Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News May 2024

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Ashland/Iron River

Brown Plmbg & HVAC (715) 682-0444

Beaver Dam/Green Lake

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Black River Falls/ Stevens Point

Northern Indoor Comfort (715) 937-2676


Flock’s Htg & A/C (608) 269-1500


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Van’s Refrigeration (920) 833-2051

Cornell/New Auburn Water Source Htg & Clg (715) 833-9001


Modern Htg & Clg (608) 767-2689

Eau Claire/Osseo

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Escanaba/Iron Mountain

GPS Htg & Clg (715) 732-2111

Green Bay/Oneida

Van’s Refrigeration (920) 833-2051


Geothermal Concept (612) 481-4020

Hurley/Park Falls

QS Plmbing & Mechanical (715) 685-4330

Madison/Black Earth

Modern Htg & Clg (608) 767-2689


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Water Source Htg & Clg (715) 833-9001


Northern Indoor Comfort (715) 937-2676

New Lisbon/Shamrock

Deans Refrig. & Heating (608) 372-6928


Van’s Refridgeration (920) 833-2051

Osceola/New Richmond

Sustainable Htg & Clg (651) 462-1300


All Phase Geothermal (920) 763-2301


Earth Energy Htg & Clg (507) 421-3156

Richland Center/Viroqua

Strang’s Htg Electric Plmb (608) 647-2855

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Sturgeon Bay/Denmark

Van’s Refrigeration (920) 833-2051


Dean’s Refrig. & Heating (608) 372-6928


Van’s Refrigeration (920) 833-2051

Westby/La Crosse

Flock’s Htg & A/C (608) 654-5522


Earth Energy Htg & Clg (507) 421-3156

Wisconsin Rapids/ Marshfield

Northern Indoor Comfort (715) 937-2676

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10 13 24 31 4 LETTER FROM THE EDITOR 6 NEWS BRIEFS 8 MESSAGE FROM THE CEO 15 MY CO-OP 20 RECIPES 22 READER RECIPES 28 CLASSIFIEDS 30 EVENTS 10 24 31 Investing in Energy Why Solar is Not Free Wisconsin Favorites Kids & Critters Like all stocks, energy stocks can be volatile, but promising. Things to consider before investing in a residential solar system Enjoy the great outdoors at these special county parks, part 2. Cute co-op kids get cozy with their critters. CONTENTS 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-pro t, consumer-owned rural electric cooperatives. It is available to non-members for $13 per year or $35 for three years. Members pay $6.93 per year. Published by the Wisconsin Electric Cooperative Association, 6405 Century Avenue, Suite 102 Middleton, WI 53562-2200. Steve Freese, president & CEO. USPS number: 688-480. Postmaster: please send address changes to Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News, 6405 Century Avenue, Suite 102 Middleton, WI 53562-2200 Periodicals postage paid at Sun Prairie, Wis. Send correspondence to Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News, 6405 Century Avenue, Suite 102, Middleton, WI 53562-2200. Phone (608) 467-4650. Web site: www.wecnmagazine.com. Co-op Members: Please send address changes to your local electric co-op. Contact information can be found on page 18. Steve Freese WECA president & CEO Dana Kelroy editor Mary Erickson associate editor Julie Lund contributing writer Ann Bailey graphic designer Geri Miller advertising consultant Jennifer Taylor editorial assistant For advertising opportunities please email geri@weca.coop. The appearance of advertising or events does not constitute an endorsement of the products or services advertised. We reserve the right to refuse advertisers. May 2024 Vol. 84 No. 11 Please recycle Join us on 3 wecnmagazine.com May 2024 On the cover: Make plans to visit Pine Point County Park in Holcombe, near Chippewa Valley Electric Cooperative. The 3,000-acre lake is a great watersports destination. See story on page 24.


Finding our April symbol was Greg Sanders, from Jump River Electric Cooperative. He said, “Hello, I found it in the sun (page 10). Very appropriate with the eclipse and all. I wasn’t even wearing eclipse glasses and looked there anyway. It sure seems like the magazine comes more than once a month. Time ies.”

Now, we challenge you to nd this EXACT dollar sign (there are others), in honor of our story on page 10. Remember that the symbol can be anywhere and any size. One randomly selected winner will receive a Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News kitchen kit. One entry per household, please, and provide your permanent home or mailing address with your entry. Send entries by May 15.

Enter via the “Symbol Search” link on the homepage of wecnmagazine.com.

You can also enter by mail (don’t forget to include the name of your cooperative):


6405 Century Avenue, Suite 102 Middleton, WI 53562-2200


ast month on this page, I talked about the April 8 solar eclipse and how it served as a subtle reminder about the need to preserve baseload power. As predicted, utilities nationwide adequately planned for the drop in solar energy during the eclipse, and no major outages were reported. End of story. Or was it?

I attended Eau Claire Energy Cooperative’s annual meeting a day or two after I wrote that column. My role was meeting photographer, and an ECEC member and I chatted about photography skills, and my lack thereof.

He showed me some fantastic photos of the northern lights on his phone and mentioned that he was traveling to Texas to see the solar eclipse on the path of totality. This would be his fourth time seeing a total solar eclipse, as he had planned international travels around the experience.

Before chatting with him, I hadn’t really thought much about the eclipse other than the reminder about solar’s role in our energy mix. But his enthusiasm about seeing an eclipse in the path of totality was totally contagious.

I couldn’t stop thinking about our conversation and ultimately took the day o of work, pulled my two oldest kids out of school, and planned a route to the small town of Clinton, Indiana, to see what all the excitement was about.

The experience was incredible, and my kids and I agree 100% that it was worth the long road trip and missed day of school/work.

As I re ect on this experience, I am reminded of the joy I nd in meeting magazine readers at local co-op annual meetings. To the ECEC member who shared his excitement with me, I extend my heartfelt thanks. Your enthusiasm was truly inspiring, and I hope your eclipse experience was as magical as ours.

Good luck! Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News 4


Everyone feels the hurt as you age, but CBD can help you deal with it.

Life really does y by. Before I knew it, my 60s had arrived, and with them came some new gi s from dear ol’ Mother Nature—frequent knee pain, stress, low energy and sleeplessness. Now, I’m a realist about these things, I knew I wasn’t going to be young and springy forever. But still, with “golden years” nearly on my doorstep, I couldn’t help but feel a little cheated. at is until I found my own secret weapon. Another gi from Mother Nature. It began a few months back when I was complaining about my aches and pains to my marathon-running granddaughter, Jen. She casually mentioned how she uses CBD oil to help with her joint pain. She said that CBD gave her more focus and clarity throughout the day and that her lingering muscle and joint discomfort no longer bothered her. She even felt comfortable signing up for back-to-back marathons two weekends in a row this year. at made even this self-proclaimed skeptic take notice.

But I still had some concerns. According to one study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 70% of CBD products didn’t contain the amount of CBD stated on their labels. And, as a consumer, that’s terrifying!

If I was going to try CBD, I needed to trust the source through and through. My two-fold research process naturally led me to Zebra CBD.

