Season 5

May 15, 2023: Tony Anderson, general manager of Cherryland Electric Cooperative in Michigan, recently kicked off his two-year term as NRECA president. He’s a familiar figure in the electric cooperative program, with a career that has included working at five co-ops in five states and a high-profile charitable campaign that involved running a marathon in every state. Hear from Anderson about his career track, what he’ll focus on as NRECA president and what his priorities are going forward.

This episode is sponsored by OutSolve.

April 13, 2023: Electric school buses are becoming a more common sight in rural school districts, thanks in part to new federal funding created by the bipartisan infrastructure law. For electric co-ops that serve these districts, what are the opportunities and challenges posed by this new demand for electricity? Hear from NRECA's Stephanie Crawford, Bradley Cherry of Grayson Rural Electric Cooperative Corp. in Kentucky and Travis Mathes of Lewis County Rural Electric Cooperative in Missouri.

This episode is sponsored by Pivot.

March 23, 2023: Over the last 50 years, the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour has sent over 75,000 rural teenagers to Washington, D.C., for the “trip of a lifetime,” where they meet with their elected officials and build relationships. Through the Youth Tour and Youth Leadership Council, NRECA works to cultivate our next generation of co-op leaders. Learn more in this episode from NRECA Youth Programs and Training Manager Beth Knudson and 2023 Youth Leadership Council national spokesperson Rukaya Alrubaye.

This episode is sponsored by Meridian Cooperative.

Feb. 21, 2023: Electric co-ops saw a major victory last year with the inclusion of direct-pay incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act. The law gives co-ops and other tax-exempt entities the ability to receive reimbursements from the government for deploying new energy technologies, putting them on a playing field with for-profit providers. How does this change the game for co-ops going forward? Hear from NRECA's Paul Gutierrez, Minnkota Power Cooperative's Mac McLennan, and Northeastern REMC's Eric Jung.

This episode is sponsored by Power & Tel.

Jan. 24, 2023: More than 200 electric co-ops have already built or started work to offer broadband either on their own or in a partnership, and that number will only grow with billions in funding on the way to help close the digital divide. But what does it take for a co-op to create and run a broadband business? Hear from Craig Eccher, former CEO of Tri-County REC in Pennsylvania and its broadband subsidiary, Bill Gerski of Beacon Broadband, a subsidiary of Coos-Curry EC in Oregon, and NRECA's Paul Breakman.

This episode is sponsored by Calix.

Season 4

Dec. 8, 2022: Small modular nuclear reactors and their smaller cousins, microreactors, are getting plenty of buzz as an important potential source of carbon-free power amid the energy transition. Are they capable of delivering on their many promises from a technological and financial standpoint, and how long will it take until we could realistically expect these devices to be added to the grid? Learn more from NRECA's Dan Walsh and Copper Valley Electric Association's Travis Million.

This episode is sponsored by CHR Solutions.

Nov. 21, 2022: The $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure law passed in late 2021 offers an unprecedented opportunity for electric co-ops to add services and improve their systems, but it also presents a challenge in terms of navigating the complicated and time-consuming process of applying for federal grants. Hear from NRECA's Lauren Khair on the association's infrastructure resources for co-ops and Victoria Electric Cooperative's Jessica Gray on how her co-op is managing the grant application process.

This episode is sponsored by CTC Global.

Oct. 18, 2022: Cybersecurity Awareness Month edition: What do an electric cooperative's internal and operational networks look like to a hacker, and what can co-ops do to tighten their defenses? Hear from Ryan Newlon, NRECA's cybersecurity solutions principal, and Bryan Hatton, a cybersecurity researcher at the Idaho National Laboratory whose work includes “white hat hacking."

This episode is sponsored by Nokia.

Sept. 23, 2022: The advent of more engaged and empowered consumer-members is driving broad changes in the way electric co-ops do business and how they communicate about the services they offer. Hear from two co-op leaders who work closely with the co-ops in their states to help them keep up with member expectations: Nelle Hotchkiss of North Carolina's Electric Cooperatives and Lisa Johnson of Seminole Electric Cooperative in Florida.

This episode is sponsored by TextPower.

