For more information on Along Those Lines and to access the most recent episodes, view our main podcast page. Below, listen to episodes from podcast's second season.

Oct. 15, 2019: Season 2 of Along Those Lines kicks off with a look at co-ops’ role in protecting the national electric grid. Hear from Co-Mo Electric Cooperative’s Ryan Newlon, who works with the National Guard on projects that examine real-life threats and defense strategies for cybersecurity, and NRECA’s Barry Lawson, who discusses how co-ops work with key government agencies on cybersecurity.

This episode is sponsored by Sensus, a Xylem brand.

Nov. 12, 2019: Midwestern farmers faced devastating flooding last spring, with recovery efforts still ongoing. Nebraska farm owners Kristi and Drew Wolfe give a firsthand look at what it’s been like to cope with this disaster. Kim Christiansen, who was GM of the Nebraska Rural Electric Association before joining NRECA, discusses the overall impact in Nebraska, and Sam McDonald of NRECA’s legislative team sheds light on efforts to shape federal flood mitigation priorities.

Dec. 18, 2019: Advancing Energy Access for All, a new NRECA initiative, focuses on low- and moderate-income households who are at risk of being left out of some of the latest advances on the grid. Hear from NRECA’s Adaora Ifebigh, who oversees the initiative, as well as Tony Anderson, CEO of Cherryland Electric Cooperative in Michigan, which has several programs aimed at helping members in need.

Jan. 10, 2020: We’re kicking off the election year by delving into the critical role of rural voters: What issues are important to constituents in electric co-op territories, and what are co-ops doing to make sure their voices are heard? Hear from NRECA Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey Connor and pollster Keith Frederick on what to expect in terms of political engagement in co-op country this year.

This episode is sponsored by CoBank.

Feb. 14, 2020: More and more electric utilities are deploying large battery systems to store power, but it’s a technology that’s still very much in its infancy. How are co-ops integrating storage, and how are they using it to serve their members? Hear from NRECA’s Jan Ahlen about the state of this key technology and from Anza Electric Cooperative’s Kevin Short and AEPCO’s Barry Brown about a joint utility-scale storage project to help Anza battle resiliency challenges.

This episode is sponsored by Power & Tel.

March 20, 2020: With the American workplace changing dramatically due to new technologies and generational shifts, how are electric co-ops adapting while facing additional challenges unique to their rural environments? Hear from Cheryl Cran, a workplace and leadership expert, and Holly Wetzel, NRECA’s senior director for marketing and member communications.

This episode is sponsored by Sensus, a Xylem brand.

April 21, 2020: While many Americans are working remotely to curb the spread of coronavirus, cooperative line crews and broadband technicians are essential workers, keeping members connected to power and internet. We talk to an expert at Great River Energy, a generation and transmission co-op in Minnesota, about how his co-op is maintaining the electric grid while keeping crews safe and cybersecurity tight. Then we hear from leaders at SEMO Electric Cooperative in Missouri and Jackson Electric Cooperative in Texas about safety measures for staff and meeting the challenge of growing demand for co-op broadband.

This episode is sponsored by Ribbon.

May 20, 2020: Electric cooperatives, by their very nature, are accustomed to dealing with disruptions large and small. But the landscape for managing crises is changing dramatically. Stephen Bell, NRECA’s senior director for media and public relations, and Bill Coletti, CEO of the reputation management firm Kith, talk us through theiradvice on how to plan for, respond to and recover from events that interrupt our normal course of business.

This episode is sponsored by G&T Communications.

June 9, 2020: Electric cooperatives across the South have already seen massive storm damage across their systems, and the 2020 hurricane season is just now getting started. When outages are too much for one co-op to handle, neighboring co-ops from within their state and across state lines are quick to lend a helping hand. Experts talk us through how co-op mutual aid is coordinated and what it looks like on the ground, even with the added challenges of a global pandemic.

This episode is sponsored by OFS.

July 7, 2020: As local and national campaigns gear up across the country, electric cooperatives work to ensure their consumer-members are informed of the issues that matter most to rural communities and have the opportunity to make their voices heard at the polls. In this two-part episode, we talk first to NRECA's Laura Vogel and Nonprofit Vote's Brian Miller about national initiatives and resources for co-ops and possible changes to the election process. In part two, Stephanie Johnson of Jasper County REMC in Indiana describes what these efforts look like on the ground in her rural service territory.

This episode is sponsored by Hubbell Utility Systems and NRTC.

Aug. 6, 2020: Wildfires have caused massive destruction in Western states and across the country during recent summers. Electric cooperatives reduce fire risk by maintaining rights of way and keeping equipment up to date, but their efforts are often complicated by the need to coordinate with multiple government agencies that oversee federal lands. We talk to NRECA Regulatory Issues Director Janelle Lemen, Dave Markham, CEO of Central Electric Cooperative in Oregon, and the U.S. Forest Service’s Jim Menakis about how these partnerships work and how they plan to make them better.

This episode is sponsored by OFS.

Sept. 16, 2020: The beneficial electrification movement—using electricity to replace fossil fuels for everything from mowing your lawn to powering your car—has gained momentum and led to the formation of the Beneficial Electrification League. With chapters in states across the country and a national board, the league’s mission is to increase understanding of electrification’s economic, consumer and environmental benefits. The league’s co-chair, Gary Connett, formerly of Great River Energy, and Tri-State G&T CEO Duane Highley, who heads its Colorado chapter, chat with us about their goals for the group and how co-ops are getting involved.

This episode is sponsored by NRTC.

Oct. 6, 2020: In celebration of National Co-op Month, we talk to electric cooperative employees whose routine workdays turned into lifesaving rescue missions as they came to the aid of community members. Crew members describe rescuing a woman trapped in a flooded creek in Tennessee, pulling two men from a fiery armored truck crash in Missouri, and saving an older resident from his burning Mississippi home.

This episode is sponsored by Hubbell.

Nov. 16, 2020: The proliferation of sensors and other downline devices means electric cooperatives now have access to mountains of system data. During the 2020 NRECA TechAdvantage Conference and Expo, NRECA’s Venkat Banunarayanan and Rappahannock Electric Cooperative‘s John Hewa discussed how co-ops are using that data to improve reliability, plan for the future and better serve their members.

This episode is sponsored by IPKeys.

Dec. 14, 2020: When NRECA President Curtis Wynn took office, he set out to focus on how co-ops can navigate the rapid pace of change in our industry. This platform took on new meaning in 2020 with a heightened focus on racial inequality in America. As he approaches the end of his two-year term, Wynn chats with us about diversity, equity and inclusion in the co-op workforce and reflects on how the industry is managing change and innovation.

This episode is sponsored by NRTC.

Jan. 26, 2021: With a new Congress and new administration in place, how will co-ops engage with the government on their policy priorities—from the immediate COVID-19 health and economic crises to infrastructure to climate policy? Hear from Stacey Alexander, a former congressional staffer and now a political and policy consultant with the firm Subject Matter, and Louis Finkel, NRECA’s senior vice president of government relations.

This episode is sponsored by Sunrise Energy Ventures.

Feb. 23, 2021: The need to close America’s digital divide is as crucial as ever, and the FCC’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund stands to have a huge impact, with billions in funding for deploying broadband to unserved communities. NRECA’s Brian O’Hara and NRTC’s Greg Santoro break down how the RDOF auction works and outline concerns about winning bidders with unproven technologies, and Tri-County Rural Electric Cooperative’s Rachel Hauser gives the perspective from a co-op that’s looking to use RDOF funding to make major progress in its broadband efforts.

This episode is sponsored by Power & Tel.