tougher each week as the league goes on.” Tuesdays evenings and Saturdays are for open shooting, when anyone is free to stop at the range and practice. Most Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the range is lively with the chatter of youngsters who stop by throughout the day to shoot for an hour or so at a time. Jeske encourages youth involvement, so much that he waives a fee for children who come to shoot here.

“Kids 18 and under always shoot for free,” Jeske said. “And if they’re in college, I also let them shoot for free because they’re spending their money on school. If they stay in school, they don’t have to pay to shoot.”

Faith in Kids

Jeske isn’t concerned about any potential lost revenue from allowing youth to shoot for free. He knows that if children develop an interest in bow hunting early on, they’ll likely remain connected to the sport and will return as paying customers five to 10 years down the road. He’s seen this happen over and over again at his own shop; many of his loyal customers started out shooting in the back-room range or as part of a school program Jeske himself helped start.

Also, Jeske simply believes in youth. “I have such faith in kids,” he said. He’s enthusiastic about introducing young people to the sport of bow hunting, an activity that doesn’t involve electronics and gets children outdoors and immersed in nature. Many of his efforts toward this aim have been in partnership with the Oconto Falls School District, which recently honored him with a Friend of Education award. Every year he opens his range to Oconto Falls fourth- and fifth-graders for a two-week phy-ed unit on archery. He also helped launch the high school archery club, which meets at his range on Monday nights and attracts anywhere from 25 to 40 teens. He’s especially keen to reach out to those students who might face challenges when it comes to taking up bow March 2017

March2017WIFA.indd 3


2/13/17 12:02 PM

hunting. To help keep the activity affordable for all youth who develop an interest in it, Jeske encourages customers purchasing a new bow to consider donating their old one, making the equipment available to students to use until they’re able to afford their own. He doesn’t charge for the use of these donated bows; Jeske’s found this type of activity tends to pay forward. Some of the students who developed their skills with a borrowed bow have grown to eventually contribute to the very program they once benefitted from.

Giving Back

Jeske believes in youth, but he also contributes to the local schools out of gratitude. He and his wife, Tina, have three children. James (pictured on the cover with his father) is a business student at UW-Green Bay; he helps run Lena Swamp Archery. The two younger children, Jacob and Jenna, have autism and have benefitted from the school’s special services. “Those teachers know my autistic kids probably better than I do,” Jeske said. “They can do things with them I’m not qualified to do. I’m qualified to be a loving parent but not a teacher, and this is one way I can give back.” In addition to hosting phy-ed classes and archery club gatherings, Jeske is involved with fundraisers that support a variety of school and community organizations, such as Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts. He estimates the fundraisers have brought in over $100,000 for various community organizations over the past 13 years that he’s been involved. He’s been just as generous with his time. In 2005 Jeske coordinated the state’s first Learn to Hunt program, which aims to provide experiences for children who might not otherwise have an opportunity to go hunting. He still serves as a coordinator for the Department of Natural Resources Learn to Hunt program for turkey hunting. Jeske has also served as a DNR bow safety instructor, and he taught hunter safety courses for youth at the archery shop for 10 years. During that time, about 2,300 youngsters received certificates in gun and bow safety under his tutelage. The time he’s invested in that program, he noted, has also paid off, as his first class of hunter safety students are now 27 or 28 years old, some with children of their own. Many of these former students are loyal Lena Swamp Archery customers who are now helping to introduce the next generation to bow hunting.

Service is Key

It’s this personal touch that has helped a business like Lena Swamp Archery thrive for two decades despite competition from online retailing and big box stores, including a sprawling Cabela’s located just down the highway in Green Bay. Jeske, in fact, has managed to turn that presence into an advantage, offering the service and repair that the big store does not. Jeske gets plenty of service referrals from Cabela’s, and these visitors are treated with the same care that’s given to longtime, regular customers. Also, Jeske noted that about 90 percent of service needs can be taken care of within 24 hours and sometimes even less, so many out-of-town customers can simply wait while their bow is being serviced and then continue on their way.


The course for league shooting is changed up each week, becoming more challenging as the season goes on.

