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Statement of Nondiscrimination


“This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer.


If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint


of discrimination, complete the


USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at http://www.ascr.usda. gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at program.intake@ usda.gov.”


Celebrate the COOPERATIVE Way


The utility that keeps your lights and appliances humming along every day is a cooperative business, not a corporation. Cooperatives are owned by the consumers who


use their services: you and your neighbors. In fact, your electric cooperative doesn’t ever refer to you as a “customer.” Instead, everyone who works there knows you are a “member.” Every October is Cooperative Month, when members from more than 29,000 cooperatives nationwide


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including more than 900 electric cooperatives - celebrate their heritage. Take a few moments this month to learn a little more about the way your electric cooperative does business. Here is the basic cooperative business philosophy:


They are not-for-profit, democratically controlled, volunteer-run and member-owned. That means they don’t sell stock to out-of-state shareholders and let outsiders decide what’s best for their local consumer-members. And it means that any member - including you - can run for election to the cooperative’s Board of Directors, a body that hires the manager and sets policies for the utility.


If you don’t want to be a board member, you still can vote for the candidates you would like to represent you. The Cooperative Way is the Best Way!


October is National Co-op Month.


Te time of year when the 29,000 plus co-ops in the U.S. take a few moments to ensure their employees, members and the general public truly understand the value of the cooperative business they own. While I applaud any effort that brings more attention to co-ops, my feelings are best represented by a T-Shirt slogan, “October is Co-op Month - But I Cooperate All Year Long!” Cooperatives around the world operate according to the


same core principles and values adopted by the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA). Cooperatives trace the roots of these principles to the first modern cooperative founded in Rochdale, England in 1844. All cooperative businesses have at their foundation these seven cooperative principles to follow:


1. Voluntary and Open Membership 2. Democratic Member Control 3. Members’ Economic Participation 4. Autonomy and Independence 5. Education, Training and Information 6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives 7. Concern for Community


One of the ways co-ops demonstrate that they are different


from investor-owned businesses is by actually living the principles. Principle 6: Cooperation Among Cooperatives, is our focus this month, and there are many examples that demonstrate how co-ops do this every day.


sounds so simple, answering the question, “Can’t we all just get along?” As it turns out, it’s easier to get along when we focus on what our personal or organizational self-interest is - and find others who have a similar self-interest. Tis is how Harmon Electric Association got started. Ordinary


folks realized they would be better off working together if they wanted to bring electricity to their community. Once the co- op was established, we soon realized that if we work with our sister co-ops, we can gain control of our power supply, so we formed over 60 generation and transmission cooperatives such as Western Farmers Electric Cooperative, your local generation and transmission cooperative. Tis pattern kept repeating, and soon electric co-ops


cooperated to form new co-ops that offer a variety of services, such as financing, insurance, IT services and more to ensure that they had ownership and control over these core products. Tis was done to help serve you, our member-owners, by making sure there would be no interruption in these vital services that help us bring electricity to you. Tis cooperation among cooperatives continues today, not


only with co-ops directly related to the provision of electricity but in other sectors as well. Electric co-ops partner with credit unions, food co-ops, housing co-ops and others to help bring critical services to rural residents and businesses throughout the country. So while we take special note of the value of our cooperative


in October, we are delighted to be a part of our community delivering vital services to you all year long.


In theory this


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