January 2024

Overhead view of Cardinal Power Plant

January is always a good time to take stock of things — to prepare for what’s ahead in the coming year — and often, your electric cooperative finds a long list of upcoming events and things to consider as we try to make sure we’re ready for whatever comes our way. Our list seems to be a little shorter this year, but that doesn’t mean we have less to do or less to worry about. We have some important long-term goals that we need to make progress on to ensure that we can continue to provide the reliable and affordable electric service that you’ve come to expect.

John Kenley is credited with carving a path for Broadway touring companies and founding today’s thriving arts scenes throughout the state.

Broadway musicals have dazzled audiences since the 1850s, and this year will be no exception.

Kenley — a theatrical producer and former vaudeville performer — founded the Kenley Players, which brought “America’s most exciting summer theater” to Ohio from 1957 until 1995, drawing crowds with lavish productions, low ticket prices, and big-name stars in leading roles. 

Paintings of Warren and Florence Harding that hang side by side near the entrance of the Warren G. Harding Presidential Library and Museum in Marion

Sherry Hall never tires of showing visitors the paintings of Warren and Florence Harding that hang side by side near the entrance of the Warren G. Harding Presidential Library and Museum in Marion.

The president has a genial twinkle in his eye and holds a straw hat straight out of the Jazz Age. Laddie Boy, the beloved Airedale who attended cabinet meetings and retrieved the president’s errant golf balls, sits at Harding’s feet, and resting on a table behind them is a copy of The Marion Daily Star, the failing newspaper Harding purchased at age 19. He managed to make it profitable and still owned the Star when elected president in 1920.   

Development such as the Intel manufacturing facility in Licking County is driving increasing demand for electricity, adding renewed importance to reliable coal-fired generation such as that provided by the Cardinal Plant in Brilliant.

Electric cooperatives have a long history of standing up for themselves when the needs of their members are not being met. 

Hosting elected officials at the co-ops’ Central Ohio Lineworker Training Facility in Mount Gilead or the Mone power plant in Convoy gives co-ops a chance to highlight the cooperative difference — to show firsthand how locally owned, not-for-profit co-ops do more with less every day to serve their members. 

Co-op managers and trustees also meet those leaders on their own turf, traveling to the Ohio Statehouse or to Washington, D.C., to share a united constituent voice. 

When Colleen Jackson instructed her children’s homeschooling group in the early 2000s, she prepared a lesson featuring milk straight from the Holstein cows lolling in the pasture on her family’s 180-acre dairy farm near DeGraff.  

Like many dairy farmers in recent years, the Logan County Electric Cooperative members found themselves struggling with high production costs and low milk prices. Ray helped keep the farm afloat by working for a bovine genetics company, but things were tough. Faced with losing the farm and the way of life they love, Ray and Colleen converted an outbuilding into a licensed creamery named for the stream that crosses their land, and Indian Creek Creamery was born.

The January 2004 issue of Country Living magazine (now known as Ohio Cooperative Living) featured a story about Ohio’s 10 best places to view wildlife.

Gross, a 45-year member of Mount Gilead-based Consolidated Cooperative and retired from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife, says he has an “overwhelming fascination and appreciation for the beauty, complexity, and intricacy of the natural world.”

That certainly comes across in his writing and contributes to the popularity and longevity of “Woods, Waters, and Wildlife,” but he says there’s more to it as well.

It’s often standing room only when the ODNR’s Wild Ohio Harvest mobile kitchen makes a stop.

Kendra Wecker, chief of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ wildlife division, swears she’s not trying to put any food trucks out of business.

The kitchen and its chefs cook and serve up free food created with wild-harvested Ohio game, including fish, fowl, and other critters. And Ken Fry, ODNR outdoor skills specialist, says it all began when he was cooking up such treats from the bed of a pickup truck with a pop-up tent at a Jefferson County farmers market a while back.

“It was so well-received that I presented the trailer idea to my supervisor and he liked it and said, ‘Let’s go with it,’” Fry says.