The store’s extensive inventory—much larger than at most independent archery shops—also helps. Jeske keeps enough equipment in stock to ensure everyone who walks in the door in search of a bow will be able to walk out with the right one in hand. These customers come from all over the state. “People will drive a long ways if you have what they’re looking for,” he pointed out. “That’s why we keep such a big stock of bows.” Customer Brad Heckel agreed. He was in the market for a new bow on the day we visited, and he reasoned that he didn’t want to wait two weeks for an order to arrive before he got a chance to try it out. Heckel knew that Lena Swamp Archery would have what he was looking for, both in inventory and in service. He’s a longtime customer, whose three children are graduates of Jeske’s hunter safety program. “I’m from Peshtigo, and I’ve got an archery shop four blocks from my house, but I come here before I’ll go there,” he said. “It’s the customer service. I’m getting a new bow right now, and I have 100 percent confidence that when I leave this place I’ll be fully satisfied. That’s why I come here.” The youngsters busy practicing their shots seem equally satisfied, but for a slightly different reason. They come here just because Lena Swamp Archery is a great place for a bow hunter of any age to spend an afternoon.—Mary Erickson Lena Swamp Archery is located two miles west of U.S. Highway 141 on State Highway 22, near Oconto Falls. For more information, call 920-846-0211, visit, or look up Lena Swamp Archery on Facebook.

Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News

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2/14/17 11:13 AM


Kids and Critters March 2017 2


1. Jax and goat-friend Barney are kings of the mountain…of round bales. Photo submitted by Carol Bawek, member of Riverland Energy. 2. Logan says “cheese.” Photo submitted by grandparents Bill and Deb Kochevar, members of Jump River Electric. 3. Wyatt talks to a deer. Photo submitted by grandma Jan Friske, a member of Oakdale Electric. 4. Jayley watches as her golden retriever, Josie, tries stand up paddling on Deep Lake. Photo submitted by her grandparents, Craig and Joanne Yapp, members of Adams–Columbia Electric.



Upload photos directly

to the new through the “Submit a photo” tab. Send photos of kids with animals, along with a brief description, to WECN Magazine, 222 W. Washington Ave., Suite 680, Madison, WI 53703-2719. Please include the name of your electric co-op. Photos will be returned. If in good-resolution, electronic format, photos may also be uploaded via through the “Submit a photo” tab. By submitting, sender implies that he/ she has rights to and owns the image, and grants WECN permission to use the image. By submitting, the parent or legal guardian also authorizes us the right to publish the image.

When it comes to severe weather...

hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

You can begin your preparation by assembling an emergency preparedness kit, which includes items to help keep your family safe and comfortable during a power outage. Your kit should include items such as water, non-perishable food, flashlight, batteries, blankets, and a first aid kit. ____ Drinking water & food ____ Blankets, pillows, & clothing ____ Basic first-aid supplies ____ Medications ____ Basic toiletries ____ Flashlights ____ Battery-operated radio ____ Extra supply of batteries ____ Cell phone with chargers ____ Cash and credit cards ____ Basic tools (duct tape, wrench, etc.) ____ Important documents & numbers ____ Toys, books, & games ____ Baby supplies ____ Pet supplies Learn more at: March 2017

WECN MarKidsCrits2017.indd 1


2/9/17 9:49 AM



COLLECTOR BUYING WAR SOUVENIRS: German, Japanese, U.S. weapons, medals, helmets, daggers, swords, military items. 715-344-5031. WANTED: PAYING CASH FOR WW-2 GERMAN, JAPANESE FLAGS, DAGGERS, SWORDS, GUNS, ETC. 715-340-1974. WANTED: DEER TAGS, back tags. Trapping, bear, hunting, and fishing licenses. Otter, bobcat, fisher tags. Any old traps. David Schober, W4234 Rock Creek Rd., Loyal, WI 54446. 715-255-9284. TARPS–HEAVY DUTY, 14’ x 48’, hemmed. Expired billboard faces. $50each or 10’x 30’ – $24 each. Shipping not included. Tarps can also be picked up at Jones Sign, 1711 Scheuring Road, De Pere, WI 54115. 800-536-7446. WANTED TO BUY: Northern Pacific Railroad caboose. Complete or in pieces. 608-526-5878. TORNADO/STORM SHELTERS. 4 person-30 person. TimberLake Homes; corner of Hwys. 13 and 21. Friendship, WI. 608-339-4663. WANTED: Pre-1970 motorcycle jackets, helmets, parts, etc. Old knives, razor, fountain pen collection. Old signs and toys. Cash Paid. 920-373-3515. LOOKING FOR AN OLDER CAR. Do you have a 1975 or older car? If so, I may be interested in buying it. Call Earl at 608-617-9700.


