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April 2012

A Classic Tractor Collector

WHAT WE DO: MEMBERS OF CONSUMER-OWNED ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES are connected by more than electricity. They’re connected by a network of people—starting at their local electric co-op where men and women are working hard to energize communities and rural economies across the West. Working together, the electric co-op network is able to produce and deliver the reliable, affordable electricity that’s an essential part of everyone’s lives. Along with providing the power that helps communities thrive, electric co-ops deliver value to their members by offering energy efficiency products and programs, investing in local renewable energy projects and staying steadfast to their long-standing commitment to the communities they serve. In the cooperative spirit, electric co-ops banded together decades ago, pooled their resources and with a common goal, formed their own power supply cooperative. Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association is a wholesale electric power supplier owned by the 44 electric cooperatives that it serves. Tri-State generates and transmits electricity to its member systems throughout a 200,000 square-mile service territory across Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming. Ultimately serving a population of 1.5 million consumers, Tri-State was founded in 1952 by its member systems to provide a reliable, cost-based supply of electricity. Headquartered in Westminster, Colo., approximately 1,200 people are employed by Tri-State throughout its four-state service area. Tri-State’s power is generated through a combination of owned baseload and peaking power plants that use coal and natural gas as their primary fuels, supplemented by purchased power, federal hydroelectricity allocations and renewable resource technologies. Tri-State’s mission is to provide its member-owners a reliable, cost-based supply of electricity while maintaining a sound financial position through effective utilization of human, capital and physical resources in accordance with cooperative principles. As consumer-owned electric cooperatives, Tri-State and its 44 member distribution systems are independent electric utilities, owned by the members they serve. Democratically governed businesses, electric cooperatives are closely regulated by their consumers, who value and benefit from the electricity that energizes their communities. The unique geographic and system load diversity that characterizes the Tri-State network provides strength to the association. Tri-State’s members serve a variety of seasonal loads in a territory from northern Wyoming to southern New Mexico and across the Rocky Mountains. Tri-State takes seriously its responsibility and works closely with its member systems to protect member-owners—regardless of class, affiliation or association—from market, operational, financial and regulatory uncertainties affecting power production and transmission capabilities. The cooperative business model’s democratic structure provides for self-regulation and governance by and for its members. Decisions are made at the local level by members of the co-op in the best interests of the organization and its membership. Since co-ops are governed and operated by the people and for the people, the sense of independence is a vital component of co-ops’ can-do attitude. Tri-State’s self-reliance has helped secure and maintain an efficient and stable electric generating resource portfolio and transmission network. A concerted effort is made to manage the numerous risks that are inherent in the electric utility industry while developing future resource options that provide a measure of long-term certainty. Although the majority of its operational and resource planning activities are carried out in an autonomous manner, Tri-State’s board and management stringently abide with the various regulatory and compliance processes in place while pursuing opportunities that ultimately provide the greatest benefit to the membership. As their wholesale power supplier, Tri-State works closely with its 44 member systems on a number of different fronts—from planning and constructing needed transmission infrastructure, to developing local renewable energy projects, to creating and implementing energy efficiency programs and products. Although independent by nature, the cooperative business model is made stronger from co-ops’ ability and willingness to work together toward common goals. Cooperatives are committed to the communities in which they reside and that they serve. Not only do electric co-ops energize communities with a reliable, not-for-profit supply of electricity, but they also drive economic development, fund scholarships, support local charities and work to make life better in the areas they serve. Tri-State’s job is to keep the lights on for its 44 member co-ops and the people they serve, providing them with a long-term reliable, affordable and responsible supply of electricity – today and for years to come. Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association • P.O. Box 33695 • Denver, CO 80233 • Wholesale power supplier to 44 electric cooperatives in Colorado, New Mexico, Nebraska and Wyoming.



Together, we deliver the electricity that’s essential to life here in the West.

Volume 66, Number 4, April 2012

“The Rural Voice of Nebraska”

Staff Editor Wayne Price Editorial Assistant Kathy Barkmeier

Contents Features

A Classic Tractor Collector


Published by the

Visit us at

Duane “Tub” Drohman of Ruskin, Neb. has put together an impressive collection of Massey-Harris tractors and memorabilia. He has seven buildings filled with everything from tractors to toys, owner’s manuals and lots and lots of parts.

General Manager Jay Holmquist President Gary Dill, Roosevelt Public Power District Vice President/Secretary Randy Papenhausen, Cedar-Knox Public Power District

Farm Vacations: Getting back to nature Farm stays, which can include ranches and wineries, range from simple, country-style digs to elegant retreats. Freelance writer Karen Olsen House explains how the trend to re-discover nature is taking people out of the cities and back to the farm.

Treasurer Ron Jensen Loup Valleys Rural Public Power District Published monthly by the Nebraska Rural Electric Association, 1244 K Street, Box 82048, Lincoln, Nebraska 68501, (402) 475-4988.

Advertising in the Rural Electric Nebraskan does not imply endorsement for products by the Nebraska Rural Electric Association. Correspondence should be sent to Wayne Price, Editor, Rural Electric Nebraskan, Box 82048, Lincoln, NE 68501. The Rural Electric Nebraskan is printed by Jacob North Companies, Box 82046, Lincoln, NE 68501. Form 3579 should be sent to the Rural Electric Nebraskan, Box 82048, Lincoln, NE 68501. Periodicals postage paid at Lincoln, Neb. POSTMASTER: send address changes to the Rural Electric Nebraskan, 1244 K Street, Box 82048, Lincoln, NE 68501. Publication numbers are USPS 071-630 and ISSN 0193-4937. Rates: $10 for one year; $15 for two years; $20 for three years, plus local and state tax.

