October 2021 Light Reading Newsletter


Download October 2021 Light Reading (PDF)


Fair Spotlight:

Cherished Traditions & Energizing Additions

With summer days squarely in our rear-view mirror, we look back fondly on the memories of barbecues with loved ones, days spent on the lake, and of course, our cherished Northwest Montana Fair. Keeping in mind two of the seven Cooperative Principles, Concern for Community and Education, Training & Information, Flathead Electric Cooperative (FEC) was excited to premiere our new Electric Fun House fair booth for our members. Booth attendees of all ages had the opportunity to learn about topics near and dear to their Co-op while having a little fun and supporting our community! In case you missed us in-person, we wanted our readers to hear about the highlights.

Fair Parade view from the bucket truck
View from the bucket of FEC’s Line Truck during the 2021 NWMT Fair Parade in Kalispell.

Fair Parade

We were thrilled to be part of the fair parade again this year. Our bucket truck (driven this year by Journeyman Tree Trimmer Foreman Todd Weigum) is always a crowd pleaser, and we also brought our all-electric Chevy Bolt to the party!

Chevy Bolt
FEC’s all-electric Chevy Bolt.

Photo Booth

FEC’s bucket truck photo booth is a fan favorite! Besides providing the opportunity to pose for a photo as a lineman, this attraction also explains how power is distributed to our homes and businesses and highlights the critical work our lineworkers do to keep our distribution system reliable.

Photo Booth
Kids at the fair can pretend to be a lineworker and have their photo taken in our bucket truck photo booth.


Our new hydropower model showcased how our power is generated from clean, reliable, carbon-free hydropower at the dams on our rivers in the Northwest, then delivered to our homes.

FEC Research Analyst Doug Gilmore demonstrates how a hydroelectric dam works.

How Electricity Works

Our human generator, static ball, and energy cycle offered booth attendees fun and interactive ways to learn what electricity is at the atomic level, how electrons flow, the function of conductors and insulators, and the importance of energy efficiency.

Energy Bike
FEC Distribution Designer Collin Novotny demonstrates how much energy it takes to power different types of light bulbs.
2021 Raffle Winners
Raffle Winners Kaitlin Hagadone & Jason Sperry bring home the beef!

Ribeye Raffle

Our annual Ribeye Raffle raises funds for local food banks giving ticket holders a chance to win the prime steak cuts from the beef FEC purchases at the 4-H/FFA stock sale each year. This year’s raffle raised a record $12,586, bringing our total raised for food banks in FEC’s service area over the last six years to $29,832. Thank you to all who purchased tickets, and congratulations to our Ribeye Raffle winners, Kaitlin Hagadone and Jason Sperry who each took home approximately 60 one-inch-thick premium Ribeye and T-bone steaks.


We Want Your Feedback

Annual Member Survey: Your Chance for a $100 Bill Credit

This year’s member satisfaction survey is open now through November 10. As a thank you for taking the time, all survey participants will be entered into a drawing for one of five $100 electric bill credits.

Being a Cooperative means that Flathead Electric is a not-for-profit entity owned by the members we serve. It also means that we are genuinely interested in hearing feedback from our members. We appreciate all the feedback we’ve received over the years. Positive and negative alike, we take your comments seriously and make use of them to provide you with excellent service.

Access the survey online, or members who do not have access to a computer can call 406-751-4471 to complete the survey via phone.



FEC to send three high school students to Washington, D.C.

The most frequent words we hear from the local high school students who come back from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Youth Tour to Washington, D.C. is that “it was a life changing experience.”

NRECA sends more than 1,500 high-school students to Washington, D.C. each year to learn about the history of this country and the role electric cooperatives played in that history, and to meet with their congressional delegation. 25 students each year are from Montana, three of which are sent (all expenses paid) by Flathead Electric Co-op. High school sophomores or juniors whose parents are served by FEC are eligible to apply.

Applications must be submitted by November 15.


Co-op Connection

Get to know the people working for you

Will Tutvedt

Meet Will Tutvedt – Digital Marketing & Community Outreach Specialist

Q. What do you bring to your Co-op?

A. I bring new digital marketing skills, techniques, and ideas in an effort to keep the Co-op and its members engaged and informed.

Q. What’s the best thing about serving Flathead Electric Cooperative?   

A. The best thing about serving Flathead Electric Cooperative is having the opportunity to interact with the community and our members.

Q. If you had a super-power, what would it be?

A. Teleportation. That way I wouldn’t have to deal with traffic, and I could travel the world on my lunch break!


Roundup Report

Grant to help Marion School students prepare for emergencies


A $1,500 grant to Boy Scouts of America will benefit the Marion Elementary-Middle School with the distribution of Stop the Bleed and Emergency Preparedness Kits. In applying for the grant on behalf of his hometown, Kai Townsend said that supplying the kits (and coordinating with the fire department to train teachers on their use) is his Eagle Scout project, adding that while he hopes the kits will never have to be used, they will provide an extra layer of safety and security that could possibly save someone’s life.

September Projects Funded

  • Northwest Montana Head Start
    Two AEDs $2,400
  • All Saints Episcopal Church
    Removal of hazard trees $2,250
  • Glacier Nordic Club
    Ski trail lighting system upgrades $5,000

Roundup for Safety is a voluntary program for FEC members who round up their electric bills to the next dollar. This money goes into a fund for community safety projects.