NRECA president highlights how co-ops use farm bill to boost communities

NRECA Board President Phil Carson urged congres­sional ­leaders to ensure that electric co-ops ­continue to have farm bill resources to ­provide affordable, reliable power and ­support economic development efforts that ­contribute to the quality of life in rural communities. Speaking at a House Agriculture Committee ­listening session in Illinois, Carson said co-ops like Tri-County Electric Cooperative use farm bill programs to maintain the grid and invest in small and rural ­communities. He stressed the importance of the Rural Utilities Service loans that co-ops use to maintain and ­modernize the electricity grid and Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program funds that co-ops put back into their ­communities to improve essential services.

Illinois statewide CEO Duane Noland ­moderated the ­session that drew ­comments from 65 people. Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX), Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN) and Reps. Mike Bost (R-IL), Cheri Bustos (D-IL), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Darin LaHood (R-IL) and Glenn Thompson (R-PA) participated in the listening session.