April 2012


Departments EDITOR’S PAGE












On the cover Duane “Tub” Drohman of Ruskin, Neb. has been collecting Massey-Harris tractors most of his life. See related story on Page 6. Photograph by Wayne Price.



Planting a bit of green in your backyard ost people don’t realize that trees can help reduce your monthly energy bill. A few trees planted in the right places can save the average family between $100 and $250 in energy costs annually. Trees that shade a home absorb some of the sun’s radiant energy and reduce the need for air conditioning. Planting deciduous trees on the east and west side of the house will result in the highest savings. Trees on the east side will block the morning sun and those on the west side will shade the house in the afternoon during the months of June, July, and August. It is recommended to use trees with a mature height of at least 25 feet located 10 to 20 feet to the east and west of the house. You can also plant smaller trees or evergreen trees to the northwest and northeast of the home to create late afternoon and early morning shade. If you plant trees on the south side of the house, they will provide shade in the summer if they extend out over the roof. Unfortunately, during the winter they will block the sun’s rays that are needed to help reduce heating costs. To prevent wintertime overshading, remember to plant trees about 2 1/2 times their mature height away from the house to the south. Trees planted to the southeast or southwest should be about four times their mature height from the house. It’s also a good idea to consider planting trees to provide shade on paved or asphalted areas. Heat from the sun is absorbed by dark asphalt, causing the air to be heated. Light colored pavement, such as concrete, typically absorbs less energy, but the heat can still be directed towards the home. Air conditioners should also have shade between the hours of mid-morning and evening. Just remember not to plant trees or shrubs so close to the unit that they block air flow. This will reduce the unit’s cooling efficiency. Keep tree branches pruned back to allow several feet clearance around the unit. Trees can also be effective at reducing energy use for heating by blocking cold winter winds. Wind can infiltrate homes through small openings and carry heat away from the home's outer surfaces. Windbreak trees that have the most effect have crowns that extend


by Wayne Price

Follow me @RENeditor 4

to the ground and branches that keep their foliage in winter. Junipers, spruces, firs, and evergreen shrubs are good choices for winter wind protection. For best results plant these trees upwind of the area to be protected from the wind. This means finding locations to the west, northwest and north side of the home. Be aware that other factors, such as hills and other tree lines, may cause winter winds to come from other directions. Most experts agree that windbreak trees should be planted in straight or slightly curved rows. They can also be located in linear groupings. Windbreaks should include one or two dense rows or several rows which are less dense. Trees should be close enough so the crown edges meet within a few years without overcrowding. Protection from windbreaks extends up to 20 times the height of the trees. This means the trees do not have to be planted close to the home to make an impact. Just remember that drifting snow will be the worst downwind at two to three times the windbreak height. An additional snow fence may be necessary to control where the snow deposits. Trees should be located far enough away from buildings, driveways and sidewalks so the tree crown has room to grow. Before you plant any tree or shrub, you should be aware of what the mature crown width will be. Trees that can easily be pruned as they grow can be planted closer and allowed to overhang low obstructions. Vines can also shade walls during their first growing season. A lattice or trellis with climbing vines, or a planter box with trailing vines, creates shade to the home's perimeter while still allowing cooling breezes to reach the shaded area. Always consider the location of power lines when planting a tree. Never plant a tree directly under a power line. Trees that grow into the lines are extremely dangerous and can cause electrical outages. They can also result in increased maintenance costs for your local electric utility. Planting a little greenery in the right spots around your home can result in putting a little “green” back in your pocketbook.

Rural Electric Nebraskan

Reichenberg receives NREA top safety honor Reichenberg, Line uss Superintendent at Northwest Rural Public Power District, has been selected as the recipient of the 2011 Jack McEnerney Award by the Nebraska Rural Electric Association’s Job Training & Safety Committee. This award is given to a superintendent, foreman, or lineman employed by Russ Reichenberg one of the 34 Line Superintendent rural electric Northwest RPPD member systems of the Nebraska Rural Electric Association for their work and the betterment of linemen through job training and safety. The Jack McEnerney Award is a floating-type plaque and is presented annually at the Job Training & Safety Conference. The final selection of the contestants is conducted by the Job Training & Safety Committee and NREA Job Training & Safety Coordinator Bob Cooper. Reichenberg has been the Northwest RPPD Safety Director for 30 years. As a result, Northwest RPPD has exceeded 500,000 hours “No Time Lost� record. He has been an active member of NREA’s JT&S Committee three times, twice as Chairman. Rolland Skinner, Northwest RPPD general manager, nominated Reichenberg for the award because of his leadership and efforts to share his safety knowledge with others. “Russ has been instrumental in establishing and administering Northwest’s Apprenticeship program and many employees have become journeyman lineman under his direction,� Skinner said. “Russ is a highly respected member of the Hay Springs community and is very deserving of the Jack McEnerney Award.�


April 2012

NREA elects new officers to board ary Dill, a director with Roosevelt Public Power District in Mitchell, Neb., has been elected statewide board president of the Nebraska Rural Electric Association. Dill currently serves as the board treasurer at Roosevelt PPD. He lives in Scottsbluff with his wife, Dyanne.


