It’s time for me to step down from this special role as North Dakota Living editor. I am retiring later this month. Thanks to Josh Kramer, our editor-in-chief, for affording me this opportunity to bid a fond farewell.
A big thanks I must extend goes to the members of the cooperatives who make North Dakota Living part of their membership experience.
My long span of years with cooperatives reaches back to connections with homesteaders’ offspring, who expressed marvel at the arrival of electric power on their farms. This statewide magazine was born because these folks in North Dakota wanted to learn about what electricity could do and share stories of how it transformed their lives.
Their organizations for securing the miracle of rural electricity were cooperatives. Here in North Dakota, their journal about the miracle was known as the REC Magazine.
While the name has changed, today’s North Dakota Living continues along that path, in its 65th year. The vitality of North Dakota Living is attributable to succeeding generations of men and women who unselfishly want to take care of co-op members and advance their communities.
The hope continues to be that North Dakota Living strengthens your understanding and relationship with your cooperative. The magazine works best as a catalyst for community growth and as a testament to your progress, your opportunities and your pursuit of happiness.
Cooperatives listen. North Dakota Living does, too. That’s how – together – we succeed.
My travels pursuing North Dakota Living stories have been a joyful journey. I’ve felt the pride of driving along with our linemen as they carefully clean up miles of lines downed in a storm and restore power to members. I have visited budding artists, stubborn ranchers, family businesses, inspired teachers, and stood with elderly veterans, reminiscing on the grounds of their national World War II Memorial.
Again and again, from these diverse voices came a deep appreciation of what North Dakota home and roots – what ‘North Dakota living’ – means to them.
A hero during my cooperative career was North Dakota native Robert Feragen. Bob was a writing scholar, whose career path included national leadership posts for our cooperatives. At a major milestone in electric cooperative history, Bob stepped back into his poet’s shoes, and created “A Celebration of Success,” a majestic tribute to rural electrification. His ending of that poem reflects what the North Dakota Living experience has meant for me:
What was built is not for us alone – Nor for our children only.
The legacy is the future we make possible – cooperation arising from each community – Built upon the democratic dream.
It’s been an honor to participate over these years in your North Dakota Living. May the future we’ve made possible continue to produce many blessings for us.