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NOVEMBER 2017 VOL. 18 NO. 7

Art Emerging Page 8-9

Lemmon Artist Reshapes Metal into Art



Fall Bucket List Attending an SDSU Jacks game, check; my Minnesota Twins in the playoffs, check; football season in full swing, check; attending the Garth Brooks Concert, check. With these “important” things checked off my early fall bucket list, I know what comes next is our annual meeting and a busy fall schedule. I would Dick Johnson like to thank all the people CEO/General Manager that attended our annual meeting. Congratulations to Larry Eisenbraun and Chuck Sloan for their re-election to the Board. I look forward to continuing to work with them. Thanks to the 2 challengers who ran; that is the power of cooperative membership; you are members so you can be a part of your cooperative. A heartfelt thanks also goes out to those members who attended our appreciation day events in Enning and Rapid City. In looking at comparisons, both events had increased member attendance. We are already planning for next year’s events. We look forward to any comments you may have. Hats off to our employees who put it all together and worked so hard. As long as I am thanking everyone, we had 400 of our members who recently were a part of a telephone survey conducted for us by Touchstone Energy Services. We greatly appreciate taking time from your busy schedules to answer a few questions. I hear the question many times on why we spend the money to have such a survey. I feel it is very important for us to look at what we are doing right and especially those areas where we could step it up. We also receive a score from the ACSI; American Consumer Satisfaction Index that will show us how we compare to other Touchstone coops, utilities and businesses. We had a great 2 November 2 0 1 7 • COOPERATIVE CONNECTIONS

score last year and are confident it will be good again this year. There is always room for improvement though! I will let you know in the future how our results came out. One of our major projects this year has been the rebuild of the Box Elder substation. It was an old substation that needed upgraded for increased load and had older equipment. This sub was also not as safe as we would like. The substation is being moved slightly from its current location up Radar Hill Road next to our Rushmore transmission sub. We expect the substation to be energized by the end of the year. It will mean higher capacity and new, safer equipment. Our members in that area might also notice our contractors digging in new circuits around the Box Elder area to increase the capacity and reliability too. 682500 I haven’t said much lately on the 2 year anniversary of the Clean Power Plan (CPP). You may recall the CPP would have cut carbon dioxide emissions from coal fired power plants on a state by state basis. It would have had a significant impact on your cooperative and lead to increased rates. In March 2017, President Trump issued an executive order directing the EPA to review the CPP and establish a process to repeal or revise the rule. After consideration of Trump’s order, and a motion by EPA to the Appeals Court to hold the CPP in abeyance, the DC Court of Appeals removed the oral arguments on the upcoming court case. Actual CO2 emissions have gone down just due to plant retirements and especially the increased use from a glut of wind energy and natural gas fired plants. I think most people in the industry would like some sort of rule but a more workable solution. When it comes to the cost of environmental regulations, I noticed a clip the other day that Basin Electric paid about $181 million in expenses for environmental controls and regulation last year alone. I hope you all have a wonderful fall, get those items off your bucket list, and stay safe in your fall activities!

Board of Director Biography

Chuck Sloan - 1 Year I was born and raised in Belle Fourche. My family had ranched in western SD and southeastern MT going back four generations, including the 15 years Nancy and I owned the Cornerstone Ranch. My family had a house in Belle Fourche for convenience, so I spent time going between the Ranch and town. During the Nancy & I with Santa (aka fellow district 2 member). school year I began my first official job as a Shoe Shine Boy when I was 8 years old. I’ve been officially working ever since, having many different jobs to include Construction Laborer, Dairy Farmer, Rancher and for Ivy and Grandpa. the last 34 years serving our nation in the United States Air Force and the Air Force Civil Service. I attended all 12 years of school in the Belle Fourche School District. I met my future wife Nancy Moe in High School in 1977. We were married in 1980 and have two sons C.J. and Clay and are blessed to have a granddaughter Ivy. Our oldest Son C.J. and family live in Gillette, WY where he owns and operates Sloan Engineering Services, LLC. Clay lives in Rapid City where he is a Pharmacist at The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy. With working full time and ensuring I devote enough time to my Board duties, I don’t have much free time, but when I can squeeze in a little time, Nancy and I will take our muscle car for a drive or make trips to Gillette to visit Ivy. I enjoy hunting with my sons when I can make that happen as well. The Board had a vacancy due to a resignation and I I was appointed through an application and interview process and was seated in January 2016. I was recently reelected to a 3 year term at the Annual Meeting. Since being on the Board, I’ve completed my Credentialed Cooperative Director Certificate, and have taken an additional 52 hours of training in order to do the best job I can possibly do in representing the members and carrying out my roles and responsi- Successful BH Deer Hunt. bilities as a Director. Although we are in the midst of evolving technologies and regulatory changes leading to some uncertainty, I believe West River Electric still provides the lowest cost of electricity and the best value around. It takes a huge team effort to make electricity available and reliable, I, along with my fellow Board members work in conjunction with West River Electric’s great employees to continually strive to ensure we provide the lowest possible rates. I’m extremely proud to be a member of this great organization and am always willing to share my thoughts on that topic. I patronize our Commercial Account Members whenever possible, I like to think of it as members helping members. I’m honored and extremely grateful that you have given me this wonderful opportunity to serve and help guide the organization into the future. CJ, Clay, Nancy and I.