President Gary Dill Roosevelt PPD

Randy Papenhausen, board secretary with Cedar-Knox Public Power District in Hartington, Neb., was elected statewide board vice-president; and Ron Jensen, board president at Loup Valleys Rural Public Power District in Ord, Neb., was elected statewide board treasurer. Each office is a two-year term.

Vice-President Randy Papenhausen Cedar-Knox PPD

Treasurer Ron Jensen Loup Valleys RPPD


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A Classic Tractor Collector D

uane “Tub” Drohman of Ruskin, Neb. knows his way around a Massey-Harris tractor. He has been collecting them most of his life. And after 79 years he has quite the collection. The crown jewels of his collection are a pair of tractors -- a Massey-Harris 333 serial #1 (20001) and a MasseyHarris 444 serial #1 (70001). These tractors were the first ones off the production line for that particular model. Having one is rare, Drohman said, but having two is unheard of. The tractors are among several that have been restored and sit on display in Drohman’s Massey-Harris museum on Main Street in Ruskin. Drohman converted the former John Deere Implement dealership building into a red and gold shrine, complete with a neon sign that lights up the nighttime sky. Drohman collects everything Massey-Harris he can get his hands on. His collection includes signs, advertising, brochures, owner’s manuals, parts catalogs, toys and creamers. He also has some MasseyHarris lawn furniture. He even has the first issues of two tractor magazines, “Massey-Harris-Ferguson Legacy” and “Antique Power.” About the only thing in the museum that isn’t Massey-Harris related is the cat, Squeaky. The gray, long-haired cat can be seen lounging in a sun-soaked tractor seat on most days. His fascination with this particular brand of tractor began when he was helping his father farm in the area. The farm has been in his family since his ancestors settled from Switzerland in the 1820s. His father had traded a team of mules for an Allis Chalmers tractor in 1937. He bought a Massey-Harris 30 in 1950. Drohman has farmed, served in the U.S. Army, and worked at nearly all the grain elevators in the area at one time or another. He also worked at the old concrete plant near Superior, Neb. Drohman bought a used Massey-Harris 33 in 1958, which he still owns. The only new Massey


he ever purchased was a Massey Ferguson 65 Diesel. He still owns that one, too. Over the years, Drohman has owned more than 200 Massey-Harris and Massey Ferguson tractors. He’s sold

Rural Electric Nebraskan

Massey-Harris 333 Serial #20001 quite a few of them but he’s kept many as well. “I wanted to restore one a year,” he said “but then I realized I’d be 120 by the time I finished what I had.” Massey was founded in 1847 in Newcastle, Ontario by Daniel Massey as the Newcastle Foundry

and Machine Manufactory. The company began making some of the world's first mechanical threshers, first by assembling parts from the United States and eventually designing and building their own equipment. The firm was taken over and expanded by Daniel's eldest son who renamed it the Massey Manufacturing Co. and in 1879 moved the company to Toronto where it soon became one of the city's leading employers. In 1891, Massey merged with the A. Harris, Son & Co. Ltd. to become Massey-Harris Co. and became the largest agricultural equipment maker in the British Empire. In 1953, the company merged with the Ferguson Company to become Massey-Harris-Ferguson, before

April 2012

finally taking on its current name in 1958. Drohman has a few other jewels in his collection. He has a factory custom-modified model 81, which was adapted for quickly pulling World

War II bombers around Allied airfields. The 81 has four forward gears capable of reaching pulling speeds up to 25 miles per hour. He has a few high altitude 44’s and 44 specials. He even has a restored 44 kerosene burning model that is extremely rare. He has tractors with four cylinders, some that have six. He’s got some that have been completely restored, some that are ready to be worked on and some that will be used for parts. His collection is scattered Please turn to page 8


Massey-Harris museum From page 7 throughout Ruskin, from the dealership building to several pole barns that are packed full of tractors. The buildings are cream colored with red trim and have a Drohman MasseyHarris sign on them. “I really like the triple series,” he said. “Those are the ones that had the triple numbers -- the 333’s, 444’s, and 555’s.” Drohman keeps a guest register at the museum to keep track of the visitors over the years. They have come from Denmark, South Africa, Australia and nearly every state in America. Some have come back more than once. He belongs to several MasseyHarris clubs and enjoys traveling to shows around the country. He tries to attend a few shows each year to visit with old friends and see what he can pick up for the museum.

Above: Drohman stores his tractors in seven separate buildings in Ruskin, Neb. Below: The first production model of the 444 series is in Tub Drohman’s Massey-Harris collection. Photographs by Wayne Price “I really enjoy meeting people that collect Massey-Harris,” he said. The museum is open by appointment. You just have to ask. Most

days you can find him drinking tea across the street at “The Broken Spoke”, Ruskin’s one and only watering hole.

Massey-Harris 444 Serial #70001


Rural Electric Nebraskan

North Platte gas station installs LED canopy lights witching to high efficiency lighting will mean a reduction in energy demand for a gas station in North Platte, Neb. R&C Petroleum President R. Todd Schwindt, owner of the U-Fillem Gas Station located at 523 E. 4th Street in North Platte, Neb., contracted with Brite Energy Solutions to upgrade their canopy light fixtures from 320 watt metal halide canopy lights to International Light Technologies 33 watt LED CanopyLights. “The installation was simple and the light is bright and gives the customer a good sense of security when purchasing fuel in the evening and night,” Schwindt said. “We are looking forward to the savings in electrical cost and reduced maintenance. We plan to work with Brite Energy Solutions in the future to change all of our stores over to the LED fixtures.”