First, I started calling my family and friends. Call me old fashioned but I wanted to know if there were people whom I trusted (more than anonymous testimonials) who’ve had success using CBD besides my granddaughter.

Secondly, I wanted cold hard facts. Diving

deep into the world of CBD research and clinical studies, I came across Emily Gray M.D., a physician at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) Medical School and medical advisor to Zebra CBD who is researching the e ects of CBD. Dr. Gray wrote “early results with CBD have been promising and we have a lot of research underway now. I’ve had several patients using CBD with good success. It’s important that you know your source of CBD and how to use it properly.”

A er hearing it from the doctor’s mouth, I returned to my research, asking more people and was amazed by the number of close friends and family who were already on the CBD train. Apparently, I was the only one without a clue! And funny enough, a couple of friends who commented were using the same brand as my granddaughter—Zebra CBD. ere was no consensus as to why they were using CBD, but the top reasons given were for muscle & joint discomfort, mood support, sleep support, stress and headaches, as well as supporting overall health & wellness.

Eventually, even the most skeptical of the bunch can be won over. With a trusted CBD source in mind, I decided to give it a go.

When I viewed Zebra CBD’s selection online, I was impressed by its array of products, including CBD oils called tinctures, topicals, chewable tablets, mints and gummies. A er reading on their website that all their products are made with organically-grown hemp, I ordered... and it arrived within 2 days!

e rst product I tried was the Rub. Now this stu was strong. Immediately a er rubbing

it on my knee, the soothing e ects kicked in. It had that familiar menthol cooling e ect, which I personally nd very relieving. And the best part is, a er two weeks of using it, my knee pain no longer a ected my daily mobility.

e Zebra Mint Oil, on the other hand, had a di erent but equally positive e ect on my body. To take it, the instructions suggest holding the oil in your mouth for about 30 seconds. is was simple enough, and the mint taste was, well, minty. A er about 15 minutes, a sense of calm came over my body. It’s hard to describe exactly. It’s more like an overall sense of relaxation—as if I just walked out of a spa, and now I’m ready to seize the day. Needless to say, I’ve really enjoyed the oil.

While it hasn’t been a catch-all x to every one of my health issues, it has eased the level and frequency of my aches. And it sure doesn’t seem like a coincidence how much calmer and more focused I am.

All-in-all, CBD is one of those things that you have to try for yourself. Although I was skeptical at rst, I can safely say that I’m now a Zebra CBD fan and that I highly recommend their products.

Also, I managed to speak with a Zebra CBD spokesperson willing to provide an exclusive o er. If you order this month, you’ll receive $10 o your rst order by using promo code “WL10” at checkout. Plus, the company o ers a 100% No-Hassle, Money-Back Guarantee. You can try it yourself and order Zebra CBD at ZebraCBD.com/Wisconsin or at 1-888-762-2699.


Evers Takes Action on Several Bills

Governor Tony Evers signed legislation that paves the way for Wisconsin to build out electric vehicle infrastructure. Wisconsin Acts 121 and 122 enable the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to administer more than $78 million in federal funds to build EV charging stations along the state’s major highways. Federal funds cover 80% of the cost. The goal of the federal program is to ensure a fastcharging bank is available at least every 50 miles on most major highways.

Evers also signed legislation allowing co-op utility trucks to use green lights in addition to amber lights to alert drivers to proceed with caution, a bill related to community aid payments when a power plant is decommissioned, and a bill that offers 50% grants for employers to help pay for CDL training. Evers also signed a bill to help offset costs for community partners to implement the Imagination Library program. Pierce Pepin Cooperative Services is one of dozens of partners offering Dolly Parton’s program, which delivers books to children under five to promote reading skills.

Evers vetoed a bill that would have created a special license plate for electric vehicles so emergency responders can take precautions. The state has already created and began sending special license plate stickers to identify EVs.

Dairyland Power Demolishes Genoa #3

Marking the end of an era, Dairyland Power Cooperative demolished the smokestack and main building of its Genoa #3 coal plant, which generated electricity for more than 50 years. About 100 people gathered atop a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River in Vernon County to witness the implosion. The decommissioning is

part of Dairyland’s transition to lower its carbon footprint.

Once cleaned up, the site, which has river, rail, and highway access, will be used for economic development, which could be anything from a manufacturing facility to a clean energy pilot project. According to Dairyland, the decommissioning project was done on time and within budget.

This is the sixth of Dairyland’s eight coal plants to be shut down, and according to the co-op, there are no plans to decommission the final two, as they play an important role in the co-op’s ability to provide safe, reliable, and affordable wholesale power to its co-op members.

MRO Issues First-Ever Extreme Risk Warning

For the first time, the Midwest Reliability Organization (MRO) has identified “uncertain energy availability” as an “extreme priority.” The 2024 Regional Risk Assessment identifies the highest reliability and security risks to the region that includes Wisconsin. Seven other risks fell into the high-priority category. This is the first time MRO has issued an “extreme priority” risk.

OEC Slammed by Winter Storm Cora

Winter Storm Cora hit much of the state on April 2, doing significant damage in the Oconto Electric Cooperative service area. Heavy, wet snow and ice, combined with high winds, snapped at least 70 power poles and caused downed lines,and power outages for more than 9,000 members.

“This smoked our whole system,” said OEC Line Superintendent Jack Pardy.

Thirty electric cooperative crew members from Adams-Columbia, Barron, Central Wisconsin, Clark, Dunn, Eau Claire, Jump River, Price, and St. Croix assisted Oconto with restoration, which was a multi-day effort.

Oconto Electric Selects New CEO

The Oconto Electric Cooperative Board of Directors selected Ryan Miller to serve as the co-op’s next chief executive officer. Miller assumed his role on April 10, following the retirement of Byron Nolde.

Miller previously served as the chief operating officer of Florida’s Southland Utility Services.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in business information systems, a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA), and a certificate in utility management from Willamette University.

Biden Administration Revises Power Plant, Transformer Rules

The Biden Administration has revised rules critical to electric utility operations. The power plant rule will require all coal and some natural gas plants to use developing technology to reduce emissions or face closure. The transformer rule requires stricter efficiency standards.

The proposed power plant rule requires all coal and most natural gas plants to use carbon capture technology or green hydrogen to reduce carbon emissions drastically. The EPA is reportedly dropping the hydrogen option from the original rule.

The EPA is also expected to increase the number of natural gas plants impacted by the rule and extend the deadline for compliance by two years.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) made significant changes to its rule that would have required most distribution transformers, which are almost all made with grain-oriented electrical steel (GOES), to use amorphous steel cores instead, for a marginal gain in efficiency.

As revised, the rule requires 25% of transformers use amorphous steel cores. Opponents say the change eases some concerns that the move would exacerbate the transformer supply shortage.

Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News 6 NEWS
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MESSAGE from the CEO


Every once in a while, I’ll look back at some of the columns I’ve written for this magazine to ensure I keep my writings fresh and mentally check the status of some of the past issues. I recently did this and found that my column from May of 2023 is pretty much a reflection of this month’s column. Unfortunately, that is not a good thing because a year ago I was warning readers that an overzealous, 0-to-60 transition to clean energy would create tremendous uncertainty and put into question our ability to produce 24/7/365 reliable electricity.

