Walking the co-op talk: Education, fellowship contagious during South Dakota Co-op Day

SDREA General Manager Ed Anderson shares a word with Sen. Dan Lederman (R-SD) during Co-op Day at the state capitol.

SDREA General Manager Ed Anderson shares a word with Sen. Dan Lederman (R-SD) during Co-op Day at the state capitol.

As Ed Anderson moseys his way through a cluster of handshakes atop a second-floor stairwell, colleagues razz him about being late to his own party.

It’s a lighthearted atmosphere at the state capitol, and with all joking aside, electric cooperative members know how hard the South Dakota Rural Electric Association (SDREA) has worked to bring them to Pierre, SD.

With SDREA’s Co-op Day in full swing, Anderson has a moment to claim an empty bench and check his phone, which has been buzzing all morning. He lets out a sigh as another Twitter follower pops up on his screen.

“I tell you, all this tweeting stuff, I’m not there yet,” he chuckles. “I set up a personal Twitter account about nine months ago. I don’t even remember doing it.”

Mastering Twitter may take some practice for this co-op man, but he’ll teach folks a thing or two about the game of lobbying. Anderson has headed up government relations at SDREA for 14 years, the last four of which he’s also served as general manager.

Perhaps it’s no surprise the Twitterverse is closing in on Anderson. He’s the go-to guy for Co-op Day, not to mention a walking encyclopedia for building fellowship between cooperative members and their legislators.

“The political side of my job is something I really enjoy,” Anderson says. “It’s a sickness.”

Read the entire story, Walking the co-op talk: Education, fellowship contagious during South Dakota Co-op Day, in the March-April 2014 Basin Today.

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