COOPERATIVE CONNECTIONS • N o v e mb er 2017 3



Halloween Electrical Safety Halloween haunts usually mean strings of decorative lights, fog machines, strobe and black lights, animatronics, electrically powered decorations and the list goes on. These things all add to the ambience of your haunt, but they also create the added dangers of fire, electrocution and other nasty and potentially disastrous accidents. It is very important that you look for and eliminate potential dangers from your Halloween lights and decorations that could lead to fires and injuries. • Carefully inspect each electrical decoration. Cracked or frayed sockets, loose or bare wires and loose connections may cause a serious shock or start a fire. Discard damaged sets of lights or damaged props that can no longer be used safely. • Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, house walls or other firm supports to protect the lights from wind damage. Use only insulated staples to hold strings in place, not nails or tacks. Or, run strings of lights through hooks (available at hardware stores). Don’t staple or nail through light strings or electrical/extension cords – you could damage the wire or insulation, which could lead to an electrical shock or fire. • Don’t overload extension cords or allow them to run through water or snow on the ground. Before using any light strings, animated displays or other electrical products outdoors, make sure the product is approved by a nationally recognized certification organization and marked for outdoor use. • Use no more than three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord. Don’t use electrical decorations or light strings on materials that could catch fire. It is important to turn off all electrical light strings and decorations before leaving home or going to bed. Follow the use and care instructions that accompany your electrical decorations. • Rule of thumb, most household circuit breakers are rated up to either 10 or 15 amps (you can tell by looking at the breakers themselves) and household current is generally 110 volts. Amps times volts equal the amount of watts that a breaker can handle without tripping. With caution, learn what breakers protect each section of your home and label them. Don’t overload your circuit breakers/fuses. • For added electric shock protection, plug outdoor electric lights and decorations into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters. Portable outdoor GFCIs can be purchased where electrical supplies are sold. GFCIs can be installed permanently to household circuits by a qualified electrician. • Turn off all lights when you go to bed or leave the house. The lights could short out and start a fire. Always have at least one fire extinguisher available and know how to use it. In homes with small children or animals, take special care to avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable. Practice safety, use common sense and you’ll have a happy, memorable Halloween! Source: 4 November 2017 • COOPERATIVE CONNECTIONS

Kids’ Corner Safety Poster “Don’t touch active wires.”

Max Baker, 9 years old Max is the son of Travis and Becki Baker, Fulton, S.D. They are members of Central Electric Cooperative, Mitchell, S.D. Kids, send your drawing with an electrical safety tip to your local electric cooperative (address found on Page 3). If your poster is published, you’ll receive a prize. All entries must include your name, age, mailing address and the names of your parents. Colored drawings are encouraged.



Crockpot Creations Slow Cooker Potato Casserole

Slow Cooker Chocolate Pecan Pie Cake

2 lb. pkg. frozen hash brown potatoes, partially thawed 2 (10 oz.) cans Cheddar cheese soup

1 pkg. (2-layer size) chocolate cake mix 2 tsp. McCormick® Cinnamon, Ground 1 T. plus 2 tsp. McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract, divided

1 (13 oz.) can evaporated milk, undiluted 1 can French-fried onions Salt and pepper to taste

Combine potatoes, soup, milk and half the onions. Pour into a greased slow cooker. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook on LOW 8 or 9 hours or on HIGH for 4 hours. Sprinkle remaining onions over top before serving. Carolyn Saugstad, Alcester

