Rural Missouri Magazine

Let us give thanks

by Barry Hart

by Barry Hart

November is a time when Missourians count their blessings. The traditional Thanksgiving feast would not be nearly as enjoyable without remembering with our families all the good things that have come our way in the past year.

I thought I would devote this month’s column to some of the things we, as members of a Missouri electric cooperative, can be thankful for.

Low rates: We can take great pride in having the 10th-lowest electricity rates in the nation. Besides giving us more of our income to spend elsewhere, these low rates attract businesses that provide plentiful jobs. Even though our rates will increase in the future, predictions are we will continue to have some of the lowest in the country as other states are also increasing at a faster pace.

Reliability: Because Missouri’s electric cooperatives own their own power plants and transmission lines in addition to their local distribution cooperative, we are in control of our supply of power. Millions of dollars have been spent ensuring electricity is there when you need it.

Growth: The population of rural areas is growing, which is a good thing for your electric cooperative and rural Missouri communities where we serve. Having more members means fixed costs can be spread out among more people, lowering the distribution cost to serve each member. People are moving to rural areas because they want the quality of life rural Missouri provides.

Dedicated employees: This past winter we saw this when heavy ice caused major outages across southwest Missouri. Employees — including hundreds from outside the affected area — worked around the clock to get power restored. We also saw the same dedication when tornadoes hit southeast Missouri.

Local control: As a member of an electric cooperative you are an owner of the cooperative and have a say in how that business is operated through the election of your board of directors. This ensures the cooperative delivers the services you need and could not get without it.

There are many other things we are thankful for as citizens of the greatest country on Earth.

Even though our country faces many challenges, we are thankful there is still so much goodness in America. Here men and women are willing to fight to preserve our way of life and our democracy.

This month we celebrate Veteran’s Day to salute these people. Let’s all show our thanks by turning out for Veteran’s Day activities on Nov. 11. This is our way to thank them for the sacrifices they have made and will make for us.

We are also thankful that we can worship as we please without fear of government intervention. Celebrate that freedom by attending Thanksgiving services at the church of your choice.

As Americans, we also are thankful for the freedom of speech on which this country was founded. We have the freedom to express ourselves, whether it’s at county courthouses, the state Capitol or at the electric cooperative annual meeting.

Let’s not take these things for granted.

Be sure to say thanks this year when you count your blessings. This tradition of pausing to give thanks started by the Pilgrims is one we can all carry on each year. Happy Thanksgiving!

Hart is executive vice president of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives.

E-mail Barry Hart


Rural Missouri | June 2020 Issue

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