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Rural Missouri Magazine

Rural Missouri's a winner!

by Barry Hart

by Barry Hart

Communication: It’s one of the basic principles under which successful cooperatives operate. We communicate for an important reason.

Cooperatives are organized like our great republic. Members elect fellow members to represent them on the co-op board. If we expect members to make informed decisions, we must educate them on these issues that affect their cooperative and how their elected representatives respond to those issues.

Since 1948, electric cooperatives in Missouri have chosen to do most of their communicating through the pages of this publication.

By combining their communications efforts into one publication instead of 40 different ones, we can produce a professional publication that meets your needs at an affordable rate. We produce and deliver Rural Missouri for 28.5 cents a copy, far less than the price of a postage stamp.

I am pleased that beginning this month the cooperative I once worked for, Platte-Clay Electric, will be sending Rural Missouri to its entire membership. Their decision will further strengthen the electric cooperative mission in Missouri.

To measure how we are doing, we like to put our publication up against others in the cooperative world. Through the annual Cooperative Communicators Association contest, we seek the opinions of esteemed judges who tell us how we rate compared to other cooperatives.

This year Rural Missouri was named the Best Cooperative Newspaper in the entire country. We also won the coveted Best Use of Photos honor. In addition, staff members Heather Berry and Bob McEowen brought home individual awards for photography and writing, with Bob taking 12 awards including Best of Show for photography and six first-place awards for his work.

Judges liked the way Rural Missouri combines local and national news about electric cooperative issues with easy-to-read features that promote rural people and businesses. We hope you enjoy our efforts.

Starting next month, Rural Missouri will begin an important series of articles explaining what is happening with rates at your local cooperative. Many factors are coming together in a “perfect storm” scenario that will force your directors to make some tough decisions on rates.

While we can’t do much to make these issues go away, we can do our best to explain what is happening and to outline steps you, as a consumer, can do to help.

The news is not all bad. The series will also point out the wisdom of cooperative leaders who put Missouri ahead of the curve in planning for the issues now facing us.

The staff of Rural Missouri is dedicated to publishing a quality magazine. They are recognized by their peers as being the best in the business.

They are also mindful of the fact that this publication, like everything at your electric cooperative, belongs to its readers.

We look forward to hearing from you each month, whether it’s a comment about something we published, a pat on the back or an idea for a future issue.

Please keep those cards and letters coming.

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

E-mail Barry Hart

 

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Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives

Rural Missouri
2722 E. McCarty Street
P.O. Box 1645 • Jefferson City, Mo. 65102
573-659-3423

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