Slow Cooker Corn 2 (16 oz.) bags frozen corn 1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese 1 stick butter

2 T. sugar 2 T. water

Spray inside of 6-quart slow cooker with no stick cooking spray. For the Chocolate Cake, prepare cake batter as directed on package, stirring in cinnamon and 2 tsp. vanilla. Pour into greased slow cooker. Place towel over slow cooker and cover with lid. Cook 2 hours on LOW or until cake is almost set. For the Pecan Pie Topping, sprinkle pecans over cake. Beat remaining ingredients with wire whisk until smooth. Slowly pour over pecans. Cover. Cook 10 minutes longer on LOW. Turn off slow cooker. Carefully remove slow cooker insert and place on wire rack. Cool 20 minutes before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired. Nutritional Information Per Serving: Calories 580, Total Fat 28g, Saturated Fat 7g, Sodium 377mg, Cholesterol 57mg, Carbohydrates 78g, Dietary Fiber 2g, Protein 4g Pictured, Cooperative Connections

Place frozen corn in slow cooker. Cut cheese and butter into small cubes. Add to corn with sugar and water. Cook on HIGH for 45 minutes. Stir with a wooden spoon. Turn to LOW for 3-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Shirley Miller, Winfred

Slow Cooker Whole Chicken 4 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. garlic powder 2 tsp. paprika 1/2 tsp. black pepper 1 tsp. each cayenne pepper, thyme, 1 large roasting chicken onion powder and white pepper In a small bowl, combine spices. Place frozen chicken in slow cooker. Pour seasonings over chicken. Do not add any liquid. Cook on LOW 4 to 8 hours.

Thyen Family Slow Cooker Dressing 1/2 cup parsley 1 cup diced onions 2 (8 oz.) cans mushrooms 2 cups diced celery 1 cup butter 12 to 13 cups of bread crumbs

1-1/2 tsp. sage 1 tsp. poultry seasoning 1 tsp. thyme 4-1/2 cups chicken broth 2 eggs, well beaten

Saute first 4 ingredients in butter. Combine bread crumbs, sage, poultry seasoning and thyme. Mix together all ingredients. Put in slow cooker on HIGH for 45 minutes. Reduce heat to LOW for 4 to 8 hours. Emily Luikens, Tea

Morning Slow Cooker Casserole

Teresa Affeldt, Box Elder

Sweet and Sour Pork 1-1/2 to 2 lbs. pork steak, cut into strips 2 T. canola oil 1 large onion, sliced 1 large green pepper, cut into strips 1 (4 oz.) can mushroom pieces

2 cups chopped pecans 1-1/2 cups light corn syrup 1-1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

1 (2 lb.) bag frozen hash brown potatoes 1 lb. diced, cooked and drained bacon or ham 3/4 cup diced onions 1 green pepper, chopped

1 cup shredded cheese 12 eggs 1 cup milk 1 tsp. salt Pepper to taste

1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce 1 cup brown sugar 2 T. vinegar or Worchestershire sauce 1-1/2 tsp. salt 1 (10 oz.) jar sweet & sour sauce Place layer of frozen hash browns on bottom of slow cooker.

Brown pork in oil; drain. Place all ingredients into slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW 6 to 8 hours. May serve over rice or noodles.

Layer 2 or 3 times the bacon, onions, green peppers, cheese and hash browns; ending with cheese on top. Beat eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour over all; cover. Cook on LOW for 10 to 12 hours.

Patricia Hopkins, Central City, Neb.

Elaine Rowett, Sturgis

Please send your favorite holiday treat, soup and brunch recipes to your local electric cooperative (address found on Page 3). Each recipe printed will be entered into a drawing for a prize in December 2017. All entries must include your name, mailing address, telephone number and cooperative name.


WREA 78th Annual Meeting

Focused on the MemberCommitted to the Community W

est river electric association held our 78th Annual Meeting on Saturday, October 7, 2017 at the Wall Community Center in Wall, SD. Athena Simons, daughter of Sanden and Elaine Simons started the meeting by singing the National Anthem as all stood to salute the flag. President Andy Moon stated “Focused on the Member – Committed to the Community!” A dedicated group of people started our cooperative back in 1939. Since then we have been focused on our member owners while being strongly committed to the communities we serve. He gave an update on the Board of Directors decision to seat Sue Peters to the Board for District 3 after the untimely death of Terry Peters. The Board has an obligation through the bylaws to appoint another member to fill out the unexpired term. He shared with the members that “One of the best ways to show the focus on cooperative membership is through capital credit retirements. This year the Board approved doubling the amount retired when compared to past years. With slightly over $1 million recently approved for retirement, we will retire in full 1985, 1986, and 1987 for $820,000. The remaining $250,000 will be evenly distributed to our current and past members from 1988 to 2016, as we have in the past. This retirement shows the importance

