Celebrating co-op independence
Article was added on Thursday, July 04, 2013
ON JULY 4 we celebrated our nation's independence. In the midst of
apple pies and hot dogs, fireworks shows and parades, I can't help
but think about the independent streak that inspired groups of
farmers around America's countryside to band together and improve
their quality of life.
Aside from President Franklin Roosevelt's promise of federal aid
in the form of low-interest loans and engineering expertise, rural
Americans didn't have much help in bringing electricity to their
homes. They pulled themselves up by their proverbial bootstraps and
did it themselves.
This independence not only tends to inspire cooperatives; it's a
guiding principle. The Fourth Cooperative Principle, "Autonomy and
Independence," means that no matter what contracts and alliances
Santee Electric Cooperative might enter into, we will always remain
an independent entity.
Each year, Santee Electric's Annual Meeting of Members becomes
an independence celebration. You hear reports from the co-op's
leadership and, in short order, we take care of co-op business. We
all enjoy that All-American favorite, hot dogs, and have some fun.
I would like to take this time to thank those of you who attended
this year's Annual Meeting. We had almost 4,000 members join us at
the meeting. That's co-op spirit for you.
Electric cooperatives form a vast network across the country,
from coast to coast. Co-op lines are strung in 47 states, serving
42 million people-a different world from 1935, when much of America
remained dark. This Fourth of July, as we recognize the hard-fought
war that created the United States, I'll also tip my hat to Santee
Electric's founders, who beat incredible odds to make life
better for themselves and their neighbors.
We look forward to seeing you again next year at our Annual
Meeting for Santee Electric Co-op's 75th anniversary
when we'll celebrate our co-op's autonomy and independence all over
Floyd L. Keels
President and Chief Executive Officer
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