Reliability is the buzzword in the electrical industry right now for a number of reasons. Many are the same as those I wrote about last year, but we’ve experienced a first since then. For the first time since its formation in 1968, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) last year identified energy policy as a risk priority for grid reliability.

NERC is a nonprofit regulatory authority that oversees six regional reliability entities across the U.S. and Canada and is largely responsible for developing and enforcing reliability standards to reduce risks to the bulk power supply. Along with grid transformation, extreme weather events, security, and critical infrastructure interdependencies, NERC summarized that “energy policy, including timelines for implementation, can be a reliability risk factor.” Recognizing that clean, yet intermittent, energy continues to grow, NERC concluded that as “the resource mix evolves with new and different resources being brought into the system, upfront planning is needed to ensure that sufficient associated infrastructure, both transmission and distribution, is built to support the interconnection and delivery of the new resources.”

Speaking of interconnection and delivery of those new sources of energy, in March we learned that a federal judge has once again temporarily halted the completion of Dairyland Power Cooperative’s Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission project from Dubuque, Iowa, to Middleton. Even though most of the 102-mile line is complete, at the center of yet another lawsuit on the project are environmental groups trying to prevent the transmission line from

crossing the Mississippi River near Cassville. The line is a means to move vast amounts of solar and wind energy from the West, but lawsuits have significantly delayed the project with massive cost overruns largely resulting from inflationary pressures and legal bills.

Adding to all this uncertainty, Dairyland Power Cooperative’s efforts to ramp up electric reliability with the construction of the 625-megawatt Nemadji Trail Energy Center (NTEC) project recently stalled before the Superior City Council when the council failed to schedule state-mandated public hearings.

Partnering with Minnesota Power and Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Dairyland’s NTEC project will serve as an on-demand natural gas resource when renewables like solar and wind are not available, but its future is now uncertain as the three owners consider their options moving forward.

WECA is hopeful that the issue of reliability will take center stage at the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin with Governor Evers announcing the appointment of Marcus Hawkins as commissioner. Hawkins was most recently the executive director of the Organization of MISO States (OMS), where he worked closely with commissioners from the 17 state regulatory agencies within the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) footprint.

In his leadership role at OMS, Hawkins was a guest panelist at WECA’s 2022 Education and Lobby Days event. He brought a wealth of knowledge when discussing the near collapse of the Texas electric grid and the risks and challenges facing Wisconsin. Hawkins is incredibly astute on reliability issues and keenly aware that the energy transition must be well thought out and methodical if we are to ensure safe, reliable, and affordable energy. If Hawkins brings that understanding to the PSC, he will be an asset to the state.

There’s obviously a lot happening around the state and the country when it comes to making efforts to take any uncertainty out of the reliability equation. It all starts with your local electric cooperative. That’s why your electric cooperative leaders made reliability their key message with Wisconsin’s congressional delegation last month in the nation’s capital. Our cooperatives strive to make the delivery of your electricity safe, affordable, and reliable. If any one of the three is missing or under threat, the marriage suffers, and our state and national leaders need to hear and do something about it.

Steve Freese President and CEO
Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News

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We need energy to power our daily lives, so investing in energy seems like a safe bet, right? Not always. Like all stocks, energy stocks can be volatile, and 2023 was a pretty dismal year overall, but energy has taken Wall Street by storm in 2024, at least so far.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite were both up significantly for the year by 9.85% and 10.43%, respectively, as of April 9, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 3.1%. All eyes are on technology, driven by the explosion of artificial intelligence (AI) in seemingly every corner of our lives, but energy is the key driver of market gains this year. While the S&P energy sector jumped 17% since the beginning of the year, information technology stocks, including the AI tech giant Nvidia and Microsoft, rose 12%. According to the S&P 500, most large-cap sectors posted gains in the first quarter, but the energy sector led the way.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that energy outperformance has surprised a lot of people this year,” said Leo Mariani, a senior research analyst at Roth MKM told MarketWatch. “I definitely think that a lot of folks are taking a harder look at it.”

Making a Comeback: Gas and Oil

According to the Wall Street Journal, a crude oil rally boosted prices for international oil majors, refiners, drillers, pipeline operators, and tanker owners. Legacy companies like Exxon, Chevron, and Marathon Petroleum all posted gains. While the U.S. is no longer a net importer of crude oil (as of 2020), the rise in price, caused in part by international strife, is also to blame for higher gas prices.

For investors, though, it’s good news. Marathon Petroleum (MPC), for example, is up 43.86% from the first of the year, from $149.03 per share to $214.40.

It’s a correction of sorts, according to Jeremy McCrea, equity research analyst at BMO Capital Markets. He says over the past decade, many investors have turned away from oil and gas companies, forcing them to operate more efficiently or go out of business, which some did.

“Sentiment was so awful back in 2020, 2021,” McCrea said. “Now you’re getting new investors coming into the sector.”

McCrea says that whether these stock gains remain will depend on whether investors continue to believe oil and gas will be a major part of the global energy mix.

Going Up: Nuclear Many nuclear

energy stocks are also on the rise as more people recognize the potential role of the clean and reliable energy source in a carbon-free world. Developments in new nuclear technology, including SMRs and nuclear fusion, are adding to the investor interest.

NuScale Power (SMR), for example, saw its stock rise when the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved its small modular reactor (SMR) design in January of 2023. By the end of the year, however, NuScale canceled plans for its flagship SMR project in the U.S. due to concerns over cost, and its stock dropped, but not for long. This year has seen NuScale stock fluctuate from under $2 to more than $11 per share, hinged mostly on international developments and other nuclear advancements.

(Dairyland Power Cooperative signed a memorandum of understanding with NuScale to look into whether SMRs would be a beneficial option. CEO Brent Ridge says it’s important to build these partnerships, but they must also see that a commercial SMR project can be built efficiently in the United States.)

10 Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News

Many other nuclear-energy-based companies are showing major gains, including Cameco Corp. (CCJ), a Canadian company that mines and sells uranium. Its stock has seen a steady increase in 2024 (+11.1%), over the past year (+91%), and over the past five years (+310%). Nexgen (NXE), Uranium Energy (UEC), and Denison Mines, all involved in the procurement of uranium, show similar, impressive gains.

Centrus Energy (LEU), a Maryland company that also works to fuel nuclear plants, is down year to date but has seen its stock rise 46% from one year ago and 1,251% from five years ago.

Centrus President and CEO Amir Vexler rang the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange in March and said, “Nuclear power is growing worldwide as a major solution to climate change… There are many reactor developers. There are many technologies that are competing out there, abroad, and in the U.S. There are advanced reactors, light water reactors, and all of them require fueling. All of them require the use of enriched uranium. We, in fact, are the only non-stateowned enrichment company, and that obviously opens a huge door for us to participate in this growing market.”

Vexler said four or five countries have committed to doubling their nuclear generation by 2050, so one of the greatest challenges will be making sure they can keep up with demand.