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Know What’s

Below Diggers Hotline protects you and the utility services you depend on

s a way to protect the public and the underground utility infrastructure that supplies essential services such as electricity, telephone, emergency 911 service and natural gas, the One-Call Notification Act was passed in 1994. The system that was created is designed to provide an easy, no cost solution for an individual to excavate anywhere in the state with the knowledge of the underground utilities that may be located in the proposed excavation site. Making the call to what is commonly called the “Digger’s Hotline” not only protects the excavator from the physical harm that could happen as a result of digging into an underground utility, but it also protects the pocketbook of the excavator by avoiding any fines or repair costs associate with damaging an underground utility. The Digger’s Hotline is essentially your “one-stop-shop” to



notify any and all owners of underground utilities. This free service saves you from needing to notify each utility individually. Don't gamble with your safety — if you're a professional excavator or a homeowner, smart digging always requires a free call to 811. Whether you're planting a tree or shrub, or installing a fence, deck or pool, every job requires a call to the Digger’s Hotline — even if you've called before for a similar project. The depth of utility lines varies, and there may be multiple utility lines

in one common area. Marked lines show you the approximate location of underground lines and help prevent undesired consequences such as injury, service disruptions to individuals and communities, or costly fines and repair costs. There are over 1,000 member utilities of the Digger’s Hotline. The service is free to you and is paid for by the utility owners. In an average year the call center will receive more than 260,000 calls for locates. How does it work? Anyone in Nebraska who plans to dig for any reason, contacts the Digger’s Hotline by phone, fax or email. The simplest way is to make the free call to 811 anytime from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. There is also a toll free number 800331-5656 or notice can be made anytime 24 hours a day, seven days a week, online at Requests made after 6

Rural Electric Nebraskan

pm or on weekends and holidays, will be processed after 7:00 a.m. the next business day, unless there is an emergency. Even in an emergency situation you can call 811, 24 hours a day, seven days a week for assistance. When you call tell the operator where you're planning to dig, what type of work you will be doing, they will do the rest. The Digger’s Hotline call center will notify all of the affected local utilities about your intent to dig. Within 48 hours, not counting Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, the utilities will send a locator to mark the locations of their underground lines, pipes and cables, so you'll know what's below - and be able to dig safely. Often, the operator may be able to tell you that there are no utilities in your proposed dig area and you can begin excavating immediately. What they won’t be able to do is mark the lines that you own. Your own service lines will need to be located by you or a private contractor. The law does provide an exemption for typical agricultural practices, but even for farming activities, individuals are strongly encouraged to contact the Digger’s Hotline. In the agricultural community, the need for the Digger’s Hotline has evolved over the years, along with the technologies use in the farm and ranch industries. The sophisticated equipment used by farmers and ranchers today allows for more cost effective yields and improved farm/ranch management. These beneficial practices may also increase the opportunity for coming into contact with underground utilities due to the mechanical nature, dept of excavation and, in many cases, third party service providers soil sampling and conducting other land management activities on ground they are not familiar with. By making the call and allowing for the utilities to mark their underground service locations, the farmer or rancher and third party service providers are protected both physically and financially. The statutory exemption from making the call to

April 2012

the Digger’s Hotline, does not provide an exemption from the excavator’s strict liability when underground utilities are damaged. Many underground utilities may be found just inside the property lines of agricultural ground and not in the public right-of-way. When building fence along a property line it is very important to make the free call just to be safe. Nebraskans who fail to notify Digger’s Hotline prior to breaking ground are subject to penalties that range from $500 to $10,000 per day. Strict liability goes to the digger for failing to make the call. Apart from the financial damages, the result of coming into contact with and underground electric distribution line carrying up to 12,500 volts or the explosive results cause by breaking a gas line, could be fatal. Cutting through communication cables could disrupt 911 services for an entire community. Why take a chance? The call is free.


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Farm Vacations Getting back to nature

by Karen Olson House

esidents of Nebraska probably take for granted the special qualities associated with agriculture. Most of us grew up on a farm or had a job at some point that was tied to crops or animals. We know what it is like to grow our own food. The only food some people may ever see is at the grocery store, packaged on shelves and frozen in bins. The only pasture they may see is on TV, and their only animal a dog or cat. In fact, this is true for more and more adults around the country today, who feel disengaged from nature in general and who express a wish for a more peaceful way of life. Enter the farm stay: a great way to get back in touch with nature, and you don’t have “buy the farm” to visit one. The idea of a “farm stay” is a relatively young concept in the



United States. Although solid national statistics about U.S. farm vacations are difficult to obtain, there is much anecdotal evidence that more Americans are interested in them and that the number of U.S. farms that offer them are increasing, due partly to agritourism efforts to boost income and raise awareness about locally sourced food. Farm stays, which can include ranches and wineries, range from simple, country-style digs to elegant retreats. Each is unique to its site, its working operations and its owners. You might sleep in a farmhouse guest room, cabin, cottage, converted barn, or even a tent near a creek. Generally, guests should not expect high-thread counts and high teas — while farms can be very hospitable, they aren’t fancy hotels. Prices per night vary but generally start around $75 and up, with many stays priced to what a bed-and-breakfast stay would cost in the area ($100$125 or so).

