Attend Federated Rural Electric’s 85th Annual Meeting Wednesday, August 5; vote on candidates for the Nominating Committee, directors and Bylaw amendments.

The Annual Meeting will convene at the Martin County Fairgrounds in Fairmont from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to allow for drive-in voting; then it will resume at the Jackson County Fairgrounds in Jackson from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Federated’s Bylaws do not allow for mail-in or online ballots for candidates. This is one of the reasons for the Bylaws’ amendments and drive-in voting, considering that large groups may not be allowed under the pandemic. Members will stay in their vehicles the whole time.

Instead of a meal for Federated members, registered members who come to vote will receive a $20 Federated electric bill credit on their September bill. In addition, members will receive a wall charger with USB ports for tablets and cell phones with an outlet as an attendance gift.

The Federated Bylaws amendments:

  • clean up language to be gender neutral;
  • remove language about membership certificates since they are no longer issued;
  • clarify that a member’s eligibility as a candidate for their district is determined by their residence;
  • allow mail-in or online voting for future Annual Meetings;
  • allow ballots cast in an election to count toward the quorum; and
  • clarify payments on wholesale power capital credits and updates capital credits language to follow Minnesota state law and publishing unclaimed capital credits listing.

Federated members received the July Connections newsletter that outlined all of the proposed Bylaws’ changes and candidates’ biographies. This newsletter can also be found on Federated’s website: Federated members should bring along their July Connections newsletter, which includes their barcode registration card for faster registration; onsite registration will also be available.

Members will also elect two Board directors for Districts Three and Four. District Three director candidates are David A. Hansen, Jackson; and Chris Winter, Alpha. Candidates for District Four are Harold Knutson, Jackson; and Scott Thiesse, Welcome. Pending the Bylaws amendments passing, their terms would start after December 31, 2020.

The Nominating Committee candidates for District 1 are Gary Madsen, Okabena; and Mark Runge; Lakefield; the District 2 Nominating Committee candidates are: Ryan Erickson, Lakefield; and Drew Wedebrand, Jackson.

A brief meeting will occur at the Jackson Fairgrounds, south of the grandstand, in the parking area at 6:30 p.m. Members may vote and either drive away or stick around for the 6:30 meeting, staying in their cars to socially distance. Members can listen on their radios to the brief meeting on 105.7 FM. The meeting agenda involves approving last year’s Annual Meeting minutes, the Nominating Committee’s report and recognize that those members voting create a quorum. Members will honk their vehicle horns to vote on the minutes. No other speeches will be done due to the pandemic and drive-in format.

Ballots will be locked in Federated’s vault to isolate from any virus. Ballots will be counted Friday, August 7 at 8 a.m. by Federated’s Nominating Committee and attorney. After the candidates are notified, the results will be announced to the membership by noon through the media, Federated’s Facebook page, website and in its September Connections newsletter.

In case of major storms and outages Federated has slated Wednesday, August 12, as the rain date with the same locations and times.

Federated is a Touchstone Energy electric cooperative serving 6,800 members in Jackson and Martin Counties.