Wisconsin Electric Co-ops Launch “Milk Gallon Giveaway” in Support of Wisconsin Dairy Farmers
June 1, 2020—Wisconsin electric cooperatives are coming together to support Wisconsin farmers, hit hard by the pandemic, by offering free gallons of milk to members. In honor of June Dairy Month, the Wisconsin Electric Cooperative Association and 15 electric cooperatives have partnered with Kwik Trip for the “Milk Gallon Giveaway,” to distribute potentially more than 100,000 gallons of milk.
Wisconsin’s member-owned electric cooperatives serve 57 percent of all dairy farms in the state. Wisconsin dairy farmers stand to lose hundreds of millions of dollars due to the response to the coronavirus. The “Milk Gallon Giveaway” is an effort to reduce the excess milk product and ease the impact on all area farmers.
WECA Expands Eligibility for 2020 Essay Contest
May 14, 2020—All Wisconsin high school students and college freshmen, whose primary residence is served by an electric cooperative, are eligible to enter the 2020 WECA Essay Contest, which offers cash scholarships for the top three winners. The essay contest is usually open exclusively to attendees of the Youth Leadership Congress, but that event has been cancelled this year, due to the pandemic.Students interested in entering the contest must submit a 600 to 1,200-word essay in response to a question related to electric cooperatives and youth involvement. A panel of three judges will review the essays and select the top three winners, who will be awarded scholarships of $1,000, $500, and $250. Entries must be postmarked by August 26, 2020.
For more information, click the button below or email Tina Walden, WECA Executive Assistant and Youth Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
COVID-19 and Wisconsin’s Electric Cooperatives
With so much information, it is important to utilize credible sources. Below is a link for Wisconsin co-op members to access the latest information:
Federal Relief Package Includes Support for Electric Co-ops
The $2 trillion coronavirus relief package passed last week includes many of the requests made by NRECA CEO Jim Matheson to bring help to electric cooperatives and their members by offering millions in aid for families in need, particularly those struggling to pay their utility bills. The bill includes funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster relief, Small Business Administration, and broadband programs. Also, the Small Business Administration loans included in the bill allow for loan forgiveness if the funds are used by the borrower to pay utility bills, which will serve as a valued option and incentive for members and offer assistance to electric cooperatives.
Here are some of the key provisions for co-ops in the nearly 900-page bill:
- Adds $900 million for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which helps low-income and moderate-income consumers pay their utility bills.
- Adds $100 million for grants through the USDA RUS ReConnect broadband program and $25 million for the RUS Distance Learning and Telemedicine grant program to expand investments in telemedicine and distance-learning services in rural areas.
- Adds $45 billion for the disaster relief fund administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Co-ops often rely on these funds to restore power after storms and other emergencies.
- Creates a $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program that provides federal government loan forgiveness (under Small Business Administration Section 7(a) loans) for small businesses to pay up to eight weeks of basic expenses, including electric, telephone, and internet bills.
- Creates a $10 billion SBA program to provide grants of up to $10,000 to small businesses to pay their workers and pay rent or mortgages, among other uses. Co-ops with fewer than 500 employees may be eligible for this grant program if they plan to apply for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Certain restrictions on those loans have now been waived.
Group Launches Application for Wisconsin Specialty License Plate to Honor All Utility Workers
In order for the plate to be produced, the group needs to submit 500 signatures from licensed Wisconsin drivers who commit to purchasing the plates at a ONE-TIME cost of $15, which covers the cost of production. The group is also raising funds for the development and design fee, which is $15,500. The purpose of the plate is to honor and recognize all persons working to ensure Wisconsinites have access to safe, affordable, and reliable electricity.
Vehicles that qualify to display the specialty plates include automobiles, motor homes, private trucks weighing 8,000 pounds or less, and farm trucks weighing 12,000 pounds or less.
The group promoting the “Keeping the Lights On” specialty plates hopes to complete the process and make the plates available to the public by April of 2021.
To provide your signature or make a donation in support of the project, go to the links below or contact Linda McAley, PO Box 65, Greenwood, WI, 54437-0065.
Lighting the Way for our Global Community
Partners for a Brighter Tomorrow is made possible by Wisconsin cooperatives and their communities, and NRECA International, a non-profit 501(c) (3) charitable organization, whose mission is to increase individual and community access to electricity in all parts of the world.
CO-OP DIFFERENCE |
As we enter our traditional June Dairy month, nothing is traditional this year. What is normally a time for celebrating our state’s rich dairy history has unfortunately taken a much different course thanks to COVID-19. June usually kicks off with a county dairy breakfast on a farm, where we get together with our neighbors and have a wonderful breakfast in a barn or machine shed.
Wisconsin Energy Cooperative NewsThe 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.
6/9/2020 to 6/12/2020 CDT
6/16/2020 to 6/18/2020 CDT
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