August 2017 LightREADING Newsletter

Download: August 2017 LR Web (PDF)


Students react after attending Washington, D.C. Youth Tour

2017 Washington D.C. Youth Tour Participants

A record-setting 1,800 students from 46 states attended this year’s Washington, D.C. Youth Tour hosted by the National Rural Electric Co-op Association (NRECA). The week-long tour brings high school students to Washington, D.C. each year to visit monuments and memorials, meet with members of Congress to learn how Government works and about the role of electric cooperatives. Flathead Electric Cooperative sponsors several students from our service area each year. Here’s what this year’s participants had to say upon their return:

Youth Tour Students
Youth tour participants Seth Carmichael, McKenna Johnson and Keegan Siebenaler stand in front of our nation’s capitol.

“The Youth Tour was full of adventure such as the visit to the Capitol, attending seminars about what makes a cooperative run, and going to the monuments of great American leaders. It also included connecting with people across Montana, and I enjoyed exploring D.C. with these new friends. Early on our trip, we went to a conference on the seven cooperative principles and the co-op business structure. The cooperative business model is a great way for the members to be involved and to purchase electricity for a low rate.”
– Seth Carmichael

“My Washington, D.C. Youth Tour trip was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I was so grateful to be a part of. As we traveled through D.C., exploring the monuments was breathtaking. None of them were like the pictures you see in textbooks or online. Seeing them in person made you realize the significance of the events and people who are being honored by each monument. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone who was interested.”
– McKenna Johnson

“While learning valuable information about our nation’s heritage at national monuments or museums, I also learned about the varied life experiences that our electric cooperatives represent. This was especially present during our meetings with our senators. It was a clear reminder that the function of a government is to represent the varied opinions and views of its citizens. Being able to examine the processes that make our country function and the impacts of those functions was a memorable experience, and the skills and friendships that I created during the trip will stay with me.”
– Keegan Siebenaler



Win an all-expense paid trip to learn about Montana’s electric co-ops

2016 Today's Member Participants
Flathead Electric Cooperative will again sponsor a member and their guest to attend an all-expense paid trip to this year’s Today’s Member Program, hosted by the Montana Electric Cooperatives’ Association (MECA).

The program, taking place October 3-4 in Great Falls, will feature presentations and discussions about the history and future of electric cooperatives, along with some fun and fellowship.

Members from rural electric cooperatives across the state have attended this valuable program for years. “What a great experience! It widened my perspective on the significant role of co-ops across Montana and in my community,” said one past participant.

If you would like to attend this year, call Mike Radel at 406-751-4429 by September 1 to enter your name into the drawing.


Now accepting applications for Student Teacher Scholarship

Now accepting applications for Student Teacher Scholarship

Flathead Electric Co-op is accepting applications for its $500 fall student teaching scholarship for students completing their education degree while student-teaching in the Co-op’s service territory. The funding will be distributed during the student’s first month of student teaching. The deadline to apply is September 30.

To be eligible, the candidate (or their parent or legal guardian) must be a member of Flathead Electric Cooperative served by the Co-op at their primary residence, and they must be attending an accredited post-secondary education institution in Montana.

For more information or to apply, visit scholarships.


Last call for calendar photo submissions

Member Photo CalendarDon’t miss the opportunity to have your photo of our beautiful area published in next year’s member photo calendar. Photo submissions are due August 31.
For more information or to submit a photo, click the green “Submit photo button” below.

Submit your photo


Your Co-op Connection of the Month
Get to know the people working for you

Gary Boe, Flathead Electric Trustee, District 7Gary Boe
Trustee, District 7
(Kalispell, south of Highway 2)

What do you bring to your Co-op?

I bring enthusiasm, experience and respect for the Cooperative business model. Co-ops like Missoula Federal Credit Union (where I served as a director for 24 years) and Flathead Electric, where I’m beginning my second year, are prime examples of businesses managed solely for the benefit of the member-owners. I was raised on a ranch south of Big Timber, where I learned good values and the virtue of hard work.

I have an MBA from The University of Montana and an extensive background in business management and local government.

What’s the best thing about working at FEC?

It is my priority and pleasure to serve the people of Flathead Electric, both the members and the high quality staff and management who are dedicated to providing the best service at the lowest rates possible. Serving as a trustee is fun, educational and rewarding.

If you had a super power, what would it be and why?

I would choose a super power of knowledge so I could do such things as invent, understand all languages and find cures. It would also be nice to finally be able to remember everyone’s names!


Roundup Report: Access for Fairground grandstands

Grandstand Ramp Rendering
A five-partner collaborative effort will improve access for all residents and guests at the Flathead County Fairground Grandstands beginning early this fall. Since 1935, a stairway has been the only way to enter activities being held inside the grandstands exhibit area, limiting many people’s visits.

Flathead County 4H is actively supporting this project as they use the exhibit area for their Shooting Sports program, serving 275 members twice a week over four winter months. Other 4H meetings and a wide variety of exhibitions are regularly held in the grandstands throughout the year.

Flathead County, Montana CDBG Office, 4H Shooting Sports, and Round Up for Safety ($6,000 grant) are contributing support funds along with the City of Kalispell to create ADA ramping, new stairs, and an awning roof. The project is scheduled to begin in early September and be completed before the end of 2017.

July 2017 Projects Funded

  • Libby Assembly of God Church
    Secure Keyless Entrance $1,725
  • Girls on the Run
    First Aid Kits and Training  $500
  • Flathead 4-H Foundation
    Safety Sheers and Pen  $500
  • Paws to Play
    Fencing  $5,000
  • Montana Lions Sight & Hearing Foundation
    Vision Screening Equipment  $6,500
  • Cabinet Peaks Medical Center
    Rehabilitation Equipment  $4,495

New Roundup for Safety Grant Application Process

All applications for Roundup for Safety funds should now be submitted online.