Josh Kramer

Stop digging, June 2023

The interconnected electric grid in the United States is the largest, most complex machine in the world. More than 7,300 power generating plants. Nearly 200,000 miles of high-voltage power lines. Millions of miles of low-voltage power lines. Try to imagine the number of substations, transformers and, of course, utility workers required to meet the critical, 24/7 task of maintaining this incredible system.

Josh Kramer

Bad timing, April 2023

Josh Kramer’s middle child, Carter

It has been a winter for the record books, not that I care much for breaking records. But I said it before and I will say it again, THANK YOU to all who do their part to maintain roads, equipment and power lines, respond to emergencies and make it possible to feed people and animals.

Josh Kramer

Moments of consensus, March 2023

My editorial this month comes to you as we hit the peak of the North Dakota legislative session, which happens every two years. It’s a busy time for leaders in state and local government, media and advocacy organizations. It’s also a critical time for North Dakota citizens to engage with their legislators on issues that matter to them.

Some bills certainly draw more attention than others. If you would indulge me for a moment, however, I want to direct your attention to some things that don’t draw the most attention: moments of consensus.

Josh Kramer

All of us, February 2023

My wife and I reached an important milestone as parents to start the school year, when our twins, the youngest of our five children, started kindergarten. For nearly 18 years, we’ve consistently had younger children, not yet school age, at home. And like many parents, my wife, Sarah, and I had to figure out how the most precious people in our lives – our kids – would be cared for, while we worked to provide for our family.

Josh Kramer

Teachable moments, January 2023

As the calendar flips to a new year, we find ourselves in the throes of what’s proving to be a humbling winter. Even the boldest among us are not immune to the snow, sleet, ice, wind and frigid temps.

Heck, I even saw a few teenagers don what appeared to be winter coats during recent spells of winter weather – a rare occurrence, equivalent to UFO sightings or the potential for a Minnesota Vikings Super Bowl appearance! (I am holding out hope this could be the year … for a Bigfoot discovery.)

Josh Kramer

‘Twas the night before deadline, December 2022

Some months, there are moments of inspiration, and my editorial comes easy. Other months, not so much. Thankfully, we have a witty and talented editor, Cally Peterson, who can produce a writeup on a dime.

   ’Twas the night before deadline, when all through my head,
   Not a wee thought was stirring. Shall I just go to bed?
   The pages were placed by our editor with care,
   In hopes this editorial soon would be there…

Josh Kramer

Being intentional, November 2022

Thank you. That is how I close most email messages, and let me tell you, I send and receive a lot throughout my day. Ending a message with “thank you” has become habit for me, almost to the point, I fear, of overuse. I worry if these two meaningful words, together, have lost their chutzpah.

Like many things, responses have become automatic.

“How are you doing?” “Good. And you?” we quickly reply.

But how are you doing, actually? Have there been days you weren’t “good,” and by not saying so, did you miss an opportunity for an authentic interaction?

Josh Kramer

Editorial: Punching above their weight, October 2022

There are countless examples of cooperative success in rural America. We write about them often in the pages of this magazine. They are some of my favorite stories, because they illustrate how rural people in rural places have used cooperatives to “punch above their weight.”

We, as cooperatives, didn’t arrive at success or a place of respect, however, alone. As we celebrate cooperatives this Co-op Month, it is also important we recognize our partners, friends and supporters who have helped us along the way.

Josh Kramer

Editorial: Can you relate? September 2022

My oldest daughter celebrated her birthday recently. It was a Saturday morning, and I told my 6-year-old daughter, Olivia, to wake her big sister and wish her a happy birthday, which she eagerly did.

My wife and I could hear the exchange from the other room.

Knock, knock.

“Happy birthday, Sophia! …Two more years and you’re out of here!” Olivia exclaimed.

“Get out of here, you brat,” Sophia replied.

Olivia pranced her way downstairs, knowing this little witty comedian had a “good one.”