U.S. wind energy production reaches record highs

The Energy Department released two new reports on August 6 showcasing record growth across the U.S. wind market. In 2012, wind energy became the number one source of new U.S. electricity generation capacity for the first time — representing 43 percent of all new electric additions and accounting for $25 billion in U.S. ­investment. According to these reports, the United ...Read More

USDA projects median farm will lose $2,300 in 2013

In its 2013 Farm Income Sector Forecast, the Department of Agriculture forecasts that while net farm income is expected to rise 6 percent to $120.6 billion, the median farm income will fall from a deficit of $1,435 in 2012 to a deficit of $2,300 for this year. The USDA said farm households “will make up the balance by taking nonfarm ...Read More

Built on pride and patriotism

Sarah Locke represented Shelby Electric Cooperative on the 2013 Youth to Washington trip, sponsored by the Illinois electric and telephone cooperatives. She was also elected by her peers to represent Illinois on the NRECA Youth Leadership Council. At the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives annual meeting in August, Locke told the co-op leaders what the trip meant to her. “I’m ...Read More


More senior co-op members using social media

Co-op members over the age of 65 are increasingly using social media, according to the new Touchstone Energy® 2012 National Survey on the Cooperative Difference. Over a three-year period, social media use in that demographic rose from 20 percent to 30 percent. Similarly, among members between 55 to 64, the rate of social media participation has risen from 30 percent ...Read More

Galena’s historic Main Street curves past more than 100 shops, restaurants and attractions. Photo courtesy of the Galena/Jo Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Galena, Illinois named as one of the friendliest cities in the world

The city of Galena, Illinois – always considered a “town that time forgot” – has stepped back into the limelight as a city that no one can forget about. Condé Nast Traveler recently published the results of their annual Readers’ Choice Survey and declared Galena as not only one of the friendliest cities in the United States, but in the ...Read More

How to communicate with your family during a disaster

Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so plan how you will contact one another. Complete a contact card for each adult family member. Have them keep these cards handy in a wallet, purse or briefcase, etc. Additionally, complete contact cards for each child in your family. Put the cards in their backpacks or book bags. Identify a ...Read More

Illinois coal exports set record in 2012; now in 5th place

A new report forecasts continued major export growth for the Illinois coal industry due to the state’s large volumes of coal, competitive prices and access to prime water and land transportation routes. Illinois is now the fifth largest coal producing state in the U.S., up from ninth in 2009. The industry supports more than 4,000 jobs in Illinois. The report ...Read More


Hitzhusens Win 2013 Governor’s Conservation Farm Family

Tom and Margaret Hitzhusen, from Geneseo, were recently named the Association of Illinois Soil and Water Conservation Districts’ “Governor’s Conservation Farm Family” for 2013. Tom is a former director of Farmers Mutual Electric Company, prior to the merger with Jo-Carroll Energy. When the Hitzhusens moved to their current farm, the land was in very poor condition. The previous owner left ...Read More

Illinois utilities cooperate on State Fair Energy Zone

At this year’s Illinois State Fair the Illinois Energy Zone packed a powerful punch with interactive activities, renewable energy displays, youth activities, and giveaways - more than two dozen attractions. Next year’s display will be even bigger and better. The multi-faceted energy experience was provided by the Energy Education Council (EEC) in cooperation with the state of Illinois, utilities and ...Read More

SIPC PlantIMG_7858

House passes coal ash bill creating federal guidelines

A bill strongly endorsed by electric cooperatives that regulates coal ash under a new state-run program has sailed through the House of Representatives and is on its way to the Senate.The House backed the Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act of 2013 on July 25 by a 265-155 vote.For the first time, the bill sets a uniform national standard for ...Read More