By Veronica Kusser

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of giving back what you have invested in your cooperative. When we say committed to community, it is hard to believe we have retired over $13 million in capital credits to our member owners since the start of the cooperative. That is money that has gone back into the communities we serve. You see the value, and reason, for our focus on the member owner.” We approved our final long range strategic plan, which will help drive our future decision making. We settled on 6 long term goals dealing with our mission statement, enhancing even more our safety program and safety culture, a continued strong focus on member owner communication, a commitment to our ever changing workforce, developing a renewable energy strategy for the future, a focus on a possible small community solar project, and an in-depth look at our rate structures to make certain they are fair for all member owners with other options to keep their bills affordable. President Moon finished up with “We are finalizing a thorough cost of service study. With several Basin Electric power cost increases in 2016, and our own expenses increasing, we are studying what we need to do with our rates and rate structures. Remember, power costs account for over 50% of our expenses. Our own expenses continue to rise on supplies, material, equipment, and labor. Cost containment is at the heart of every decision we make concerning our future.

We will have final decisions shortly on what we will be doing for rates in 2018, so please watch closely for our future communications with you.” CEO Dick Johnson gave an update on the 2016 financials of WREA. He shared that our equity is just over 32% which is up from 31% last year, a slow steady climb over the last 3-5 years. He talked about the annual member survey that was recently done and the opportunities that come from that survey. The survey helps us find areas where we maybe haven’t communicated as well as we should have on what we do. Many times we are able to address issues that come from the survey, which are just a misunderstanding of the policy. The survey also gives us the opportunity to see where we score on the ACSI or American Consumer Satisfaction Index. The average Touchstone Coop scored a 78 compared to West River Electric scoring an 86. He updated the members on the maintenance and tree trimming program that we have had in place the past couple of years leading to service being available 99.97% of the time. We have room for improvement, our goal is 100% of the time. Matt Schmahl gave an update on the added multiple residential developments and multi-family duplexes and apartments that we are adding in 2017. CEO Johnson, had updates on the business of the marketing department, the member events, the work with the demand response program, key accounts program and the visits to the schools. He congratulated Adam Daigle on his completion of the home energy audit certification to better help members manage their energy usage and becoming more efficient. Chris Baumgartner, Senior Vice President of Member Services of Basin Electric, was here to give us an update on what is happening with Basin Electric. They have seen significant growth over the past several years and generation has changed to fit the needs of the required power. The cost of the generation was more significant than anticipated which was the reason for the past rate increases. Going forward they hope rates remain stable over the next couple of years. Coming from a farm and ranch background, being located in ND, Basin Electric prides themselves on being good stewards of the environment. The amount of technology going towards making the coal fired power plants run as efficient as possible has cost Basin a substantial amount of money. Operation Round-Up presentations were awarded to the SD FFA Foundation for $500.00 and the Wall Rodeo Booster

Club received $1000.00. The following employees reached milestones in their employment with West River Electric and were publicly recognized for the years of service. Joel Stephens, Byron Frank, and Ross Johnson - 30 Years, Lane Butler - 25 Years, Dwight

Peterson - 20 Years, Jannette Thayer and Becky Chihak - 15 Years, Amy Thompson and Jenny Patterson - 10 Years each. All told they have 185 years of service to our members. Three incumbent directors were re-elected for a 3 year term, Jerry Hammerquist for District 1 from the Caputa area, Chuck Sloan from the Piedmont area for District 2 and Larry Eisenbraun from Wall from District 3. This was the third year we have offered scholarships to students currently enrolled in furthering their education or high school seniors ready to enroll who were in attendance at the Annual Meeting. Once again the board felt it was a great opportunity to touch the lives of our young people by offering four $500 scholarships. The students in attendance receiving scholarships for the 2018-2019 school year were, Will Housman, Tate Eisenbraun and Damion Bresee all three seniors at Wall High School and Monica Bielmaier - currently enrolled at Chadron State. Congratulations and Best Wishes to them. CEO Johnson thanked the members for attending our annual meeting “Focused on our members - Committed to the Community” because we are Member owned, Member controlled!