Wildcard: Electric Vehicles and Infrastructure

Who doesn’t wish they had jumped on the Tesla bandwagon just five years ago when shares were selling for $15? Tesla is the kind of company all investors want in on early—a company that has a unique product

or service and a solid head start on the competition. Tesla had both. But that edge is not what it used to be. Tesla is trading at $177 per share, down from its peak in late 2021 when shares topped $400.

Tesla’s hold on the market is waning as more automakers offer electric vehicles, but that has not

necessarily translated to major market gains for them. Automakers and companies working to provide infrastructure and parts, from chips to battery charging stations, show mixed returns in 2024.

Rivian Automotive stock is down 51% year to date and 26% from one year ago. Plug Power

11 wecnmagazine.com May 2024

is down 26% year to date and 64% from one year ago, but up 23% from five years ago. At $71 per share, ON Semiconductor (ON), which engages in the provision of power and sensing technology for EVs, is also down slightly year to date and from one year ago but up significantly (213%) from five years ago.

Bargain Bin: Renewable Energy On the

flip side, renewable energy stocks saw a big sell-off last year, when the harsh reality of high interest rates made an impact faster than potential government subsidies. High interest rates proved financially crippling for many renewable startups seeking to build infrastructure that is expected to last decades.

SunPower (SPWR), a California company that designs, manufactures, and installs solar panels and is considered a leader in the U.S residential solar market, saw its stock price drop more than 42% year to date, from $4.77 on January 1 to $2.75 in April. Worse than that, SunPower stock was trading at more than $54 per share in January 2021. Many solar companies are facing similar challenges in the competitive market, including Sunrun (RUN) and Sunnova (NOVA), down 32% and 64%, respectively, year to date.

First Solar (FSLR) is holding its own in the field, up 7.88 percent year to date to $184.45 per share. First Solar was trading at more than $230 per share in May 2023, but saw its stock price decline as interest rates rose.

Other factors slowing the clean energy transition and weighing down stock prices include a lengthy and complex permitting process for transmission projects needed to bring more clean generation resources online. Delays lead to higher costs and lower earnings, which impact stock prices.

The good news for those seeking to invest is that many renewable energy stocks are now good

buys, according to analysts. For example, about 80% of analysts on Robinhood, a stock trading tool, rate both Sunnova and First Solar as “buy.” More than 60% rate Sunrun as “buy.”

Strategy: Diversify and Invest for the Long Term

Investment advisors say the key to protecting your investment, whether you are looking at energy stocks or not, is to diversify your funds and manage your risk based on when you plan to retire (or withdraw your money).

Rhetoric during this election year will impact the market, as will the November election. Regardless of who wins, many analysts expect the clean energy transition and the companies building it to progress over the next 5-10 years.

Morgan Stanley analyst Andrew Percoco said he does not expect a full repeal of the Inflation Reduction Act (which includes historic subsidies for clean energy) regardless of who wins the election since many clean energy policies bring job growth and benefit rural areas, which bodes well for renewable energy stocks.

Warren Buffet, known as one of the best investors of all time, says, “Opportunities come infrequently. When it rains gold, put out the bucket, not the thimble.”

Speaking of gold, it is also proving to be a good investment in 2024, hitting record highs and drawing some investors away from the stock market, but that’s another story.—Julie Lund

(Editor’s note: All investment involves risk. The information provided here is for educational purposes only. Investment decisions should be made specific to personal goals and individual portfolios. For more information, contact an investment advisor. WECA does not endorse or recommend any of the aforementioned investments. Stock price comparisons were current as of April 9, 2024.)

12 Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News


Q: I often hear claims you’ll never pay an electric bill again if you go solar. Is that true?

A: The ability to generate your own renewable energy at home is an amazing thing. It’s pretty cool that the technology is accessible to home and property owners across the country. The concept of free energy from the sun is appealing, but solar power isn’t actually free. There are costs associated with capturing that energy for use in your home.

Installing a residential solar system doesn’t equate to $0 energy bills. Prices for the solar system and installation vary, but adding solar typically comes with a five-figure price tag. Solar systems only provide power when the sun is shining. You still rely on your electric utility for power at night and when the skies are cloudy. Most electric utility rate structures include a set monthly service fee.

Unless you plan to disconnect from local electric service completely, you will still have a monthly electric bill.

Solar might be a good investment for you, or it might not. Several factors impact how well the investment pencils out, including where you live, home orientation and shading, electric bill rate structure and cost, available incentives and tax credits, your budget and credit rating.

Installing a residential solar system doesn’t equate to $0 energy bills.

If you are considering solar on your home, I suggest taking these three steps:

FIRST, make sure your home is as energy efficient as possible. It wouldn’t make sense to put a new motor on a boat with holes in it, so

why would you put a solar system on an energy-wasting home? Invest in reducing wasted energy before investing in creating new energy. The efficiency updates I recommend before installing solar include insulating and air sealing your home and upgrading to efficient appliances—especially the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system.

If your HVAC system is older than 10 years or malfunctioning, make sure replacing it is in the budget. Remember, energy efficiency upgrades might have a better return on investment than installing solar.

A more efficient home means a smaller—and lower-cost—solar energy system. Solar systems are typically designed to produce the amount of energy a home uses in a year, so if you complete energy efficiency improvements before installing a solar system, make sure the solar contractor accounts for those energy savings.

13 wecnmagazine.com May 2024

SECOND, check with your electric co-op about the requirements to install solar and how it will impact your bill. If you decide to install solar panels, working with your utility will be essential, as you will need to take important steps, such as signing an interconnection agreement to ensure the system is properly connected to the electric grid.

THIRD, get at least three quotes to compare each contractor’s recommended system design, equipment, and cost. It’s a significant investment, so you want to know your options.

There are several ways to pay for a solar system and installation. It can be bought outright with cash or financed by a loan. This allows you to own the system immediately or at the end of the loan term. State and federal tax incentives can help offset the costs.

Loans, leases, and power purchase agreements can impact the sale of a home. Although a solar system may increase the value of your home, some buyers—or their lenders—are not

Get at least three solar quotes to compare each contractor’s recommended system design, equipment and cost.

interested in taking on leases or power purchase agreements.

Investing in solar is one way to support the transition to renewable energy. Before you make the leap, improve your home’s energy efficiency and empower yourself by thoroughly weighing the costs and benefits.

Miranda Boutelle writes on energy efficiency topics for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the national trade association of nearly 900 electric co-ops.

14 Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News
Your home’s roof isn’t the only place to locate solar. Panels can also be installed on other buildings. Installing a residential solar system doesn’t necessarily equate to $0 energy bills. You will need to rely on your electric utility for electricity when your system is not producing power. Photo courtesy of Katie Jagiello, Oconto Electric Cooperative
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Beef Steak Salad with Dried Cherries

A little bit sweet, a little bit savory, and a whole lotta nutritious. Tender sliced sirloin steak on a bed of fresh lettuce, topped with dried cherries, blue cheese, and walnuts. All recipes and photos courtesy of the Wisconsin Beef Council.


