Josh Kramer

Moments of consensus, March 2023

My editorial this month comes to you as we hit the peak of the North Dakota legislative session, which happens every two years. It’s a busy time for leaders in state and local government, media and advocacy organizations. It’s also a critical time for North Dakota citizens to engage with their legislators on issues that matter to them.

Some bills certainly draw more attention than others. If you would indulge me for a moment, however, I want to direct your attention to some things that don’t draw the most attention: moments of consensus.

Josh Kramer

All of us, February 2023

My wife and I reached an important milestone as parents to start the school year, when our twins, the youngest of our five children, started kindergarten. For nearly 18 years, we’ve consistently had younger children, not yet school age, at home. And like many parents, my wife, Sarah, and I had to figure out how the most precious people in our lives – our kids – would be cared for, while we worked to provide for our family.

Josh Kramer

Teachable moments, January 2023

As the calendar flips to a new year, we find ourselves in the throes of what’s proving to be a humbling winter. Even the boldest among us are not immune to the snow, sleet, ice, wind and frigid temps.

Heck, I even saw a few teenagers don what appeared to be winter coats during recent spells of winter weather – a rare occurrence, equivalent to UFO sightings or the potential for a Minnesota Vikings Super Bowl appearance! (I am holding out hope this could be the year … for a Bigfoot discovery.)

Josh Kramer

‘Twas the night before deadline, December 2022

Some months, there are moments of inspiration, and my editorial comes easy. Other months, not so much. Thankfully, we have a witty and talented editor, Cally Peterson, who can produce a writeup on a dime.

   ’Twas the night before deadline, when all through my head,
   Not a wee thought was stirring. Shall I just go to bed?
   The pages were placed by our editor with care,
   In hopes this editorial soon would be there…

Josh Kramer

Being intentional, November 2022

Thank you. That is how I close most email messages, and let me tell you, I send and receive a lot throughout my day. Ending a message with “thank you” has become habit for me, almost to the point, I fear, of overuse. I worry if these two meaningful words, together, have lost their chutzpah.

Like many things, responses have become automatic.

“How are you doing?” “Good. And you?” we quickly reply.

But how are you doing, actually? Have there been days you weren’t “good,” and by not saying so, did you miss an opportunity for an authentic interaction?

Josh Kramer

Editorial: Punching above their weight, October 2022

There are countless examples of cooperative success in rural America. We write about them often in the pages of this magazine. They are some of my favorite stories, because they illustrate how rural people in rural places have used cooperatives to “punch above their weight.”

We, as cooperatives, didn’t arrive at success or a place of respect, however, alone. As we celebrate cooperatives this Co-op Month, it is also important we recognize our partners, friends and supporters who have helped us along the way.

Josh Kramer

Editorial: Can you relate? September 2022

My oldest daughter celebrated her birthday recently. It was a Saturday morning, and I told my 6-year-old daughter, Olivia, to wake her big sister and wish her a happy birthday, which she eagerly did.

My wife and I could hear the exchange from the other room.

Knock, knock.

“Happy birthday, Sophia! …Two more years and you’re out of here!” Olivia exclaimed.

“Get out of here, you brat,” Sophia replied.

Olivia pranced her way downstairs, knowing this little witty comedian had a “good one.”

Josh Kramer

Editorial: Civic reminders, August 2022

In this issue of North Dakota Living, we feature the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour, in which hundreds of electric cooperatives sponsor local students, who join other students from across the country for a weeklong experience in Washington, D.C., to learn about their government, history and cooperatives. For these youth, this experience likely impacts how they view their civic responsibilities for a lifetime.

Youthful energy and ideals are to be admired. As we grow older, it never hurts to be reminded of our good fortune to be able to participate in our government.

Josh Kramer

Editorial: High marks, higher responsibility, July 2022

Often, when I meet people who read this magazine or my editorials, I hear (in jest), “I hope this doesn’t end up in the magazine!” Or, I even hear the opposite, “Put this in the magazine.”

I can assure the readers when I write, I have no intentions of specifically naming any one person or interaction, with the exception of my kids and, perhaps every so often, my wife (if I am feeling bold).