COOPERATIVE CONNECTIONS • N o v e mb er 2017 7

Taking Shape

Lemmon Artist Transforms Old Iron into Masterpieces

S Brenda Kleinjan Below: Artist John Lopez stands in front of the his Cow Bossman statue which honors Ed Lemmon. The mural on the wall of the Kokomo Inn was created by Nigerian artists as a background for the sculpture. (Photos Courtesy Artist John Lopez)

tudy one of John Lopez’s hybrid metaL art sculptures long enough, you might just be able to decipher what an individual element’s purpose was. The filigreed piece that forms what looks like a shield on some pieces may have started out as a grate on a stove or in a building. Chains and gear links are formed into various parts of the sculpture. Disc blades give definition to large muscles on a finished horse or buffalo. The finely textured feathers of the peacock? Closer examination shows that they once graced many a dining room table as various patterns of silverware. Whether farm implement or table ware or individual pieces of unidentifiable metal, Lopez’s talented touch transforms that which may have been headed to the scrap yard into stunning pieces of art.


One of the artist’s newest sculptures is that of Ed Lemmon, namesake of the northwestern South Dakota community. Lemmon, atop a horse, stands in the Cow Bossman Square next to Lopez’s Kokomo Gallery in the Kokomo Inn on Main Street in Lemmon, S.D. According to Lopez’s description of the monument, he created the statue primarily using scrap iron donated by local friends and neighbors. The portrait of Ed Lemmon is cast in bronze making this monument a Hybrid Metal Sculpture. It took Lopez about six months to create the work. You can watch out for the revolver and jack knife donated in honor of Alvin Jacobs (a cowboy that inspired John). There are other personal items hidden within the sculpture which are the fingerprints of the community members.

Photo by John Lopez

At the Grand River Museum, many of Lopez’s to win awards. also in Lemmon, Lopez has “Silverware Peacock” was the depicted the grizzly bear attack People’s Choice Award at the anof Hugh Glass. The grizzly bear nual Sculpture in the Hills Show comes to life with chains and in Hill City, S.D. other metal pieces creating the You can find Lopez’s more bear’s fur. Lopez’s portrait of traditional bronze sculptures as Glass depicts the terror of the part of the The City of Presiattack as the ferocious grizzly dents series in Rapid City (John advances. Adams, John F. Kennedy and “The Last Stand” depicts John, Jr., Calvin Coolidge, two bison – one with a likeness Teddy Roosevelt and Ulysses S. of Gen. George Custer and the Grant) or in the Governor’s Trail other with a likeness of Sitting in Pierre (Arthur Mellette and Bull – engaging one another. Harvey Wollman). It is on display at the Kokomo His Hybrid Metal Art can Gallery, which is open Monday be found across the breadth of through Saturdays from May 1 the state and from coast to coast to Oct. 30. as pieces are on display in San Silverware Peacock can be viewed at Also in the gallery, the aptly Francisco, New Hampshire, Lopez’s Kokomo Gallery in Lemmon, S.D. named “Silverware Peacock” Texas and points in between. captures the imagination. Utilizing steel cable and For more on Lopez’s work, go to http://www. silverware to create the bird’s tail, the 142 forks, 70 There is also a coffee table spoons, and 71 butter knives meld into a regal bird book of Lopez’s work, “John Lopez: Sculpture” proudly standing on a pillar. The sculpture is one of available as well.

Above: “The Last Stand” depicts two bison butting heads. The left bison includes a likeness of Gen. George Custer while the right buffalo pays tribute to Sitting Bull. Right: A close up of a portion of “The Last Stand” reveals the multi-leveled story telling that takes place in Lopez’s statues. On the Cover: “War Horse” stands in front of the Brookings Arts Council building on Fourth Street in Brookings, S.D.