Guests don’t have to do chores. But if they wish to, guests can help gather eggs and feed chicken, or milk cows and groom horses. There are many opportunities for farm stays right here in Nebraska. One option can be found near Burwell, Neb. at the 1+1 Ranch, owned and operated by Jerry and Tammy Rowse. The 1+1 Ranch, a customer of Loup Valleys Rural Public Power District, is a real working cattle and quarter horse ranch that comprises over 7000 acres of prime ranch land near Burwell, Nebraska. Located just 80 miles from Grand Island, it’s an area of breathtaking beauty in the heart of the Sand Hills. So if you’ve ever wanted to experience life on a real cattle ranch, come experience the hospitality that only the sand hills people can provide. Stay at the Rowses 1+1 Ranch where from the moment you arrive you are family. You’ll take home a heart full of memories to last a life-

Rural Electric Nebraskan

time — or at least till the next time you visit! Whether you stay for a week or a month, your vacation or holiday at Rowse’s 1+1 Ranch will be as unique as you are. You can fulfill your cowboy dreams at the authentic working cattle ranch, not a dude ranch or the normal guest Ranch resort. The 1+1 Ranch is an adults only ranch — guests must be 18 or older. They only accept 5 to 10 guests a week. Call (308) 346-5530 for reservations or visit for more information. Another possibility is the Down Home Ranch House, near Crawford, Neb. Nestled in the whispering pines and surrounded by canyons and rolling hills this rental home is a one of a kind experience. Guests can stay in the 4-bedroom, 2- bathroom Ranch House lovingly called Down Home, owned and operated by Bud and Sandy Hamaker. This newly painted newly remodeled 2-story dream house has everything you need to get away from it all. Down Home is fully equipped with everything you need to stay for two nights or a whole month. The ranch is a customer of Northwest Rural Public Power District. Dining, night life, golfing, Fort

A young guest proudly shows off eggs in a basket during morning chores. Photograph by Scottie Jones

April 2012

The Down Home Ranch House offers a one-of-a-kind vacation experience. Photograph by Sandy Hamaker. Robinson and exciting 4th of July experiences around are just a few of the local activities. Day trips include the Black Hills of South Dakota, going to the lake or visiting a museum. There is something for everyone on the ranch. Rates depend on the number of adults, children, length of stay and type of stay, starting as low as $38.75 per Adult. They are always looking for extra ranch hands to help with the chores. It doesn't matter if you have any experience or not...You're hired! Bring work clothes and be prepared to get a little dirty because they will put you to work. Activities you can participate in if you want to include: Feeding Cows/Horses and Breaking Ice (All Winter) Calving Cows (Mid March to Late April) Branding (Early May) Cattle Drive (Mid May and Nov) Fixing Fence (May to June) Farming (May to June) Putting Up Hay (July to August) Checking Water and Putting Out Salt and Mineral (All Summer Long) Pregnancy Checking, Vaccinations and Selling Calves Call (602) 620-5755 for reserva-

tions or visit for more information. One question to ask yourself: Do you want to do hands-on chores or simply relax? Smell fresh hay or see how wines are grown? Taste a particular food such as goat cheese? What kind of experiences would you like? Some proprietors use the term “farm stays” loosely, and their farm is more like a vacation rental that happens to have chickens nearby. If you want a working operation, use a website listing portal such as, designed to connect guests with working farm and ranch stays across the U.S. Scottie Jones launched it in 2010 with 340 listings, and in early 2012 it listed 950-plus stays. The Advanced Search feature lets you check boxes for “pets” and “children.” (Some farms welcome kids to stay free, while others don’t allow them at all.) A farm’s own website usually describes rooms, activities, and amenities. Hosts who allow chore participation usually mention it in their descriptions. If you are unsure as to whether or not a particular farm is right for you, call or email the host.


A camp for kids who like to think ach year member systems of the Nebraska Rural Electric Association accept applications from area high school students to attend the NREA Youth Energy Camp at the State 4-H Camp in the Halsey National Forest. The 2012 Youth Energy Camp will be held July 9 - 13. The popular week-long camp is set up to give young people a better understanding of electricity, power generation and the rural electric program. Our goal is to offer a program that challenges participants educationally, recreationally and socially. The Youth Energy Camp is established as an operating power district and provides a “hands-on” approach to member-owned businesses. The students will join other high school students from Nebraska and Wyoming, along with adult counselors and junior counselors. The adult counselors are employees of rural electric systems who donate their time and talents to the camp. The junior counselors are selected by their peers to return to next year’s camp. On the first day of camp, a board of directors is elected to oversee the


operation of the newly formed electric power district. The board then chooses a general manager to oversee the committee activities and act as a liaison between the counselors and campers.

and have a week of fun! Every participant has a role in the workings of the camp. Students can participate in the Ambassador competition or actively seek a position on the Board of Directors. Each student must also volunteer to serve on at least one of the committees responsible for various aspects of the camp activities. There is even a talent show where the campers can show off their various talents. A highlight of the camp involves a tour of the Kingsley Hydro Station at Lake McConaughy and Gerald Gentleman Station, a coal-fired power plant at Sutherland, Neb. High school students who attend the energy camp may compete for a

chance to participate in the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s Youth Tour in Washington D.C. with expenses paid by the Nebraska Rural Electric Association. Three students are chosen as part of the Ambassador competition held during camp. The competition involves submitting an application at camp, presenting a self-introduction speech and delivering a five-minute speech on an assigned topic. Each camper votes for three candidates following the speech with the top male, top female and person with the next highest vote total becoming next year’s ambassadors. The top six finalists and ties are invited to return to next year’s Youth Energy Camp as junior counselors. Recreational activities include basketball, volleyball and canoeing. Camp expenses and transportation are provided by each sponsoring rural electric system. High school freshmen, sophomores and juniors whose families are customers of NREA member systems may apply. For more information about attending Youth Energy Camp, send the form below to your rural electric provider.