VACATION RENTAL. Five or ten bedroom lodge or cabin. Hatfield, WI. Enjoy Lake Arbutus and Lake Wazee. ATV and snowmobile trails. Bruce Mound ski hill. MANUFACTURED, MODULAR HOMES, SINGLEWIDES USED HOMES. TimberLake Homes; corner of Hwys. 13 & 21. Friendship, WI 608-339-4663. ARE YOU EARNING 5%, paid monthly on your funds? IRA & Cash accounts, No stock market risk or fees. Free packet. 608-403-7008. VACATION RENTAL. Cape Coral, Fl. Beautiful 3 bedroom home on gulf access canal. 10,000 lb boat lift. Weekly rental or more. Call Al 608-295-7433. CABIN ON ROCK DAM. Beautiful large lake lot located between Eau Claire and Marshfield. Close to ATV/Snowmobile trails. 715-937-8275.

PLANTS & SHRUBS AUTUMN BLAZE MAPLE TREES, outstanding red fall color, fast growing, does well in most soils. 1–1 1/4” diameter, 10’–13’ tall, 10 for $310 or 5 for $175. Whispering Pines Tree Farm, Oconto, WI. 920-835-8733/920-6608567. Order now for spring planting.

HARDWOOD AND CONIFER SEEDLINGS AND TRANSPLANTS. Thousands available; oak, maple, mulberry, cherry, highbred poplar, dogwoods, hazelnut, lilac, Balsam Fir, Fraser Fir, spruce, pine, cedar, fruit trees, jumbo transplants, large bare-root shade trees. Hundreds of 3-5 foot conifers of all species at wholesale prices. We plant and transplant large trees with tree spade, too. Check us out on the web at, Facebook and YouTube also. Paint Creek Nursery, Cadott, WI 715-723-2072. WOLF RIVER APPLE TREES. 30 other varieties along with Cherry, Pear, Plum, & Apricot trees. Also Blueberry, Grape, Strawberry, Raspberry, Rhubarb, Asparagus plants & more. Many deciduous & evergreen seedlings & transplants as well. For info write: Woodstock Nursery, N1831 State Hwy. 95, Neillsville, WI 54456 or call toll-free 1-888-803-8733. APPLE TREES; Wolf River, Gravnstein, Norland, Wealthy, and Haralson 10 for $240 or 5 for $130. Honey Crisp and Zestar 10 for $325 or 5 for $170. All trees are 1” diameter, 6’–8’ tall. Bartlett and Summer Crisp Pear Trees $29. Whispering Pines Tree Farm, Oconto, WI. 920-835-8733/920-660-8567. Order now for spring planting.

Don’t Drive Distracted

SEPTIC PROBLEMS: Do you have standing water on your drain field? Have you been told you need a new expensive septic system? I have an alternative that works, also comes with a warranty (no digging). Call 608-797-6072 or 608-633-0633.

Your life is worth the wait...

GRANDFATHER WISHES TO PURCHASE OLD COINS FOR GRANDCHILDREN. Honest prices, 1793-1964, all denominations including gold. Call 608-378-4116. NEVER CLEAN YOUR GUTTERS AGAIN! Shur Flo gutter covers are heavy aluminum with a 20 year guarantee. Reasonable. 608-6697400/920-291-5458. jimsguttercovers@


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Classified ads reach more than 171,000 mailboxes. RATES: For non-members of Wisconsin rural electric co-ops: one insertion, $25 minimum (up to 20 words); additional words, $1.25 each. For members of Wisconsin rural electric co-ops: one insertion, $14 minimum (up to 20 words); additional words, $.70 each. Count name, address, and phone number as part of ad. Please include zip code. FOR PROOF OF MEMBERSHIP, please include your address label from your copy of the magazine. FREQUENCY DISCOUNTS: 2% discount for 3 months; 5% for 6 months; 10% for 12 months. DEADLINE: 1st of the month prior to the month in which the ad is to appear. All classified ads must be paid in advance. There is no agency discount on classifieds. Make check or money order payable to: WECA. Mail to: WECN, Attn. Tina Walden, 222 W. Washington Ave., Ste. 680, Madison, WI 53703. Ph: 608-467-4599. Email

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March 2017

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March 2017

WISCONSIN EVENTS 1 Comedy Night at the Box––Clinton. Boxcars Pub and Grub, 7:30–9 p.m. Brash, fun, interactive night club comedy, $10 per ticket. 608-676-1149 to reserve tickets.

12 Spaghetti Feed––Medford. VFW Clubhouse, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. 12 Country Jam––Wauzeka. Century Hall, 11 a.m.–4 p.m.

25 Homemade Chili and Chicken Noodle Soup Dinner––Briggsville. American Legion, 4–7:30 p.m. Soup, roll, dessert, beverage. 50/50 raffles. $6 per person, 12 and under $3.