Co-op News

Something for Everyone

Appreciation Day Followup Thank you to all of our Members who came out to join us for Appreciation Day in Rapid City. What a great day! There was something for everyone. As one very young man was leaving at the end of the day, I overheard him say “Mommy can I have my Birthday Party here?” There was something fun for everyone. Dustin, Turner, Eric and Cody were giving bucket truck rides, which as always were a hit with the young kids. Alex and Aaron powered up the High Voltage Trailer demonstrating the affects of coming in contact with high voltage lines as well as Leon Neon demonstrating what happens when digging into a power line. We had Betty and her team of clowns tieing balloons for the young and old alike, Dwight and Garret popped just a little popcorn for the members to enjoy when walking thru the displays. Jenny and the girls had capital credit checks available to the members, Robert and the guys were playing electric trivia, I stopped by and I think they were having way too much fun. Brendan and his guys setup something new this year with a mini pole which offered the kids the opportunity to see what it was like to climb a pole. LED Lucy showed up to entertain the kids. Ross and Cory were on hand to answer questions about the technol-

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ogy of the coop and how far we have come to detect outages and problems on the line. Matt, Sanden, Mike and Brandon were cooking hot dogs and hamburgers and Byron, Lane and the crew were serving them, and cook and serve they did. We presented $3500 to the Operation Round Up recipients in the Rapid City area. We had A to Z Shredding here, Bill was here from Western Community Action to educate the members on efficiency, Mark was here with the Fire Truck from RV Volunteer Fire Dept., Tim was here from Rheem answering questions on water heaters, Garret and the guys were here from Border States answering questions on lighting and cove heat, United Blood Services were in the community room, where they collected 31 units to help people in need. Michael was here from Basin Electric with the Segway and lighting display, Pennington County Sheriffs Dept had the Lund Boat to help assist Federal and State waters, Freshman Impact was here with the chance to buy a ticket for the UTV, Heidi was here with 211 Helpline, Bill and the good people from Western Dakota Tech were here talking opportunities they offer, and Dak Generator was here to answer questions on generators and a Leaf 100% Electric Car from Granite Nissan was on display. What a great day with plenty of opportunity for everyone.

Co-op News

Eric & Turner Become

Journeyman Certified

Congratulations Eric and Turner! These two young men have successfully completed one of the world’s most comprehensive training programs for power line personnel. We have an active training coordinator assisting trainees by administering testing throughout the four year journey to becoming a Journeyman. They are required to put in 8000 hours of work time under the guidance of a qualified trainer. Eric Emery, lineman for West River Electric successfully

completed the comprehensive training program for power line construction and maintenance and recieved his Journeyman the 1st of August. Congratulations Eric! Turner Donahue, lineman for West River Electric successfully completed the comprehensive training program for power line construction and maintenance. He received his Journeyman the 1st of October. Congratulations Turner! 3261700

COOPERATIVE CONNECTIONS • N o v e mb e r 2017 11

Lending a Helping Hand Organization Helps Those in Need Bring In the Harvest

D Jocelyn Romey

uring tragic circumstances, farmers and ranchers usually don’t have many options. What happens when a natural disaster, injury, health issue or fatality is experienced by an agricultural family? Getting the harvest in on time and cutting enough hay for the coming year can become major issues these families face when tragic circumstances occur. So, in the Midwest, farmers are helping farmers. Farm Rescue – a nonprofit organization created in North Dakota and headquartered in Horace, N.D., just outside of Fargo, is providing help to farmers and ranchers through the organized efforts of volunteers. People from across the nation have volunteered their time and effort to assist agricultural families who need help getting their crops in during a family crisis. This organization’s volunteers


not only help harvest and plant crops, but also haul grain and provide donated hay to farmers and ranchers affected by the drought. Bill Gross, founder and president of Farm Rescue, started the organization in 2005 when it received its nonprofit status. In 2006, volunteers began their harvest heroism helping families in North Dakota. Since then, Farm Rescue has grown. It now offers help to agriculture communities in a five-state region with plans to expand. Currently, this region encompasses North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Montana and Minnesota. Farm Rescue’s Carol Wielenga, program coordinator, said roughly 100 volunteers are called upon every year. They are included in a database of nearly 1,000 nationwide. Most volunteers have an agriculture background and want to get back to the farm.

Yet, a few come from different demographics. Wielenga said one volunteer was a scientist from NASA. Ted Smith, director of engineering and operations from Sioux Valley Energy in Colman, S.D., is one of those volunteers who dedicates his time off to helping others. He began his work with Farm Rescue in 2012. While describing his volunteer services, Smith said, “Some people think I’m crazy to take my vacation time to go work, but I enjoy it…I’ve worked for really nice folks over the years.” Good deeds are not always easy to act out, however. Smith told one story in which he and his partner set a record for how many times they could become stuck in one day while volunteering. Smith said, “I don’t think anyone has broken our record yet, at least I hope not.” Farm Rescue not only relies on volunteers like Smith, but also sponsors and donors to aid farmers and ranchers. One donor heavily involved in aiding agricultural families through Farm Rescue is RDO

