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OTEC celebrating National Cooperative Month

Baker City, Oregon (OTEC) — Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative is joining 30,000 cooperatives nationwide in October to celebrate National Co-op Month, which recognizes the many ways cooperatives are committed to strengthening the local communities they serve. “Cooperatives – See the Future” is the theme for this year’s celebration, spotlighting the countless ways cooperatives meet the needs of their members and communities.

“Our cooperative delivers electricity to 23,000 member-owners in our four-county service area of Eastern Oregon,” said Andrew Cutler, manager of communications and public relations. “Delivering safe, reliable, competitively-priced power is our top priority, but we are also invested in our communities because we are locally owned and operated. Revenue generated by OTEC goes back to Main Street, not Wall Street.”

Rural America is served by a network of about 1,000 electric cooperatives, most of which were formed in the 1930s and 1940s to bring electricity to farms and rural communities that large, investor-owned power companies had no interest in serving because of the higher costs involved in serving low-population and low-density areas.

In addition to providing the vital power co-op members depend on, Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative engages with the communities in Harney, Grant, Baker and Union counties through college scholarships, trade school scholarships, scholarships for individuals interested in pursuing a career as a lineman, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, D.C. Youth Tour and Member to Member programs.

Follow #CoopMonth on Facebook and Twitter to see how co-ops across the country are celebrating National Co-op Month.

CO-OP MONTH FUN FACTS

  • Minnesota was the first state to declare an official Co-op Month proclamation in 1948.
  • Co-op Month has been a nationally recognized celebration since 1964, when U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Orville Freeman, a former Minnesota governor, proclaimed October Co-op Month.
  • The first national theme in 1964 was “Cooperatives: USDA Helps Build a Better America.”
  • Since 1971, cooperatives, statewide associations, and the National Cooperative Business Association have fueled their own events and promotions.
  • Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative was formed in 1987.