Member co-op lineworker continues holiday tradition

Northern Plains Electric Cooperative

Dustin Peterson posts Christmas lights along Main Street in his hometown. It’s a tradition he continues after the death of his father, Keith Peterson. Keith worked for Northern Plains Electric Cooperative out of the Robinson outpost for 28 years. He died of cancer in 2011.

Lighting the way is a legacy many lineworkers leave their families.

For the Peterson family, it’s a Christmas tradition.

Northern Plains Electric Cooperative

It isn’t uncommon for lineworkers to inherit the trade from their fathers. This is true of Dustin Peterson, right, and the late Keith Peterson. Before taking over his dad’s post in Robinson, Dustin worked for Northern Plains Electric Cooperative’s sister co-op, Dakota Valley Electric in Gackle.

This is Dustin Peterson’s third year decorating his hometown of Robinson, ND, with lights and holiday fanfare. It’s a custom he inherited from his father, the late Keith Peterson.

Dustin, a power lineworker for Northern Plains Electric Cooperative in Robinson, a Basin Electric Class C member, adopted the practice of decorating the town after his dad’s death. Keith died of esophageal cancer in November 2011. For 28 years, Keith worked in the Robinson outpost as a power lineworker for Northern Plains Electric.

Hanging holiday décor isn’t the only tradition Dustin acquired. Like his father, Dustin is also a member of the Robinson City Council and the Robinson Lions Club. “I used to help my dad hang the lights when I was a kid, so it’s only fitting I continue the tradition now,” Dustin says.

Northern Plains Electric allows lineworkers to do community-minded projects like this during the business day. “One of our cooperative principles is commitment to community,” says Craig Rysavy, operations manager. “Using the co-op’s time and equipment is a way we demonstrate that.”

To hang the strands of multi-colored LEDs, Dustin gets help from his whole family, including fiancé Krissy Clark, brother, Darin and his girlfriend, Cally Musland, sister, Danielle, and Danielle’s husband, Mike.

Dustin uses his Northern Plains Electric bucket truck to post the lights, which crisscross
Main Street.

And this year, a special guest helped. The Petersons passed on the tradition to a third generation – Dustin’s son, Dylan Keith Peterson, who celebrates his first birthday on Dec. 24.

Northern Plains Electric Cooperative

The son and grandson of power lineman, Dylan Keith Peterson is already learning the lineworker ropes. As part of an annual Christmas tradition, Dylan “helped” the family decorate the city of Robinson in multi-colored lights. Dylan celebrates his first birthday on Dec. 24.

Stay tuned: this story will appear on KFYR TV sometime soon:

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