Equipment Co. From the beginning, this company has been the sole donator of all the equipment needed by volunteers to plant, harvest and haul. Currently, Farm Rescue employs four full-time employees and is managed by a board of directors. These directors make the qualification decisions of every applicant requesting help from Farm Rescue. Wielenga described the application process as easy and quick. She also noted that many requests for assistance are made anonymously by a friend of the family. Since Farm Rescue assists families who are usually stressed, the application process is simple and has no cut-off date. This ensures that help is available for any family in need. Information regarding qualification for assistance can be found on Farm Rescue’s website

Above: Volunteers pause from their duties to pose for a photo. Top: A Farm Rescue combine and semi trailer continue the harvest at dusk. Opposite Page: Farm Rescue volunteers harvest soybeans. Left: Farm Rescue volunteers operate an air seeder to help a farm family in crisis during


Co-op News

West River Electric Association, Inc. Statement of Nondiscrimination

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident. Person with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape , American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202)720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800)877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English. To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at filing_cust.html and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1)


(2) (3)

fax: email:

U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (202) 690-7442; or WREA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

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Do You Have a Heat Meter?

Seems rather warm to be talking about a heat meter, but the heat season is here. If you have a heat meter your heat credit started with your September reading. Be sure that the breaker to the heat meter is on so that you receive the maximum benefit of the electric heat rate for the heat season. We ask that you leave the breakers on to these meters year round. Without power to the automated meter reading system, we cannot detect trouble with the meter or get readings. If you have any questions regarding this please call us at 393-1500 or 279-2135. If you have electric heat,

but do not have a heat meter, contact Member Services at 393-1500. 4786400

Sign Up Fill out and send to: West River Electric Assoc. Cooperative Connections, PO Box 3486, Rapid City, SD 57709 Or drop it in with your payment.

Sign up for:


Operation Roundup Budget Billing Pay By Bank Automatic Credit Card Payment I am interested in more information on: Marathon Water Heater Radiant Cove Heat Generlink Special Electric Heat Rate Geothermal & Air-to-Air Heat Pumps Rebates Radiant Floor Heating Demand Response Unit Be sure to include your name and address if you mail this coupon or E mail: veronica.

West river electric office Hours rapid city office 3250 e. HWy 44, rapid city, sd Monday-friday 7:00 aM to 5:00 pM 605-393-1500 10756500 Wall office 1200 W. 4tH ave, Wall, sd Monday-friday 7:00 aM to 5:00 pM 605-279-2135

ENERGY TIP Spending more time in the kitchen during the holiday season? Here’s one way to be more energy efficient: Unplug small kitchen appliances, like toaster ovens and microwaves, when not in use. You could save $10 to $20 per year. Source: U.S Department of Energy

(USPS No. 675-840)

Our Mission

West RiveR electRic Will Be closed in oBseRvance of veteRan’s day fRiday, novemBeR 10 and thanksgiving novemBeR 23-24

Please call 393-1500 or 279-2135 in the event of an emergency, we have 24 hour on-call A night depository is available at both offices for your convenience. Service & Billing Questions: Contact 605-279-2135 or 605393-1500 during office hours. You can e-mail us at on questions concerning your account. After Hours Power Restoration: Contact 605-279-2135 in the Wall or Enning areas and 605-393-1500 in the Rapid City area.

Locate Your Account Number If you locate your account number

anywhere in this issue of the Cooperative Connections you will be a winner. There will be five account numbers placed randomly throughout the Connections. If you spot your account number and notify our office before the 10th of next month, you will receive a $10.00 credit on your next bill.

To inform you about your cooperative and its efforts to serve your energy needs; about how to use electricity safely and efficiently; and about the people who define and enhance the quality of life in communities served by electric co-ops. This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer

