2 women and man speaking to each other

What a great job I have! Every day, I have access to some of the best writers around, telling stories about co-op members and the cool things they do. Through the past year, our writers have taken readers on many journeys. Here are five of my favorite Ruralite local stories from 2021. I’m willing to bet there are similar stories to be found in your service area if you know where to look.


5. Disc Golf a Hit in Mackay

By Dianna Troyer
Lost River Electric Cooperative, Idaho

Disc golf has become relatively common. Yet this story takes us a bit deeper into the sport. Dianna immediately shows how accessible it is with the quote in the second paragraph about a 90-year-old playing the game. And who knew there was a professional association with rules officials and sanctioned tournaments? This story makes me want to get out and give it a try.

Read Dianna's Story


4. Homework, Happiness, Opportunity

By Drew Myron
Wasco Electric Cooperative, Oregon

The super volunteers are what make our communities great. Drew pulls back the curtain on Amber Anderson, who started an after-school program. But this program isn’t just day care. Amber began with a few after-school classes, but in eight years now has a fully developed program that serves a 90-mile area. The program offers field trips, summer day camps, STEM lessons, literacy and art.

Read Drew's Story


3. Determined Despite Disabilities

By Craig Reed
Douglas Electric Cooperative, Oregon

This is a story about overcoming challenges. Craig’s story brings readers into the dangers of the logging industry and tells how three men overcame serious injuries to continue working. The money quote: “There’s always somebody in a worse situation than me.”

Read Craig's Story


2. Bees, Please 

By Danita Cahill
Consumers Power, Oregon

This is a great example of taking a common subject and digging a little deeper to engage the reader. But Danita didn’t just tell the stock story about beekeeping. By showing us the relationship of father and son working together, she makes the reader care. Her lead sequence conjures up sounds we can all relate to and helps us feel a part of the story from the start. Lots of fun facts are bonus nuggets for the reader.

Read Danita's Story


1. Success Stories

By Craig Reed
Lane Electric Cooperative, Oregon

I love stories that complete the loop. This story by Craig does that by following up on high school co-op scholarship winners. We get to see their life paths after the scholarships and after college. As an added twist, two of the scholarship winners who became nurses also cared for Dave D’Avanzo, who presented the scholarships to them. This same idea could be applied to Youth Tour kids: 10 years later, what are they doing and how did the program affect the course of their lives?

Read Craig's Story

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Do you have a favorite local pages feature? 

Share what story engaged your readers in the comments below. You never know when your example might spark inspiration for other Utility Pioneers!