2012 Youth Energy Camp RSVP Form Name _________________________________________________ Age _______ Current Grade _______________________________ Address _______________________________________________ Phone number (____)______________________________________ City __________________________ State _____ ZIP __________ Name of parents or guardian ________________________________ Sponsoring rural electric system __________________________________________

April 2012



Watch out for overhead power lines around the farm t is very important to keep your distance from overhead power lines. Each year, construction and farm workers are injured or killed because they have accidentally made contact with the high voltage lines that pass overhead. To prevent this from happening to you, pre-plan your job. Go out to the area you plan to move large equipment into, stack bales within, or where irrigation pipe will be laid, and look around for overhead wires and electric poles. Then plan your job around them. Remember, high voltage power lines are not insulated. Also, be aware that there are laws that prohibit any work within six feet of lines that carry between 600 and 50,000 volts, and require a minimum distance of 10 feet from these lines when operating boom-type lifting equipment. Changing temperatures during the spring can cause power line clearances to change as well. “Power line clearances change with fluctuations in air temperature, so it is important to verify safe clearances,” said Bob Cooper, NREA Job Training and Safety Coordinator. “Clearances on driveways and over



land not normally used as a roadway may have ground to line clearances as low as 11.5 feet.” It is important to be aware that the following types of farm machinery can accidentally brush or get hung up in overhead power lines while in use or being moved: • Tractors with front-end loaders. • Portable grain augers. • Fold-up cultivators. • Moving grain elevators. • Irrigation pipes. • Equipment with antennas. When you’re working or performing

other activities around the farm or ranch, watch out for overhead electrical lines. Know where power lines are located and treat all overhead power lines as though they are bare and uninsulated. Keep all equipment away from overhead lines. It’s a good idea to know what to do if equipment you are operating comes in contact with an overhead power line. Don’t panic! • Stay on the equipment, unless there is a fire. • Ask for someone to immediately contact the local utility company to remove the danger. • If there is an emergency such as an electrical fire and you must leave the equipment, jump as far away from the equipment as possible. Do not allow any part of your body to touch the equipment and the ground at same time. Shuffle away from where you jumped; do not take large strides. Too large a step could put each foot in a different voltage zone and electrocute you. • Once away from the equipment, never attempt to get back on or even touch it. Many electrocutions occur when the worker dismounts, then gets back on the equipment.

Rural Electric Nebraskan

Irrigation reference book available n industry classic, Irrigation, Sixth Edition represents the most comprehensive reference book ever published on irrigation systems, technologies and practices. Since the last publication of Irrigation, Fifth Edition in 1983, there have been many changes in irrigation technology and the industry. New products have arisen, and new practices have evolved for a changing world. These changes are captured in this new publication. Irrigation, Sixth Edition is: • critical for promoting efficient irrigation technologies, products, and services for the production of food, fiber and fuel, and to help maintain the landscapes where we live. • the most up-to-date compilation of irrigation topics, divided into 30 chapters, covering agricultural, landscape, turfgrass and other applications of irrigation systems. • a must-have reference for all water managers and those interested in seeking certification or advancing their professional knowledge. New and expanded chapters on: • Water sources and water quality for irrigation, as well as the subsequent impacts on the equipment and systems used to deliver the water. • Economic analysis to make better decisions about implementing pressurized and mechanized irrigation systems. • Using microirrigation for agricultural and landscape applications. • Performance auditing procedures for irrigation systems to optimize equipment performance and enhance irrigation efficiency. • Planning and designing irrigation systems. • The role of efficient irrigation in managing and conserving water resources and its implications in growing food, feed, fiber and maintaining and enhancing living spaces. The book is available online at


April 2012

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Save with Do-It-Yourself outdoor lighting by James Dulley

efficient outdoor lighting Q :byI need my deck and landscaping. I need something simple to install, so I thought about low-voltage lights. Are low-voltage lights efficient, and what types are best? : I am a fan of low-voltage resi-

A dential lighting, and I use it in

my own landscaping and gardens around my house. As you mentioned, the big advantage of low-voltage lighting is you can install it yourself and eliminate the professional installation expenses. There is a huge variety of styles and accessories available at nearly every home center and hardware store. Another related advantage is your family’s safety around low-voltage lighting. When you work in your landscaping and gardens as much as I do, you do not have to worry about the risk of electrocution when digging with metal garden tools. I think every avid gardener has, at least one time, accidentally cut through wire insulation while working in the garden. Because the wires on the ground carry only 12 volts, you will not be shocked if you nick one. The energy efficiency of low-voltage lighting is fairly similar to standard line-voltage (120 volts) outdoor lighting. There may be slightly more electricity used because of transformer inefficiencies and higher current in the wiring, but it is not a significant difference for most systems. If you are interested in brightly lighting a large area, line-voltage lighting fixtures, such as low pressure sodium, are your most efficient choice. The newest and most energy efficient low-voltage landscaping lighting uses super-efficient LEDs (light emitting diodes) instead of standard incandescent bulbs. This type of light-


ing technology is becoming more common even for standard indoor lamps. LEDs are still considerably more expensive than other lighting alternatives, but they use less than onefifth as much electricity as equivalent incandescent bulbs. They also last at least 10 times longer. The light from LEDs is more directional than from incandescent bulbs, so multiple LEDs