1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

Combine dressing ingredients in a medium bowl. Reserve 1/3 cup, cover, and refrigerate. Set remaining dressing aside.


1 boneless beef top sirloin steak, cut 1-inch thick (approx. 1 lb)

4 small (or 2 medium) heads Boston lettuce, torn

1/2 cup dried cherries or dried cranberries

1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

1/4 cup pine nuts or coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted (optional)

Cut beef top sirloin steak lengthwise in half and then crosswise into 1/8- to 1/4-inch-thick strips. Add beef to remaining dressing; toss to coat. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Remove beef from marinade; discard marinade. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add half of the beef; stir-fry approx. 1–2 minutes or until outside surface of beef is no longer pink (do not overcook). Remove from skillet and repeat with remaining beef. Combine lettuce and reserved 1/3 cup dressing in a large bowl; toss to coat. Arrange beef over lettuce; sprinkle with cheese, cherries, and nuts, as desired. Serve immediately. NOTE: To grill, place beef steak on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, covered, approx. 11–15 minutes (over medium heat on preheated, gas grill, approx. 13–16 minutes) for medium-rare (145 degrees) to medium (160 degrees) doneness, turning occasionally. Let steak rest a few minutes and slice. To toast pine nuts or chopped walnuts, heat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange nuts in an even layer on baking pan and bake approx. 7–8 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Serves 4.

20 Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News


Grilled Sirloin Steak Kabobs with Garlic Rosemary Butter

Just when you thought grilled sirloin kabobs couldn’t get better, this kabob recipe goes to new heights with a garlic-rosemary butter sauce.


4 Tbsp butter

2 tsp fresh parsley, minced

1-1/2 tsp garlic, minced

1 tsp fresh rosemary, minced

In a small sauce pot, combine butter, parsley, garlic, and rosemary. Melt butter mixture over low heat either on the stove top or on your grill until melted. Stir occasionally.


1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped

1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped

Mix chopped parsley and rosemary together in a small bowl. Set aside.


8 oz red-skinned potatoes

1 lb boneless beef top sirloin steak, cut 1-inch thick

4 oz portobello mushrooms

4 oz cherry tomatoes

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp steak seasoning blend

Cut potatoes into 1-1/2-inch pieces. Place in a microwave-safe dish; cover with vented plastic wrap. Microwave on HIGH approx. 6–8 minutes or until just tender, stirring once. Cool slightly. Cut beef top sirloin steak into 1-1/4-inch pieces. Combine beef, mushrooms, tomatoes, potatoes, olive oil, and steak seasoning in a large bowl; toss. Alternately thread beef and vegetables onto metal skewers. Place kabobs on grill over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, approx. 9–12 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, approx. 8–10 minutes) for medium rare (145 degrees) to medium (160 degrees) doneness, turning once and brushing with sauce during last 5 minutes. Remove from grill and brush with remaining sauce. Garnish with rosemary and parsley mixture. Serves 4.

Beef Fajita Skillet with Pico de Gallo

You have to love a square meal rounded o by a delicious lean beef cut. Sizzle up some sliced veggies for fajitas.


3/4 cup chopped tomatoes

1/4 cup chopped white onion

3 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

2 tsp minced jalapeño pepper

1 Tbsp fresh lime juice


Combine chopped tomatoes, onions, cilantro, jalapeño pepper, and fresh lime juice in a medium bowl. Season with salt, as desired. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.


3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp ground cumin

1-1/2 tsp ground chipotle chili pepper

Combine rub ingredients in a large bowl.


1 lb sirloin tip steaks, cut 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick

3 tsp vegetable oil, divided

1-1/2 cups thinly sliced bell pepper, any color

1/2 medium white onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges

1 medium jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced Salt, to taste

8 small whole wheat tortillas (approx. 6-inch diameter), warmed

Stack beef sirloin tip steaks; cut lengthwise in half and then crosswise into 1-inch-wide strips. Combine beef with rub ingredients in a large bowl; toss to coat evenly. Heat 1 teaspoon vegetable oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add bell pepper, onion, and jalapeño; stir fry approx. 5–8 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Remove from skillet and keep warm. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in same skillet until hot. Add half of beef; stir-fry 1–2 minutes or until outside surface is no longer pink (do not overcook). Remove from skillet; keep warm. Repeat with remaining 1 teaspoon oil and beef. Return all beef and vegetables to skillet. Season with salt, as desired. Serve beef and vegetable mixture in tortillas; top with Pico de Gallo. Serves 4. NOTE: A twelve-inch cast iron pan may be substituted for a large nonstick skillet. Cooking times will remain the same.

21 wecnmagazine.com May 2024




1 large beet

1 large onion, nely minced

1 large carrot, shredded

1 celery stalk, diced

3 cups shredded cabbage

3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp Balsamic or apple cider vinegar

2 Tbsp tomato sauce

7 cups broth chicken, beef, or vegetable, divided


An online reader is looking for your favorite quiche recipes.

SEND TO: WECN, Reader Recipes, 6405 Century Avenue, Suite 102 Middleton, WI 53562-2200 or jennifer@weca.coop

1 Tbsp all-purpose our

2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 (15 oz) can red kidney beans

5 cloves garlic, minced

4 Tbsp parsley, chopped

Sour cream, for garnish

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Prepare vegetables. Wrap beet in foil and roast until tender when pierced with a knife, approx. 45 minutes depending on size. When cooled, using a paper towel, peel the skin and shred the beet on a large-holed grater; set aside. Stir onion, carrot, celery, cabbage, potatoes, sugar, vinegar, tomato sauce, and 6-1/2 cups of broth into a slow cooker. In a small bowl, whisk together our, the remaining 1/2 cup broth, salt, and pepper; add to the slow cooker. Cover with a lid and cook on LOW for 7 hours or on HIGH for 3-1/2 hours. Thirty minutes before borscht is ready, stir in beans along with its liquid and shredded beet. When borscht is ready, adjust seasoning as needed, add minced garlic, and chopped parsley. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.



12 medium potatoes, divided 1/2 lb Swiss cheese, divided 12 pats of butter, divided Seasoned salt

1/2 pint half-and-half

Boil potatoes with skins on until done, but still rm; then cool, peel, and shred. In a 9-x13-inch pan, layer half the potatoes, half the cheese, and dot with 6 pats of butter. Sprinkle with seasoned salt. Top with remaining layer of potatoes, cheese, butter, and salt. Pour the half and half over the top. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, until bubbly and golden brown.

Submit your favorite recipes to be featured on our reader recipe page. Email to jennifer@weca.coop or submit directly at http://wecnmagazine.com/submit-a-recipe/. Due to food safety issues, we cannot accept canning recipes.



1 (10.5 oz) can cream of chicken soup

1 (10.5 oz) can cream of mushroom soup

1/4 cup milk

1 small (8 oz) jar prepared cheese sauce (such as Cheez Whiz)

1 (16 oz) bag frozen broccoli, cauli ower, carrot combination vegetables

1/3 cup instant rice, uncooked

1 small (4 oz) can sliced mushrooms, drained

Mix together soups, milk, and cheese sauce and heat until cheese melts. Pour frozen vegetables, instant rice, and mushrooms into a greased 1-quart casserole dish. Pour soup mixture over the top and cover. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove cover and bake an additional 15 minutes. Serves 8.




