Co-op Spotlight: Darke Rural Electric Cooperative

Co-op Spotlight: Darke Rural Electric Cooperative

Darke Rural Electric Cooperative in Greenville serves about 5,000 members in Darke, Preble, and Mercer counties in west-central Ohio, along the Indiana border. Darke REC prides itself on being an engaged part of its community and offering exceptional service, along with affordable, reliable electricity that its members expect.

Darke County Fair

The Great Darke County Fair is one of Ohio's longest running and most robust fairs.

Community involvement

Darke Rural Electric’s Operation Round Up program allows consumer-members to round up their electric bills and donate the change to local charities and organizations. More than $414,000 has been donated since 2004. Darke REC awards $6,000 in scholarships each year to graduating seniors who are children of members and sponsors high school sophomores’ and juniors’ participation in the annual Youth Tour to Washington, D.C.

Across Ohio, county fairs are the highlight of the summer, not only for youth involved in 4-H projects, but for many members of the community. One of Darke REC’s most important events is The Great Darke County Fair in August, one of the longest running and most robust county fairs in Ohio. Members who visit the cooperative booth at the fair can learn about new programs, receive a gift, and register to win bill credits. Darke REC also partners with Butler Rural Electric Cooperative to host the Preble County Junior Fair Exhibitor Picnic on move-in day of the county fair, providing a meal for the young exhibitors and their families. 

National Trail High School is a cooperative member, and each year, Darke REC sponsors Cooperative Night at a football game to connect with the community and support the school’s athletic program. 

Things to do

Darke County’s proximity to the metropolitan area of Dayton makes it a popular destination for weekend or day trips and offers visitors a variety of options for dining, activities, and entertainment. A few don’t-miss highlights:

Bear’s Mill is a water-powered mill outside of Greenville that still grinds grain using traditional methods. The Mill Gallery features rotating art exhibits and events throughout the year, including tours, a candlelight Christmas walk, and a fall open house, which make it a popular tourist destination. 

Operated by the Darke County Historical Society, the Garst Museum offers over 300,000 American and Ohio historical artifacts. 

Shawnee Prairie Preserve and Nature Center is the largest park in the area and hosts the Prairie Days Festival, where visitors can observe and participate in pioneer-era activities, such as blacksmithing, candle making, and apple butter stirring.