This composite deck railing has builtin low voltage lights under the post caps and in the balusters. Photograph provided by TimberTech are often used inside one fixture for broader lighting patterns and brightness. Each low-voltage LED fixture may use as little as one watt of electricity compared to about 11 watts from a typical snap-in wedge-base low-voltage bulb. Some of the brighter fixtures, such as bollards, use a twowatt LED, and floodlights use three LEDs. The light quality from LEDs is very white and pleasing. The most difficult part of installing a low-voltage lighting system is making sure the total wattage of the all the fixtures on a line does not exceed the rated output of the transformer. The maximum 12-volt output wattage will be listed on the transformer, and the instructions for the

fixtures should list their individual wattages. If you buy a prepackaged low-voltage lighting kit, it will include the proper size transformer for the number and types of lights. If you add more or assemble your own lighting kit, be careful not to exceed the transformer’s output maximum or ever go above 300 watts. If a lighting layout requires more than 300 watts, do not connect two transformers together. Set up two separate wiring layouts to stay below 300 watts on each. When purchasing a low-voltage system or the components to put your own system together, select a transformer with a built-in mechanical or electronic timer or photo-eye control. These are common in many kits and easy to find. With a timer, there is no chance of leaving the lights on all night and wasting electricity. The most convenient are photo-eye controlled transformers. With a standard mechanical timer, if the electric power goes off temporarily, the timer motor also stops so the on/off sequence will be incorrect and need to be reset. A photo-eye control has many sequencing options. One of the more convenient and efficient is “on” at dusk, “off” in a set number of hours (six, eight, 10). For security, an “on” at dusk, “off” at dawn is a good option but uses more electricity. You will probably select a variety of path, deck, and floodlights to meet most of your landscape lighting needs. For much of the general lighting where the fixture is not noticeable, inexpensive plastic fixtures are fine. For more exposed areas, decorative metal fixtures with stained and etched glass are attractive. Another attractive option is natural wood fixtures.

Send inquiries to James Dulley, Rural Electric Nebraskan, 6906 Royalgreen Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45244 or visit

Rural Electric Nebraskan

Tri-State adds 67 Megawatts of wind power ri-State Generation and Transmission Association has signed a 20-year power purchase agreement to buy the electricity from the state’s newest planned renewable energy resource, the 67megawatt Colorado Highlands Wind project. The facility will be built on a 5,200-acre site in northeast Colorado’s Logan County, within the service territory of Nebraska Rural Electric Association member co-op Highline Electric Association, and is scheduled to be operational by the end of the year. The project will use GE wind turbine generators and will be developed by Colorado Highlands Wind, LLC, which is jointly owned by Alliance Power, Inc. of Littleton, Colo., and GE Energy Financial Services of Stamford, Conn. Financial terms of the contract are being held confidential and were not disclosed. “Increasing the amount of renew-

All prices and promotions are CDC-SRP. *Offer good through 6/30/12 at participating dealers while supplies last. © 2012 STIHL CDC12-1REN22-101238-1


able resources in our energy mix further diversifies our overall generation portfolio,” said Tri-State executive vice president and general manager Ken Anderson. “It not only attracts investment to the communities our member co-ops serve, but it also keeps us on schedule in assisting our members to meet their obligations under state renewable portfolio standards,” he said. “Highline Electric is pleased to be in position to provide service to Colorado Highlands Wind and we’re looking forward to working with them during the construction process,” said Mark Farnsworth, manager of Highline Electric Association. “We also appreciate the economic development opportunities that the project provides in our service territory.” The agreement culminates a process begun in October 2011 when Tri-State issued a request for propos-

als for renewable energy supply, which resulted in nearly 50 responses consisting of a variety of technologies and potential locations. Colorado Highlands Wind will be the third utility-scale renewable energy facility from which Tri- State receives all of the electrical output and renewable energy credits. In 2010 the wholesale power supplier began purchasing the electricity generated at the 51-megawatt Kit Carson Windpower Project in eastern Colorado as well as the 30-megawatt Cimarron Solar Facility in northeastern New Mexico. Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association is a notfor-profit wholesale power supplier to 44 electric cooperatives and public power districts serving approximately 1.5 million consumers throughout a 200,000 square-mile service territory across Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming.







April 2012



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A $5999 CDC-SRP Value! Offer good through

for current promotions




6/30/12 at participating dealers while supplies last.

*“Number one selling brand” is based on syndicated Irwin Broh Research (commercial landscapers) as well as independent consumer research of 2009-2011 U.S. sales and market share data for the gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment category combined sales to consumers and commercial landscapers. 19



Pizza Hot Dish 1 1/2 lb. hamburger 1 chopped onion 1 can Cheddar Cheese soup

2 can pizza sauce 1 (8 oz.) noodles, cook and drain 1 cup Mozzarella cheese

Brown hamburger and onion. Drain grease. Add soup, pizza sauce, and noodles. Mix together and put in casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and continue to bake for another five minutes.

Betty Mustard, Silver Creek, Nebraska

Spaghetti Corn

Cajun Steak Fettuccine 2 pounds Certified Angus Beef sirloin steak (1 1/2-inches thick) 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed 2 teaspoons dried oregano 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1 teaspoon paprika 1 teaspoon black pepper 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt 1 pound fettuccine 2 tablespoons butter 1/4 cup garlic, minced (6 cloves) 1/2 red onion, minced 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Combine fennel seeds, oregano, red pepper flakes, paprika, pepper and salt to create an herb rub. Sprinkle both sides of steak with seasoning and rub into the surface. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain well. Melt butter in large skillet; add garlic and red onion and simmer until tender. Add drained pasta and toss to combine. Remove from heat, sprinkle with parmesan and toss. Place steak on grill over mediumhigh heat. Grill to desired doneness. Transfer steak to cutting board and allow to rest 5 minutes. Slice across the grain into thin strips. Top fettuccine with steak strips.