Aug. 19, 2022: The ongoing global supply chain crisis has spurred double-digit inflation, frustrated companies and consumers and driven the U.S. economy to the brink of recession. Electric co-ops are feeling the brunt of the impact, facing unprecedented challenges in procuring key grid components like transformers, conductor and power poles. How are co-ops leading the industry in managing this supply crunch? Hear from Arkansas co-op leader Buddy Hasten and NRECA's Martha Duggan.

This episode is sponsored by ERMCO.

July 15, 2022: More than 200 electric cooperatives already provide broadband, and co-ops' role in this space is poised to become more prominent amid new government funding and an unprecedented resolve in the wake of the pandemic to close the digital divide. NRECA Broadband, a new service tier launched this summer, will leverage NRECA's expertise, influence and reputation in helping co-ops enter the telecommunications sector. Learn more from NRECA CEO Jim Matheson and Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey Connor.

This episode is sponsored by CHR Solutions.

June 27, 2022: As many rural areas have suffered population loss and stagnating economic growth, electric co-ops have stepped up to try to reverse this trend through broad community development efforts. Hear from Touchstone Energy® Cooperative Executive Director Jana Adams, Erica Shehane of Lynches River Electric Cooperative in South Carolina and Dan Boysel of Consolidated Cooperative in Ohio on co-ops' efforts to bring vitality and growth back to the regions they serve.

This episode is sponsored by Meridian Cooperative.

May 23, 2022: Hydropower plants are marvels of engineering that have helped bring development and prosperity to the regions they serve. But they're also in the crosshairs of interest groups that say they should be closed because of their environmental impacts and others who want to sell the facilities to private industry. Learn more from three hydropower experts: Kurt Miller of Northwest RiverPartners, Benton REA's Troy Berglund and NRECA's Ashley Slater.

This episode is sponsored by LiveWire.

April 19, 2022: Electric cooperatives, whose rugged territories and unique operational needs are ideally suited to the capabilities of drones, are leading the way as unmanned aircraft take on a heightened role in the utility industry. Hear from NRECA's Stan McHann and Sangre de Cristo Electric Association's Bill Hovanec about how co-ops are pushing the limits of drones and where this promising technology is heading.

This episode is sponsored by PrecisionHawk.

March 22, 2022: Workplaces had already been changing rapidly before COVID-19 hit, but the pace of change has accelerated to an unprecedented level since then. For co-ops, advances in technology, more interest in remote work, surging retirements and evolving member expectations have made it essential for managers to ensure that their workplace culture fosters learning and leadership development and attracts the right new talent. Learn more from Sioux Valley Energy's Tim McCarthy and NRECA's Delaine Orendorff.

This episode is sponsored by Power & Tel.

Feb. 15, 2022: The mission of NRECA International is to bring the insights, experience and expertise of America's electric cooperatives to the world. But the impacts of the pandemic have complicated that mission, curtailing global electrification efforts and curbing travel. How is NRECA International overcoming these challenges and continuing to adapt? Hear from Dan Waddle, the group's leader, as well as Nick Allen, international projects director. (NRECA International is a separate legal entity from NRECA.)

This episode is sponsored by CoBank.

Jan. 25, 2022: Electric vehicle sales are skyrocketing in the U.S. as Americans embrace these highly efficient, fun-to-drive machines and more car manufacturers commit to releasing all-electric models. But EV popularity has largely been centered on urban and suburban areas and slower to catch on in rural America. What are the reasons for this dynamic, and what are electric cooperatives doing about it? Hear from NRECA's Brian Sloboda and Wright-Hennepin Cooperative Electric Association's Wendy Youngren.

This episode is sponsored by the 2022 NRECA PowerXchange and TechAdvantage® Experience.

Previous Episodes

How to Listen

You can listen to Along Those Lines episodes right here on our podcast page, and you can subscribe to Along Those Lines using standard podcast apps:

You can also find us on YouTube, Stitcher and Spotify. If you’d like to subscribe directly to the Along Those Lines RSS feed, you can copy and paste the following URL into your preferred podcast player:

New to Podcasts?

Got Feedback?

Please take a moment to rate and review Along Those Lines on your podcast service or app. We’re always open to input. For any other questions, please reach out to us at