• Electrical Safety Poster Contest

    WECA is sponsoring its annual Electrical Safety Poster Contest, open to all third-grade students of electric cooperative-member households.

Right of First Refusal is Key Issue at 2024 Education and Lobby Days

February 2, 2024—Electric cooperative leaders from across the state gathered in Madison this week for WECA’s 2024 Education and Lobby Days event, which culminated Wednesday with Capitol visits, where members met with state lawmakers to talk about legislative proposals that impact electric cooperatives.

The key issue, WECA VP of Government Relations and External Affairs Rob Richard told the crowd, are SB 481/AB 470, also known as the “Right of First Refusal,” or ROFR. Currently up for consideration in the state capitol, the bills would give Wisconsin incumbent utilities, American Transmission Company (ATC), Dairyland Power Cooperative, and Xcel Energy, the right of first refusal for key transmission projects that allow for cost sharing, which means everyone in a multi-state area who will be served by the line is required to help fund it, regardless of who builds it.

“Most importantly, this legislation retains Wisconsin’s control over the safety and reliability of our state’s power grid, instead of ceding that control to federal regulators,” Richard explained. “We want to have ownership, we want to have control, we want to have a say in how this process is done.

Sheffield Brings Leadership Message to WECA Education and Lobby Days


February 2, 2024—Wisconsin Badgers Volleyball Head Coach Kelly Sheffield was the featured speaker at WECA’s Education and Lobby Days this week. Under Sheffield, Wisconsin women’s volleyball has had unrivaled success including four Final Fours and a 2021 NCAA Championship.

When Sheffield came to Madison, the women’s volleyball team was known as the “party team.” Sheffield changed the culture and the success of the team.

Under Sheffield, the Badgers became one of only three teams to compete in the Sweet 16 every year for the past 10 years, and the Badgers’ 2021 NCAA Championship was the first in program history.

Sheffield’s training starts at square one, with good body language and posture, because, he says, it’s how we communicate. He also emphasized the importance of clear expectations and making sure everyone on the team knows exactly what is expected of them. “Then you can start being the best version of yourself and going about things without fear of repercussions. They have to know what we're going to be about, and with our program, it's blue-collar work ethic, it's selflessness, it's teamwork, it's relentless effort, and continuous improvement. Those are the things we talk about,” he said.

Baldwin, Chanz, Shankland Honored with Champion of Electric Cooperatives Awards

February 2, 2024—On Wednesday, WECA presented Champion of Electric Cooperative Awards to U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin), and Wisconsin State Representatives Chanz Green (R-Grand View) and Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point).

Representative Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point)

L to R: Rob Richard, Lila Shower, CEO, Central Wisconsin Electric Cooperative, Rep. Katrina Shankland, and Jon Congdon, CEO, Adams-Columbia Electric Cooperative.

Shankland has been an advocate for electric cooperatives on key issues, including authoring legislation on wild parsnip, which poses an exposure danger to line crews in the field.

“I want to thank WECA for their important work alongside me and other legislators on our wild parsnip legislation,” Shankland said in accepting the award. “This has been crucial to getting this across the finish line and we are the closest we have ever been. And your organization has been a champion of workers to make sure that they are not being unnecessarily exposed to a very harmful invasive species that can really cause long-term damage to human health. So, thank you all for what you do.”

In 2017, Shankland led the charge advocating for changes to the law relating to the placement of sexually violent persons after a designated placement near the Central Wisconsin Electric Cooperative, where children are often present.

Shankland was first elected to represent the 71st District in the Wisconsin State Assembly in 2012 and has been re-elected five times.





Steve Freese, WECA President and CEO
Every time I witness electric cooperative members ready to engage their elected officials, it reminds me of a famous and often quoted phrase by the 20th-century anthropologist Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News

The Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News serves as the voice of the state’s rural electric cooperatives. Founded in 1940, the publication focuses on statewide issues that affect electric cooperatives, promoting the general welfare of Wisconsin’s electric cooperatives, their member-owners, and the areas they serve.

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