On April 14, Alfalfa Electric Cooperative held its 87th Annual Meeting. This year’s event was a unique combination of past meetings. First, many members participated in the drive-thru registration from 2-5 p.m. at AEC’s building complex. Other members waited to register at the Cherokee High School Auditorium. The co-op gave this year’s 449 registered members a thermal bag and an Eddie Bauer blanket. Then, with the help of a dozen Cherokee FCCLA students, AEC served members and their families a pulled pork sandwich, baked beans and potato salad in the Cherokee cafeteria from 5-7 p.m.
Despite the challenges of 2022, AEC managed costs well, which resulted in operating margins for the year of $1,248,187 and total margins for the year of $2,332,465. With this in mind, AEC’s Board of Trustees approved returning margins as capital credits to its members. These credits totaled $1,995,000! As in past years, retirements of $50 or less are applied to the members’ accounts, showing up as a line item on your bill as “capital credit refund.” AEC mailed capital credit checks that were over $50.
CEO and General Manager Greg Goetz shared co-op news from the past year. Overall, 2022 was a good year, with AEC seeing some growth for the first time since 2016 — a 4% increase in kWh sales. Increased activity in oil and gas, new homes, and AEC Services all contributed to this growth.
Over the last 20 years, Operation RoundUp (ORU) has collected over $741,000 and distributed over $682,000. In 2022, ORU collected over $43,000 and distributed over $52,000 to individuals and organizations throughout the AEC service territory. This is made possible by you, the members.
While system maintenance remains a priority, AEC’s in-house pole inspection program checks anywhere from 8,000 to 10,000 poles annually. As a result of these inspections and, of course, Mother Nature, we have replaced around 1,500 poles this year. This inspection program positively affects our system reliability and outage time.
Alfalfa Electric Cooperative was thrilled to honor Brigadier General Colby B. Wyatt during the annual meeting. General Wyatt is the director of the joint staff — Oklahoma National Guard. He is responsible for directing the activities of the Army and Air Joint Staff and is the principal advisor to the adjutant general on domestic operations. General Wyatt oversees the readiness of Oklahoma National Guard personnel, provides oversight in military support, protection, and domestic operations, and promotes shared awareness with the adjutant general, National Guard Bureau, United States Northern Command, and joint/interagency partners. When directed, General Wyatt serves as the state’s Joint Task Force Commander and/or Dual Status Commander.
General Wyatt received AEC’s Outstanding Military Recipient Award. General Wyatt spoke passionately about Alfalfa Electric Cooperative and its members in northwest Oklahoma and southern Kansas. General Wyatt shared some thoughts after the meeting.
“I would like to thank AEC for their invitation to the 2023 annual meeting. Having myself and Lieutenant Colonel Mike Scanlon as guest speakers was a way for us to thank you for all the hard work and caring you provide for our families, especially while we are away from home,” General Wyatt said.
AEC is honored to award General Wyatt the Outstanding Military Award, and we thank him and his family, who have all made sacrifices as he serves our country.
This year, all annual meeting prizes were cash. Members did not need to be present to win. Each of the eight districts had four $50 winners and one grand prize $500 winner. Winners who were present for the meeting received cash. AEC has contacted those who won but were not in attendance.
Although AEC just completed its 87th Annual Meeting, plans have already begun for next year’s meeting. Annual meetings are valuable opportunities for the co-op employees and board members to connect with the members and their families. It is also an excellent time for members to learn more about their co-op. AEC is honored to continue serving its members for years to come. Your co-op employees hope to see you at cooperative events in the future.