Lori Capouch

“I don’t know that we could have did it without her,” says Corey Hart, a Bowdon area rancher who in 2010 desired to have a local meat processing facility in his community.

Many wouldn’t have thought it could be done. Period.

Bowdon’s population was 127 in 2010. The project faced challenges. A lack of people and capital, but not a lack of heart.
If the community of Bowdon wanted it bad enough, Lori Capouch was willing to try.

Terry Knutson, Kyle Helmers, Joe Thomas and Jason Bruner have been the faces of  Burke-Divide Electric Cooperative's Kenmare line crew.

Lineworkers are superheroes who fight to keep power flowing no matter how tough the conditions. When severe weather rolls in or the lights go out, they mobilize. And their jobs are unlike any other – they chase storms, climb poles and work on high-voltage power lines.

Working in this dangerous profession requires constant safety training, so crews are prepared to respond in the event of an emergency. And while this training is intended for on-the-job emergencies, cooperative lineworkers are dedicated and ready to assist when members are in need.

John Moura

The electric industry is in a state of transition. In the mid-2000s, a shift away from fossil-fuel generation toward renewables began taking shape. The green energy conversation has dominated the industry for several decades. Consumers have more interest in where and how their power is produced. Policy, regulation and private investment capital continue to step on the accelerator toward a lower carbon future.

But, another critical conversation has emerged in recent years – it’s message ringing louder and louder as extreme weather events test the nation’s electric grid.

down pole

Whoever said “rain is a good thing” wasn’t referencing late December rain in North Dakota. Christmas Day rain blanketed southeastern North Dakota in a sheet of ice, which caused major damage to the electric system and left some North Dakotans without power for 11 days.

Electric cooperatives described it as “the worst ice storm since 1997.” Dakota Valley and Cass County electric cooperatives were hit hardest by the storm, while KEM, Mor-Gran-Sou, Nodak and Northern Plains electric cooperative members also experienced outages.

power lines

“Beat the peak” has become a unified message among electric cooperatives as the demand for electricity grows. This message encourages everyone to be mindful of their energy use during “peak demand” periods, or the times of the day when people are using the most electricity. Why is it so important? It can save you money, reduce your electric cooperative’s power cost (the largest expense your co-op has) and contribute to a better electric grid.

An interconnected grid

Randy Hauck

From Richardton to Velva – Originally from Richardton, Randy Hauck has called Velva home for 39 years. Verendrye Electric Cooperative (VEC) hired him as member services assistant upon graduating from North Dakota State University in 1984 with a degree in agriculture mechanization.

70th logoOpening the December 1954 issue of North Dakota Living holds all the excitement of a child opening a gift on Christmas morning. It is a Christmas treasure. Visions of nostalgia dance in one’s head, perhaps yearning for a simpler, different time in rural America.

Dale Haugen

A farm boy from Ryder – Growing up on a small family farm, Dale never dreamed of a career off the farm. “Farming was in my heart and that is truly what I wanted to do,” he says. But interest rates were rising in the 1970s and when some neighboring land came for sale at auction, Dale determined his future wasn’t on the farm. “During the oral bidding process, I could not see a path forward, and we let the land go,” he says.