1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 (15 oz) can whole kernel corn, drained

1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 (15 oz) can chili with beans

1 cup barbecue sauce

1 cup salsa

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce

Green onions, chopped, for garnish (optional)

In a 4- or 5-quart slow cooker, combine all ingredients except chopped green onions. Cover and cook on LOW for 5–6 hours. Top with green onions, if desired.



1/2 cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1-1/2 cups catsup

2 Tbsp vinegar

1 cup honey

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp prepared mustard

1/2 tsp pepper

2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Blend all ingredients into a saucepan and simmer for approx. 10–15 minutes. Cool to room temperature before using.


22 Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News

Information should be conveyed to your local law enforcement o cials, to your electric cooperative, or to the:

$2,500 $2,500


Wisconsin Electric Cooperative Association



wecnmagazine.com May 2024 23



Finding someplace new and fun to explore in rural Wisconsin is a walk in the park! Or a hike in the park, or a pedal, or a paddle, or a swim, or just about anything else that can be done outdoors. Our state is filled with beautiful public parks, including the 600 or so (according to Discover Wisconsin) county parks that dot the landscape, many located slightly off the beaten path and into electric cooperative country. As we’ve traveled through the state over the years, we’ve discovered a number of these hidden gems, which often rival—if not even outshine—their more well-known state-park counterparts. Last month we introduced readers to a few of our favorites; this month, we’re sharing a few more.

Pine Point County Park, Holcombe Think of your happiest childhood summer-camp memories and the setting is likely similar to what you see when you enter Pine Point County Park in Chippewa County, located on Chippewa Valley Electric Cooperative lines. Surrounded on three sides by sparkling Lake Holcombe and the Holcombe Flowage, with a sandy beach, picnic areas, and campsites shaded by thick pine trees, the park is practically a visual definition of Wisconsin summer-camping fun.

With more than 3,000 acres of lake surface, Pine Point County Park is a prime place for water recreation of all kinds, including boating, canoeing, kayaking, inner-tubing,


With its sandy beach, picnic and camping areas, nature trails, and 3,000 acres of water surface, Pine Point County Park is a great place to spend a summer day.

swimming, and fishing. Nature trails around the lake make for great walking and wildlife viewing. However, activity is optional; Pine Point is also a great place to spend a relaxing afternoon simply lounging at the water’s edge, taking in the tranquil view and gentle breeze off the water.

The park has a beach with swimming, playground equipment, picnic tables, and grills that are open to the

2828 Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News

public from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily during the camping season. A picnic pavilion is available by reservation.

Those who prefer a longer stay can reserve one of the 48 private wooded campsites at the Pine Point Campground, generally open from the first week in May through the last week in October. Many of the sites are lakeside, with private docks. Electrical hook-up is optional and available at all campsites.

Pine Point County Park is located at 27699 256th Street, Holcombe, WI 54745. For more information, visit reservations.chippewacountywi.gov or call 715-726-7882.

Sidie Hollow County Park, Viroqua

Another special outdoor experience awaits at Sidie Hollow County Park, located three miles southwest of Viroqua on Vernon Electric Cooperative lines. This is billed as Vernon County’s most visited Parks & Forests property, and just one stop here will explain why.

Sidie Hollow comprises 521 acres of the steep, rugged landscape and cold-water streams typical of the state’s unglaciated Driftless Area. The heart of the park is the 38-acre Sidie Hollow Lake, actually a reservoir built in the 1960s for flood retention. The trout streams that feed this lake

Sidie Hollow County Park o ers great shing, with access all around the 38-acre lake. The park also has cold-water streams and mountain-biking trails.

contribute to great year-round fishing, and a two-mile hiking trail encircling the lake provides fishing access all along the shoreline. There’s also a fishing pier and a public boat landing for non-gas-powered boats.

In addition to the wellgroomed lake trail, Sidie Hollow County Park has approximately six miles of mountain bike trails winding through the surrounding forests.

With trails offering spectacular views of the park’s varied natural scenery, two covered picnic shelters, playground equipment, and plenty of open space, Sidie Hollow County Park makes for a fun day trip. However, it’s a great camping destination as well.

Sidie Hollow Campground has 73 sites—some primitive and some with electricity—in three distinct and separate areas of the park. Campers can choose to reserve a spot in the boat landing area near the lake or the main camping area just off the other side of the lake, both of which have

a picnic shelter, hot showers and flush toilets, a playground area, and access to the hiking trail. There’s also the secluded Ridge Camping site where the nearest neighbors might be a few deer, turkey, or other wildlife. Camping season at this park runs from April 15 through October 15.

Sidie Hollow County Park is located at E6051 County Road XX, Viroqua, WI 54665. To reserve a campsite, visit www.vernoncounty.org/ parks or call 608-637-5480.

WISC NSIN FAVORITES 25 wecnmagazine.com May 2024

Gerstberger Pines County Park, Rib

Lake For a completely different experience, head north to Taylor County and visit Gerstberger Pines County Park, just outside of Medford and within Taylor Electric Cooperative’s territory. At just 20 acres, this is one of the state’s smaller county parks, and its main feature—really, its only feature—is a single ¾-mile interpretive trail. However, there’s a lot of learning opportunity packed into this little trail, especially if you follow the handbook that’s available online or at a kiosk at the trail entrance.

This unique park takes you back in time before the lumber industry’s heyday of the mid-to-late 1800s. It’s the site of one of the last remaining old-growth forests in Wisconsin, filled with centuries-old timber that, for some reason, was spared the lumberjack’s saw.

Gerstberger Pines County Park takes you deep into a forest and back in time to the pre-logging days.

The land had been owned by the Gerstberger family from 1892 until Taylor County purchased it in 1993 and preserved it as public space. Why it wasn’t logged is a bit of a mystery, but that only adds to the magic of this heavily wooded parcel of land.

One step onto the trail and you’re immediately closed off from the outside world under a canopy of interwoven treetops. The lack of sunlight and thick forest undergrowth can make the marked trail hard to follow at times, but the area is too small to get hopelessly lost in. However, it’s enough to make you feel as if you’re a Native American traversing the virgin forest in a time before the European settlers arrived, or even as a character in a Grimm Brothers fairy tale.

Explanations in the accompanying handbook help you understand the significance of what you’re walking through. For example, you’ll learn that the huge Red Oak trees near the trail entrance are more than 200 years old, witnesses to history ranging from the Civil War through space travel.

At another station, you’ll learn about the value of the uprooted Hemlock tree, whose decayed roots pulled up a mound of dirt and left a pit when it fell, creating a seed bed for new tree growth.

At yet another station, the handbook points out the few remaining giant White Pines in the area (now only two) that survived the logging era, when most White Pines were harvested for timber. These massive trees are now more than 200 years old and tower above the other treetops, visible from miles away.

Several Leopold benches along the trail allow an opportunity to sit in the quiet and take in the peaceful surroundings.

