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OTEC hosting annual membership meeting in John Day

Baker City, Oregon (OTEC) — Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative announces that ballots for its Board of Directors’ elections have now been sent to the membership. Three positions on the OTEC Board are up for election at the 31st Annual Membership Meeting set to take place on Saturday, May 4, 2019.

Candidates on the ballot this year are:

Union County candidate for Position No. 7 is incumbent Greg Howard
Union County candidate for Position No. 8 is incumbent Dave Baum
Baker County candidate for Position No. 9 is incumbent Charlene Chase

All candidates are running to serve a three-year term. OTEC’s Annual Membership Meeting will be held in John Day at the Grant County Fairgrounds, 411 NW Bridge St. The election results will be announced at that time.

OTEC voting members will be able to cast their ballots by mail or may hand deliver their ballot to the annual meeting. To vote by mail, the signed and sealed ballots must be received by May 3 or delivered in-person to the annual meeting on May 4 to be counted.
Included with the ballot this year is a voter’s guide and biographies of each of the candidates. Members voting by mail may also enter a contest to win a $500 energy credit to be awarded at the annual meeting (members need not be present to win).
Registration for the 2019 Annual Membership Meeting begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 4, followed by a business meeting at 11 a.m., a catered lunch will be provided and will be served following the business meeting. Live entertainment will be provided by Generations and there will be lots of raffles and prize drawings throughout the event, including a grand prize of a $500 gift certificate to Mosier’s Home Furnishings in John Day. The prize can be used to purchase an electric appliance of the member’s choice. All members are invited to attend the meeting.

To register to vote in OTEC elections or to find out if you are an OTEC registered voter, contact your local OTEC office. For additional information about OTEC, the candidates and the annual meeting visit


OTEC announces college scholarship winners

Baker City, Oregon (OTEC) — Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative recently announced 26 local students selected to receive college scholarships.

The scholarships are geared toward high school students and returning college students. Each scholarship is $5,000 and 10 of the 26 academic scholarships are earmarked for returning college students.

“We congratulate the 2019 scholarship winners and are proud to reward the students for their academic success and dedication to their community,” said Andrew Cutler, OTEC’s manager of communications and public relations. “As a not-for-profit cooperative, one of our guiding principles is ‘Commitment to Community,’ and I can’t think of a better way than a scholarship program to give back to the communities we serve and encourage youth to be involved in their own community.”

Applications received are sorted and evaluated by four independent scholarship selection committees made up of voluntary OTEC members residing in each of the four counties served by the cooperative. Each committee then works through an evaluation process ending with the final selection of recipients for each county.

Applicants must be an active member in good standing with the cooperative or a dependent of such a member to be eligible for the scholarship. Scholarships are funded from interest earned on unclaimed refunds of capital credits.

2019 OTEC Scholarship Selections

Baker County

Graduating high school seniors: Megan Bingham, Powder Valley High School; Emily Black, Baker High School; Zachary Schwin, Baker High School; Logan Brashler, Baker High School.

Returning college students: Kourtney Lehman, Oregon State University; Danielle McCauley, Otterbein University; Samantha Sexton, University of Hawaii at Manoa; Jacque Cobb, Northwest Nazarene University.

Grant County

Graduating high school seniors: McKeely Miller, Grant Union High School; Madison Mckrola, Grant Union High School.

Returning college students: Sydney Thompson, Eastern Oregon University; Heather Mosley, Walla Walla Community College.

Harney County

Graduating high school seniors: Tea Recanzone, Burns High School; Chase Wilcox, Silvies River Charter School.

Returning college students: Parker Landon, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University; Trey Recanzone, Central Washington University.

Union County

Graduating high school seniors: Blake Frost, Imbler High School; Carson McClelland, La Grande High School; Elizabeth Babcock, La Grande High School; Braden Bell, La Grande High School; Alexandra Gomes, La Grande High School; Alaina Carson, La Grande High School; Sophia Pettit, Cove High School; Kyler Malone, La Grande High School.

Returning college students: Alexandra Colton, Oregon State University Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine; Aspen Birkmaier, Eastern Oregon University.


OTEC awards two scholarships for lineman school

Baker City, Oregon (OTEC) — Jace Hays, Baker City, and Danner Davis, of Prairie City, were recently each awarded a $5,000 Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative scholarship by the OTEC Board of Directors to pursue a career as a lineman.

OTEC offers two scholarships each year for high school seniors, adults or returning college students interested in a career as a lineman.

“We are pleased to award these scholarships to help support these students as they explore career paths,” said Andrew Cutler, OTEC manager of communications and public relations. “Cooperatives are, by their very nature, community partners and we have always been proud to support the educational goals of students within our service territory.”

Applicants must be an active member in good standing with the cooperative or a dependent of such a member to be eligible for the scholarship. Scholarships are funded from interest earned on unclaimed refunds of capital credits. Applications received for lineman scholarships are evaluated and selected by the OTEC Board of Directors.


OTEC announces trade school scholarship winner

Baker City, Oregon (OTEC) — One high school senior whose family is served by Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative has earned a $2,500 trade school scholarship from the cooperative.

Caden Spencer, who attends Baker High School, plans to attend the Volta Trade School in Astoria. Spencer plans on utilizing the school’s entry level lineworker program.

“I have a strong interest in this field of work,” he said. “It will provide a background and certification in a discipline that I feel will be rewarding as well as challenging.”

Trade school scholarship winners are selected by the cooperative’s board of directors from a pool of candidates from OTEC’s four service counties, Grant, Union, Harney and Baker. Scholarship funds come from unclaimed capital credits and do not affect electric rates.

“The cooperative's seven principles include a commitment to education, and we strive to do that by being involved in our school systems,” said OTEC Manager of Communications and Public Relations Andrew Cutler. “This scholarship, and the others OTEC provides, are another way we can add to that effort.”

Applications are still being accepted for trade school scholarships and are available online at


OTEC announces D.C. Youth Tour winners

Baker City, Oregon (OTEC) — Four local high school juniors will go on an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C., this June, courtesy of Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative.

Sam McCauley, Baker High School, Ellie Justice, Grant Union High School, McKinzie Beaudry, La Grande High School, and Lauren Benson, Baker High School, will represent the cooperative on a weeklong trip to the nation’s capital this summer to celebrate the 2019 Rural Electric Cooperative Youth Tour. 

OTEC’s 2019 Youth Tour delegates will represent Oregon and the Northwest and will join with more than 1,500 other students from across the United States for the once-in-a-lifetime trip.

“Youth Tour delegates come back energized with a broader understanding of their government, the nation’s history and the electric cooperative form of business,” said Andrew Cutler, OTEC manager of communications and public relations. “Sponsoring students to Youth Tour each year is an investment in the leaders of the future.”

Over the course of the tour, OTEC’s delegates will visit famous historical sites, meet with Oregon’s congressional leaders and learn leadership skills. The students will also create podcasts and digital photo projects as they learn about electric cooperatives and current issues in energy and climate change legislation that face their communities and our nation.

Applications received for the youth tour were evaluated and selected by the OTEC Board of Directors.

If you are a high school sophomore heading into your junior year and would like more details on the Rural Electric Youth Tour, mark your calendar and visit under the “Community” tab. Applications for the 2020 tour will be available beginning November 2019.