‘Tis not only electric cooperative annual meeting season, but also a big anniversary year for many Basin Electric member cooperatives. Many are celebrating 75 years, including Agralite Electric Cooperative, a Basin Electric Class C member in Benson, MN.
Kory Johnson, general manager, says they had a good turnout at their celebration on June 3. He says the cooperative gave $750,000 in capital credits in honor of the anniversary. “That is part of what sets a co-op apart from anybody else, that we give capital credits back to our members,” Johnson says. “Doing this shows our appreciation, and helps demonstrate the value of a cooperative and teaches our new members what a cooperative is. We can’t always make them big checks, but we feel it’s important for our members to see that money come back.”
At this year’s annual meeting, Johnson focused more on the co-op’s history during his general manager’s report. “One thing a lot of people don’t realize is that this co-op was merged before the first light ever came on,” he says. “It was Steven’s Big Stone Power and Swift Electric Cooperative. One had a power supply, and the other had a loan. So, a merger worked out.”