Gerstberger Pines County Park is located at Turba Road, Rib Lake, WI 54470. We recommend downloading a handbook with a map before your visit, as the secluded location can be a bit of challenge to find. Contact taylor.extension.wisc.edu, 715-748-3327, or taylorcountytourism.com, 715-748-4729.

26 Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News

22 Mile Ford Park, Colfax

More evidence that parks needn’t be large to be special can be found at 22 Mile Ford Park in Dunn County, in Dunn Energy Cooperative’s area. This park covers 7.1 acres of picnic and playground areas, but if you factor in the Red Cedar River that flows alongside it, the park’s reach extends far beyond its official footprint.

The river provides a beautiful backdrop for a day of picnicking, fishing, and nature walking, but it’s also a huge draw for the many canoers and kayakers who drop their vessels in at the park’s boat launch and paddle on downriver.

22 Mile Ford Park also has some interesting lumbering history. The park is the site of the Town of Grant’s first town hall, built at the height of the lumber boom when trees were

22 Mile Ford Park’s history is also linked to logging. These days, however, it’s more known as a great place to launch a canoe or kayak.

harvested in northern Wisconsin and floated down the river to lumber mills in Menomonie. One of the larger Menomonie lumber companies, known as Knapp, Stout and Company, had a holding pen for the logs at the river’s ford, and a hotel was built nearby for the lumbermen to rest. Local historical accounts describe this area as a one-time economic and social hub due to the logging activity. Because the distance from the ford to Menomonie

was 22 miles by river, the area came to be known as 22 Mile Ford.

Today, travelers cross a bridge rather than the ford to get to the other side of the river, and the original town hall building is long gone. Part of its foundation still remains, however, as a silent reminder of how 22 Mile Ford Park came to be.

22 Mile Ford Park is located at N10270 Co. Rd. M, Colfax, WI 54730. Visit co.dunn.wi.us/parks to learn more. —Mary Erickson

WISC NSIN FAVORITES 27 wecnmagazine.com May 2024
IS THERE A COUNTY-PARK GEM IN YOUR AREA? We’d love to hear about it! If you have a photo, even better! Please upload any photos of your favorite county parks at wecn.magazine. com/submit-a-photo.

WANTED: Paying cash for WWII ags, daggers, swords, guns, etc. Also, lever-action ri es. 715-340-1974.

WANTED: DEER TAGS, BACK TAGS. Trapping, bear, hunting licenses. Otter, sher, bobcat tags, party permits, old traps. 715255-9284 David Schober, W4234 Rock Creek Rd., Loyal, WI 54446.

CHAINSAWS WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE. Buying 1 or 100 McCulloch, Pioneer, Jonsereds, Echo, STIHL, Homelite, Remington, Mall. Buying all brands and sizes. Non-running, running, siezed, parts. Let me know what you have - will travel. Call Chainsaw Mike at 715-828-9414.

OLD MOVIES TO DVD / FD - Pro transferring 8mm, VHS, slides, audio, and all formats. Saving memories! DVD Productions Gene 715-827-2302.

HISTORIC CONCORDIA BALLROOM in Lacrosse. Dancing of all kinds—newly refurbished maple dance oor! Polka, swing, 2-step, waltz, tango, Salsa, rumba, samba, Cha Cha, folk, Contra, square, line, and lindy—with many free lessons. Live music and DJs. info@concordiaballroom.com 608-782-7049.


CONCRETE FLOOR REPAIR, also many types of sealers and coatings. Resinous ooring systems: ake, solid color, quartz, and more. Call 715-321-2188.

50 YEARS OF ANTIQUE OLD TOOLS , AC machinery, milk cans, steel wheels, old lumber pallets. 608-687-3022.

Classi ed ads reach more than 152,000 mailboxes.

WANTED: BEAR TRAPS, large odd traps, and lever-action ri es. Traps for sale: beaver, coyote, and Newhouse traps. 715-563-6658.

E-BIKES FOR SALE. Let me get you on the right e-bike. Recycle Bike Shop Mobile, Boyceville, WI. Call or text Bicycle Larry 715-702-1452.

FOR SALE: EXCAVATORS AND DIGGERS. Kubota 151, also Lifton, Powerfab, and Truckhoe units. Used. $5,000-$20,000. Blair, WI. 608-852-7047.

2018 FOREST RIVER SIERRA 345 RLOK 5th wheel. Stored inside. $35,900 OBO. 2000 Harley Road King, 6,500 actual miles. $7,250 OBO. Working stop light $495. Brass boxers bell $350. 608-863-0952.

SUSTAINABLY HARVESTED FORESTS BY THREE GENERATIONS. Maple, pine, oak lumber. Live-edge siding. Sawn to order. Call or text Chandler Forest Products 715-797-9817.

MCKAY NURSERY COMPANY - WISCONSIN GROWN SINCE 1897. Provider of quality shade & ornamental trees, fruit & owering trees, evergreens, shrubs, perennials, ground cover, and vines. Design services & delivery available. Contact Eric at ezlandscapewi@gmail.com or call 608387-4287. “Your McKay Independent Sales & Service Provider.”

FOR RENT: 2 BR CABIN on Big Round Lake, Hayward, WI. Next to water. Sleeps 5. Great beach. Call Janet 715-558-5803.

Our homes are a lot like us. They age just like we do. They begin to creak and moan and operate a little less reliably than they once did. Just as we need to get checkups from time to time, our homes also need checkups to ensure they aren’t developing problems that could cause a shock or even a re. Take a moment to inspect your home’s electrical system, and contact a quali ed electrician if you experience any of the following:

l Circuits trip or fuses blow frequently.

l You get a shock when you touch an electronic or outlet.

l Outlets are warm to touch.

l Appliances shut o when you turn on a light.

l Burning smell or popping or sizzling sound coming from electronics.

l Lights icker.

Source: SafeElectricity

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 classi ed ads must be paid in advance. There is no agency discount on classi eds. Make check or money order payable to: WECA. Mail to: WECN—Classi eds, Attn. Jennifer, 6405 Century Ave., Ste. 102, Middleton, WI 53562. Ph: 608-467-4638. Email jennifer@weca.coop. We reserve the right to refuse ads. CLASSIFIEDS 28 Real Estate Miscellaneous Plants & Shrubs Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News ADVERTISE WITH US geri@weca.coop REACH More than 152,000 Mailboxes each month

Safety is #1 at your Touchstone Energy ® cooperative From the on-going training of our line workers to classroom safety programs for our kids.

Our commitment to electrical safety has always been job one. So, we can deliver reliable energy and peace of mind. That’s why safety runs through everything we do.

29 wecnmagazine.com May 2024 OUR 63rd YEAR PartsMartEditFor2024.indd 1 1/3/24 1:15 PM SAFETY IS THE BACKBONE OF RELIABILITY


3 Jump River Smelt and Fish Fry—Jump River. Community Center, 4–8 p.m. Deep fried smelt and fish and fixings.

3, 4 Thrift, Quilt, Plant, & Bake Sale— Menomonie. Christ Lutheran Church, Fri., 8 a.m.–4 p.m.; Sat., 9 a.m.–2 p.m.

