What’s New & Calendar of Events

Rural Electrification in the News

The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) dedicated a historic plaque on April 11, 2019, to celebrate a historic event in rural electrification. In the 1920’s the Alabama Power Company installed a rural electric line that provided service to ten farms, a cotton gin, and a dairy. They then met with the head of Auburn University’s Agricultural Engineering Department, Mark Nichols, to discuss rural electrification. The plaque commemorates the establishment of the first cooperative program for rural electrification between a power company and an agricultural engineering department.  Read more here.

Professional Development Opportunities

  • Classes in Stray Voltage Investigation for dairy producers and agricultural professionals are typically held once a year. Stray Voltage Investigator’s Classes were developed by the University of Wisconsin, Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection.
  • A class in Advanced Stray Voltage Investigation will be offered October 15-16, 2019, in Madison, Wisconsin. View the brochure for the Advanced class here.
  • Register for the Advanced Stray Voltage Investigation class here:
  • Classes in Introduction to Stray Voltage, and Stray Voltage Testing were held May 14-16, 2019 in Arlington, Wisconsin. View the brochure for the Intro and Intermediate classes here. Similar classes will be held in 2020.
  • Planning is underway for the 2020 MREC Rural Energy Conference, to be held February 12-14 at the Radisson Hotel in La Crosse, WI. The 2019 MREC Rural Energy Conference was held February 13-15, 2019 in Bloomington, MN at the newly renovated Embassy Suites Minneapolis Airport Hotel, (7901 34th Avenue South, Bloomington,MNI, 55425).  The speakers’ topics included drones and how they are used by utilities and in agriculture, rural residential generators, engineer ethics, robotics on large dairy farms, electric vehicles and the infrastructure for fast charging, veterinarian perspectives on emerging dairy animal health issues, on-farm energy audits, and the Beneficial Electrification League. The pre-conference workshop was on crucial conversations: identifying and reducing stress. See the conference brochure here.
  • Credit for Professional Training:

    • If you participated in an educational opportunity hosted by the Midwest Rural Energy Council and would like information on how to document instructional hours for professional training credit, click here.  You can get documentation for participation in the MREC Annual Conference or the Stray Voltage Investigator’s Trainings.

Archives of the brochures and presentations from previous annual  MREC conferences can be found here.