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).

Josh Kramer

Editorial: The long game, June 2022

Take a minute to think of your own examples of a long-game focus. Who are the people, leaders, organizations, businesses and institutions that choose the long game – exhibiting patience, thoughtful long-term planning – and collectively work toward the bigger picture or larger goal. They have the self-control to decline the quick, easy or trendy that provide mere short-term gratification.

Josh Kramer

Editorial: The G.O.A.T., May 2022

They are “goated.”

If you’re like me, this phrase might be a bit puzzling. I often hear my kids refer to a person as “goated.” As a farm kid, I understand what a “goat” is, but the first few times I heard it, I had to pry and make sure I heard correctly. Apparently, being called “the G.O.A.T.” or “goated” is quite the compliment these days.

Josh Kramer

Editorial: The seeds we sow, March 2022

The seeds we sow. That’s the thought that comes to mind as we inch closer to spring and the start of a new growing season.

We are all hoping for a spring of satisfactory moisture, germination and bountiful opportunities for a prosperous year. March is National Agriculture Month, and we can’t say thanks enough to those who contribute to the production and harvesting of the food, fiber and energy resources needed to sustain life across the globe.

Josh Kramer

Editorial: Who would be there? February 2022

Imagine what our state would be like without electric cooperatives.

As it was 75 years ago and still is today, electric cooperatives play a vital role in North Dakota’s economy and local communities. Electric co-ops were built by and belong to the members we serve. We are united in a common goal – improving quality of life for cooperative members. Electric cooperatives do this by both supporting communities and the people we serve and providing safe, affordable and reliable electric service.

Josh Kramer

Editorial: The last mile, January 2022

I recently read an article in which a large national food distributor proclaimed its “big step” toward reducing its carbon footprint.

This company, to remain nameless, declared it would maximize supply chain efficiencies and make significant progress toward its environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals by dramatically reducing its fleet mileage.

“When food is traveling fewer miles, everyone wins,” the company said.

Sounds good, right? Everyone wins! Or do we?

Hold that thought.