4 Pancake Breakfast and Bake Sale— Chaseburg. Village Hall, 7–10:30 a.m. Carry-out or dine-in. Free-will donation. Vendors offering rosemaling, jewelry, plants, and more.

4 Village-wide Rummage Sales— Chaseburg area. All day. Pulled pork and hot dogs at Middle Coon Valley Church from 11 a.m.–3 p.m.

4 Pancake Breakfast—Camp Douglas. Clifton Sportsman Club–Clifton Park, 7–11 a.m. Pancake, sausage, and egg breakfast, $5.

4 Fishers/Community Breakfast— Montfort. Castle Rock Lutheran Parish Hall, 7–10:30 a.m. Celebrate the opening day of inland waters fishing! Free-will donation.

4 Import Drag Races—Eau Claire. Rock Falls Raceway, 8:30 a.m.–6 p.m. Open to import and domestic 4- or 6-cylinder cars racing down the dragstrip. Great environment for kids to safely watch fast cars up close. 715-875-4233.

4 Rummage and Bake Sale—Brule. Town Hall, 9 a.m.–1 p.m. 715-372-8883.

4 Parkinson’s Walk and Awareness Event— La Crosse. Myrick Park, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Registration online or DOE. The walk is free, but donations encouraged. T-shirts are $15. Resource booths, live music, food truck, kids’ activities, and exercise demos. 608-797-6295.

4 Opening Day at Beckman Mill—Beloit. Beckman Mill Rock County Park, 12–4 p.m. Mill tour with grinding demo, blacksmith workshop. Chili, corn muffins, and beverages for sale. Free admission, donations accepted. 608-751-1551.

4 ‘A Night in the Desert’ Belly Dance Show— Fall Creek. High School Auditorium, 7–10 p.m. An evening of amazing music, costumes, and dancers. Family-friendly, free admission.

5 Muscle Cars & Bikes—Eau Claire. Rock Falls Raceway, 8:30 a.m.–6 p.m. Heart-pounding muscle cars and motorcycles with open trials and eliminations. Fun for young and old. 715-875-4233.

5 Charcoal Chicken Dinner—Greenwood. Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Half-chicken meals, $10. Chicken, potato salad, baked beans, bun, and dessert. Drive-thru only.

5 Our Nawakwa Grand Opening— Cornell. Camp Nawakwa (25336 County Highway E), 12–4 p.m. Ribbon cutting ceremony, guided nature walks, familyfriendly fun, campfire & smores, and more. 715-944-4563.

6 Food Truck Event—Oconto Falls. St. Anthony Parish parking lot, 4–7:30 p.m. Greek gyros, Kona shaved ice, cheese curds, corndogs, funnel cakes, cookie dough, burgers, BBQ, and Caribbean foods. Live music and a kids’play area.

10, 11 Village-wide Rummage Sales— Melrose area. 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Pick up maps at local businesses.

11 Perennial and Native Plant Sale and Food Truck—Richland Center. Community Center, 8 a.m.–2 p.m. Botanist speaks about native plants. Food truck will serve Chicago-style hot dogs. 608-647-6453.

11 Grant County Master Gardener Plant Sale— Lancaster. Schreiner Memorial Library, 9–11 a.m. Locally grown perennials, shrubs, fruits, and vegetables. Children’s potting also available.

12 Art & Craft Adventure—Eau Claire. Phoenix Park, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Handmade crafts and one-of-a-kind artwork. Creative exploration and family fun. 715-875-4233.

15–20 Thrift Sales—Thorp area. Thu. & Fri., 7 a.m.–5 p.m.; Sat. 8 a.m.–1 p.m.

15–21 “Many Trails to Take” Solo Art Exhibit— Drummond. Public Library; Tue.–Fri.,10 a.m.–5 p.m. and Sat. 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Featuring pastel paintings, pen & ink drawing, note cards, and a poetry/art book. 715-739-6290.

17, 18 Grace Bible Church and Area Yard Sales— Bowler area. Fri., 8 a.m.–5 p.m.; Sat. 8 a.m.–2 p.m. Food for sale at the church. Maps available at JPP’s and Kropf’s.

18 Pie & Ice Cream Social—Eau Claire. Christ Church Cathedral, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Sloppy Joe lunch also available.

19 Classic Car Club Car Show—Menomonie. Dunn County Rec Park, 8 a.m.–2 p.m. Free for spectators; show cars $10. Food trucks on site.

25 Pancake Breakfast and Spring Opening— Menomonie. Downsville Community Museum, 8–11 a.m. Homemade buttermilk pancakes, fruit toppings, real maple syrup. Free will donation.

25 Flea & Craft Market—Coloma. Community Park, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. Crafts, antiques, collectibles, rummage, flea market items, produce, baked goods, and more. Food and beverages available. Visit the Spalding Store & Carriage House Museum next door to the market.

27 The Highground Honor Ride—Neillsville. The Highground Veterans Memorial Park, 7 a.m.–5 p.m. Several route starting points around Wisconsin. Short fuel stops on scenic routes. All routes converge at the American Legion in Neillsville for raffles and then riders travel together to The Highground to be welcomed by a flag line, lunch, and a 3 p.m. Memorial Day Ceremony. Advance registration online. 715-743-4224.

27 Memorial Day Dinner—Jump River. Community Center, 11 a.m.–1:30 p.m. Chicken, polish sausage w/kraut, potatoes, vegetable, desserts, milk, and coffee.

Upload events directly to the wecnmagazine.com through the “Events” tab.

Wisconsin Events is a public service for our readers. Due to space limits, we may need to eliminate details, so be sure to include a phone number (with area code) where callers may obtain more info. If we receive more listings than space allows us to print, we reserve the right to select those we believe will be of interest to the greatest number of readers. Please no virtual events. Events can also be mailed to: WECN, Events, 6405 Century Avenue, Suite 102, Middleton, WI 53562-2200.

DEADLINE: 1st of the month prior to the month in which the event is to appear.

Upload events to wecnmagazine.com

Send photos of kids with animals, along with a brief description, to WECN Magazine, 6405 Century Avenue, Suite 102, Middleton, WI 53562-2200. 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 wecnmagazine.com 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.

Upload photos directly to wecnmagazine.com through the

“Submit a photo” tab.


Electrical outlets are not overloaded with multiple power strips and devices.

Electrical cords are not causing a trip hazard or placed under rugs or carpet.

Smoke alarms are working.

Smoke alarms are installed in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the house.

All light switches are working properly.

Practicing safety near electricity can save lives, and we want you to spread the important message of safety. With the help of an adult, complete the checklist below then cut out the badge to show you care about electrical safety.

Kids and Critters May
& 2. Jesse and Tori cannot get enough puppy snuggles. Photos submitted by Cara Schmude, a member of Central Wisconsin Electric. 3. Aleece, plus a calf, equals pure happiness. Photo submitted by Maritere Sedelbauer, a member of Jackson Electric.
2 3 1
31 wecnmagazine.com May 2024
Safety Ambassador Checklist
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