Recipe provided by the Certified Angus Beef 20

1 (14 3/4 oz.) can cream corn 1 (15 1/4 oz.) can whole corn 1 cup broken Spaghetti – uncooked 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese 1/2 cup melted butter Stir together cream and whole corn, spaghetti, cheese & butter. Pour into buttered dish, and cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 30 minutes more. Yield: 4 to 6 servings. Can substitute different kind of pasta. I like small shell pasta.

Deanie Wagner, Culbertson, Nebraska

Strawberry Dessert 1/2 cup oleo, soft 1/4 cup brown sugar 1 cup flour 3/4 cup chopped walnuts 30 large marshmallows

2/3 cup milk 1 tub Cool Whip 2 pkgs strawberry jello 2 cups boiling water 1 large pkg frozen strawberries

Mix first 4 ingredients well and pat into 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees, then cool. Melt marshmallows into milk. Chill well. Beat Cool Whip into marshmallow mixture. Pour over cooled, baked crust. Dissolve jello in boiling water. Add frozen strawberries. Mix until strawberries thaw, then pour over marshmallow mixture. Chill well.

Wilma Schock, Norfolk, Nebraska

The Rural Electric Nebraskan will pay $25 to any reader who submits a recipe which is selected for publication in the magazine. Be sure to include a mailing address for payment purposes and a phone number in case we need to contact you. Recipes will not be returned and not all recipes will be used. Recipes should be submitted in typewritten or printed form. Send recipes to the Nebraska Rural Electric Association, Rural Electric Nebraskan Recipes, P.O. Box 82048, Lincoln, NE 68501.

Rural Electric Nebraskan

APR-1: SWM, NS, 31, from northeast Nebraska looking to meet a great gal 21-41. I am hard working, occasional drinker, funny, and enjoy the country life. Would like to meet a slender girl that loves the country. Send photo and phone number. APR-2: DWF, 52, 5’4”, medium built. I’m a smoker, occasional drinker from central Nebraska. I’m a little on the shy side but looking for a true gentleman to become friends with and possibly more. I enjoy bowling, dancing, camping, quiet times, being outdoors and animals.

To appear in print The Rural Electric Nebraskan Adult Pen Pal Service is exclusively for member-readers ages 18 and over. To be considered for use, submissions must: (1) Identify rural electric system providing magazine; (2) Include $6 to cover mail forwarding costs; (3) Be 25 words or fewer; (4) Include full name and mailing address (will not be used in magazine); and (5) Be first person, submitted directly by person to receive responses. Acceptance, editing and issue scheduling is at editor’s discretion. Address all submissions to Rural Electric Nebraskan Adult Pen Pal Service, P.O. Box 82048, Lincoln, NE 68501. All responses received by the Adult Pen Pal Service are routed directly, postage paid, to the response number assigned to each submission.

APR-3: Reading this for entertainment or do you want a new friend? I’m 70+, D, Veteran, seeking a woman, 65+ (or less), NC, ND/NS, Non-C/W, N$. I don’t bite! Write & I’ll answer all.

APR-5: WWidF, 68, 5’7”, from northeast Nebraska. Enjoy farm life and animals, camping, eating out, family and grandchildren, gardening, a social drink, country western music, & Nebraska football games. Looking for a companion to do things with. Send phone number. APR-6: DWF, NS, mid 50s, dark eyes, long dark hair, 5’7”, 150 lbs, central Nebraska cowgirl looking for a 50s-60s, NS, farmer/rancher to share good times with. I love horses, trail rides, rodeos, camping, fishing, county fairs, C/W & old rock & roll music, dancing, kids, and animals. What do you enjoy? Please send phone number & photo and we’ll talk.

APR-4: SWM, 42, N/S, farmer, social drinker, never married from central Nebraska. Enjoy hunting, fishing, camping, football and basketball, playing cards, being outdoors, dining out, family and friends, slow dancing. Looking for a young lady for serious relationship. Photo and phone number appreciated.

To write To respond to one of the adult pen pal requests, write letter, place in envelope, seal and affix first class postage. Address to full, correct response #, c/o Rural Electric Nebraskan Adult Pen Pal Service, P.O. Box 82048, Lincoln, NE 68501. Your letter will be forwarded unopened. Do not send money or additional postage; forwarding is prepaid. Enclose your full mailing address for return correspondence. Once again . . . it is very important that all responses carry the full response number—both month and number—to be properly forwarded.

For a FREE color brochure send the ad coupon or call toll free 800-658-7076 or fax 507-462-3211. P.O. Box 116, Minnesota Lake, MN 56068-0116

Abbreviation Code C — Christian; C/W — Country-western; D — Divorced; F — Female; M — Male; NS — Non-Smoker; ND — Non-Drinker; R&R — Rock and roll; S — Single; W — White; Wid — Widowed

April 2012





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Rural Electric Nebraskan

Rural Electric Nebraskan  

The Rural Electric Nebraskan (REN) has been published since January 1947. The role of the REN is to chronicle the benefits and challenges of...