3, 10, 17, 24, 31 Friday Lenten Fish Fries––Onalaska. St. Patrick’s Church, 5–7:30 p.m. All you can eat fish, baked potato or French fries, coleslaw, roll, and drink. Salad bar. Carryout available. 608-783-5535.

12 Daylight Savings Fundraiser Raffle–– Oconto Falls. Steele Moose Bar and Grill, 12–3 p.m. Cash prizes, meat raffle, 50/50 raffle, and bucket raffle. 920-373-2099.

25 Sport, Home, and Craft Show–– Phillips. High School, Sat. 9 a.m.–5 p.m.; Sun. 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Exhibits, vendors, crafters, seminars, food, giveaways.

12 St. Patrick’s Day Dinner and Raffle–– Eau Claire. St. Pat’s Cafeteria, 5–8 p.m. Roast corned beef dinner, entertainment. Adults $10, seniors $9; kids $4. 715-834-4920.

25 Chili Supper, Silent Auction, Gun Raffle, and Euchre––Cambria. Fire Station, all-day event. Gun raffle tickets are $10 each or 3 for $25, only 1,000 tickets are being sold and 8 guns will be given away.

3, 10, 17, 24, 31 Friday Fish Fry–– Rosholt. St. Adalbert Parish, 4–7:30 p.m. Fish, shrimp, potato, coleslaw, bread, and one dessert. Large and weekly raffle. 3–4 Shamrock Shuffle 5K Run/ Walk––Cambria. Fire Department Community Center. 4 Ice Fishing Contest––Fairchild. Pond, 12–3 p.m. Door prizes and raffles with food and beverages available. Plenty of fun for all ages. 4 Taste of Fennimore––Fennimore. The Silent Woman, 1–5 p.m. A great taste-testing and sampling of local foods and beverages from the area. 4 Ice Fishing Rumble––Phillips. RollIn-Point Bar and Grill, 7 a.m.–5 p.m. Register before 10 a.m. Prize money for 1st and 2nd place for longest fish in multiple categories. Door prizes, basket raffle, food. $10/person entry fee. Junior category (12 and under). 5 Pancake Supper––Loyal. Trinity Lutheran Church, 4–8 p.m. Potato and regular pancakes plus all the trimmings. 715-255-8880. 10, 11 Quilt Show––Augusta. Senior & Community Center, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. 11 Chili Soup and Supper, Auction and Raffle––Wauzeka. Century Hall, 5–8 p.m. Auction and raffle. $5 admission. 608-485-1611. 12 St. Patrick’s Day Carnival––Tomah. Queen of the Apostles, 10:30 a.m.–2 p.m. Games, silent auction baskets, raffle prizes, food. Game tickets are 3 for $1. Raffle tickets are $2 each or 3/$5. 608-372-5765. 30

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15 Bluebirding In Wisconsin Along the Bluebird Trails––Darlington. Nature Center, 2–3 p.m. 17 Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner–– Granton. United Methodist Church, 5–7 p.m. 18 Home and Business Expo––Medford. Simek Recreation Center, Fri. 4–8 p.m.; Sat. 10 a.m.–4 p.m.; Sun. 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Over 80 vendors. Quilt Show at the high school. 18 St. Patty’s VetsRoll Fundraiser–– Clinton. Boxcars Pub and Grill, 1–6 p.m. Pig raffle, silent auction, food & drink specials, chicken bingo. 18 St. Patrick’s Day Celebration–– Brantwood. Community Center, 4:30–6:30 p.m. Soup buffet, homemade Finnish bread, mint ice cream, warm chocolate chip cookies. 715-564-2525. 25 Garden Seminar––La Crosse. Lunda Center–Western Technical College, 7:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. 25 Chuck Wagon Chili Bone-Nanza–– Friendship. Village Hall, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Chili with all the fixins, beverage, and dessert. Music from the old TV Westerns and trail songs. Bake sale and carryouts available. 25 Pancake Supper––Ogema. Elementary School, 4–7 p.m. All you can eat regular and potato pancakes, sausages, coffee, pure maple syrup. 715-428-2711.

26 FFA Alumni Farm Toy and Craft Show–– Thorp. High school, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Admission $2; 10 and under are free. Lunch is available. 715-773-2643. 26 Auction––Osseo. Grand Occasions Banquet Hall, 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m. Collectibles, antiques, and handcrafted items will be auctioned to benefit the Trempealeau Co. Humane Society. Food available for purchase. 31 ‘Shrek” The Musical––Phillips. High School, Fri. and Sat. 7 p.m.; Sun. 2 p.m. 715-339-6333.

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Wisconsin Energy Coop News March 2017  

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