President Andy Moon, Creighton, S.D. Vice President Stan Anders, Union Center, S.D. Secretary Jamie Lewis, Rapid City, S.D. Treasurer Larry Eisenbraun, Wall, S.D. Directors Howard Knuppe, New Underwood, S.D. Chuck Sloan, Piedmont, S.D. Marcia Arneson, Rapid City, S.D. Jerry Hammerquist, Caputa, S.D. Sue Peters, Wall, S.D. CEO/General Manager Dick Johnson Editor Veronica Kusser WEST RIVER ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE CONNECTIONS is the monthly publication for the members of West River Electric Association. Members subscribe to Cooperative Connections as part of their electric cooperative membership for $6.00 a year. West River Electric Cooperative Connections purpose is to provide reliable, helpful information to electric cooperative members on matters pertaining to rural electrification and better living. Nonmember subscriptions are available for $12.00 per year. Periodicals Postageaid at Wall, S.D., and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to West River Electric Cooperative Connections, PO Box 412, Wall, SD 57790-0412. Other correspondence to: West River Electric Cooperative Connections, PO Box 3486, Rapid City, SD 57709; telephone (605)393-1500, Exts. 6519, 6517, 6531 or 6522; fax (605)393-0275; e-mail veronica.kusser@westriver. coop.

Call before you dig: All underground cable location requests for the entire state of South Dakota are made through the South Dakota One-Call System. The number is toll free, 1-800-781-7474 (dial 811 instate). You are required to provide this one-call center with information regarding the location where you will be digging, along with a description of the type of work you will be doing. You are required to give at least a 48-hour notice before you dig. The one-call center will then notify all utilities with underground facilities in the area where you will be digging.

COOPERATIVE CONNECTIONS • N o v e mb e r 2017 15

Regional Dateline

September 5-May 24 Box Elder/Douglas School District Community Library Monday-Thursdays, Douglas High School Library October 2-31 Rapid Valley United Methodist Church Annual Pumpkin Patch 5105 Long View Drive Rapid City, SD

Events of Special Note

October 21 SD State High School Girls Cross Country Meet Hart Ranch Golf Course Rapid City, SD

October 20-21 SD State High School Competitive Cheer Competition, Stevens High School, Rapid City, SD

October 21 Rapid Valley United Methodist Church Rummage Sale/Church Carnival, 5105 Long View Dr Rapid City, SD

October 21 Minneluzahan Senior Citizens Center Fall Rummage Sale 315 N 4th Street Rapid City, SD, 605-394-1887 October 21 SD State High School Boys Cross Country Meet Hart Ranch Golf Course Rapid City, SD

November 10 West River Electric will be closed for Veteran’s Day In the case of a power outage call 605-393-1500 or 605-279-2135

To have your event listed on this page, send complete information, including date, event, place and contact to your local electric cooperative. Include your name, address and daytime telephone number. Information must be submitted at least eight weeks prior to your event. Please call ahead to confirm date, time and location of event.

October 20-21 SD State High School Competitive Dance Competition, Stevens High School, Rapid City, SD

October 21 SGT Colton Levi Derr Foundation Gala 2017 Rushmore Plaza Civic Center LaCroix Hall, Rapid City, SD 605-545-2505

October 21-January 7 Pheasant Hunting Season Statewide, Pierre, SD 605-223-7660


July 1-October 28 Black Hills Farmers Market Saturdays 8 a.m.-2 p.m. 145 E Omaha St, Rapid City, SD

October 26 Box Elder/Douglas School Community Library, Child Safety, Douglas High School Box Elder, SD October 27-29 Jersey Boys, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Fine Arts Theatre Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4111 October 28 SD High School All-State Chorus & Orchestra Concert Denny Sanford Premier Center Sioux Falls, SD

October 28 Main Street Square, Scare in the Square, Rapid City, SD 605-716-7979

November 16-18 SD State High School Volleyball Tournaments, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, SD

October 29 BH Chamber Music Society Telegraph Quartet, First Congregational Church Rapid City, SD, 605-341-6425

November 18 Main Street Square Ice Rink Opening Day and Skates-Giving, Rapid City, SD 605-716-7979

November 4 BH Works Foundation Recognition Gala, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center LaCroix Hall Rapid City, SD, 605-718-6207

November 23-24 West River Electric will be closed for Thanksgiving, In the case of a power outage, call 605-393-1500 or 605-279-2135

November 5 Rapid Valley United Methodist Church Turkey Dinner Rapid City, SD, 605-393-1526

November 25 Main Street Square, Holiday Celebration and Winter Market, Rapid City, SD 605-716-7979

November 9-11 SD State High School Football Tournament, Dakota Dome Vermillion, SD

November 28 West River Electric will be closed for Employee Training In the case of a power outage call 605-393-1500 or 605-279-2135

Profile for West River Electric Association

Wera novermber 2017  

PDF of the November 2017 Cooperative Connections.

Wera novermber 2017  

PDF of the November 2017 Cooperative Connections.