Saving Illinois forests by cutting down trees

Conservationists normally plant trees – not cut them down. But, in an innovative project at Trail of Tears State Forest, that is precisely what the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is doing to restore a more open, sunny forest that can support a diversity of life. “We intent to restore a healthier, more resilient […]

America’s problems require ‘profound change’ to solve

President-elect Donald Trump’s unexpected White House win can be summed up simply: an ­unorthodox ­candidate meeting a moment in time when voters—­especially those in rural communities—were fed up with the federal government. So declared former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich in post-Election Day remarks during the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC) Independent Borrowers […]

MJM Electric Cooperative and USDA help expand rural healthcare

Access to healthcare is a big issue for many rural areas. That in turn has a big impact on the future growth and economic growth. On Thursday, October 20, officials from MJM Electric Cooperative, Carlinville Area Hospital and USDA Rural Development celebrated their cooperative partnership to solve this issue with a $2 million zero interest […]

Illinois co-op directors tops in Gold level certification

Illinois co-op directors’ dedication to training, like ­during this class with NRECA trainer Bryan Singletary, is paying off in gold level ­certifications. The state’s electric cooperative ­directors ranked number one in the nation for the director “Gold” status. Many other directors have already received their Board Leadership Credentials. To maintain their Gold status, directors are […]

Illinois pioneers of rural electrification

Donald E. Van Houten Don Van Houten joined the staff of the AIEC in April, 1965 as a pressman in the AIEC printing department. When the printing department facilities expanded, Van Houten became the pressroom coordinator of the department and supervised the printing of newsletters, the legislative roster, AIEC directory, annual meeting programs, etc. In […]

19th Annual Lineman’s Safety Rodeo held

Sixteen teams of Illinois electric cooperative linemen participated in the annual Lineman’s Safety Rodeo sponsored by the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives on the Chuck West Lineman Training Grounds at Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield on Sept. 30. The rodeo gives linemen the opportunity to showcase their skills in front of families, friends and […]

One in six cars worldwide in 2020 must be electric

According to a recent study by the World Energy Council (WEC), more than 16 percent of vehicles sold worldwide in 2020 will have to be powered by electricity to meet ­existing emissions standards. In comparing emissions-reduction targets for the world’s three largest auto markets (United States, China and the Europe Union), WEC concludes that “larger […]

Jo-Carroll Energy receives USDA funding

Earlier this year Jo-Carroll Energy was awarded funding through two USDA Rural Development ­programs – one designed to increase rural energy efficiency and the other to stimulate business growth and development. A $770,000 loan through the Rural Economic Development Loan & Grant (REDLG) program, awarded to Jo-Carroll Energy, was re-lent to Stephenson Service Company to […]

Co-ops see veterans as key players in next generation workforce

America’s electric cooperatives have long enjoyed a strong relationship with the nation’s armed forces. Most military bases are located in rural areas, and the power ­systems at some bases are operated by electric cooperatives. A dispropor­tionately large percentage of our nation’s troops – some estimates suggest as high as 40 percent – come from rural America. […]

Illinois pioneers of rural electrification

Timothy W. Reeves Tim Reeves, son of R.T. “Tom” Reeves, began his cooperative career in 1975 as a staff assistant at Egyptian Electric Cooperative Association, and later became assistant manager. In January 1980, Reeves succeeded his father as general manager of Southern Illinois Electric Cooperative. Ten years later, he transitioned to the staff of Southern […]