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  • YOUR COOPERATIVE

    Board of Directors Mike Banks, President Marty Crowder, Vice President John E. “Jay” Gilliland Jr., Secretary/Treasurer Johnny Johnson John Scarbrough Kenneth Seitz Ernest H. “Bud” Tumlinson

    10 n Today in Mississippi n August 2015

    “A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.”

    – Dwight D. Eisenhower All cooperative businesses around the world

    operate in accordance with the following seven cooperative principles:

    1. Voluntary and Open Membership 2. Democratic Member Control 3. Member Economic Participation 4. Autonomy and Independence 5. Education, Training and Information 6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives 7. Concern for Community

    Less known is the fact that cooperatives have also adopted a set of values that helps to put these principles into practice.

    Cooperatives are based on the values of self- help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, co-ops believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibili- ty and caring for others.

    Let’s take a closer look at these values and see how they impact us here at 4-County Elec- tric Power Association.

    The founders of 4-County created it to serve the members that use the electricity and other services we provide, and we continue to do that today. This embodies the values of self-help, taking action and doing what needs to be done. We also know we must embrace the value of self-responsibility and be accountable to you, our member.

    Each member has one vote, no matter how

    much electricity you use. This ensures that democracy is practiced the way it is intended with equality for all members. This is a key dif- ference between co-ops and investor-owned companies, where the number of votes you have depends on the number of shares you own.

    For co-op members, equity has two mean- ings. We strive to treat all of our members fair- ly. It also means that, as a member, you have equity (ownership) in the co-op.

    While each co-op is autonomous, we do act in solidarity with other co-ops and our commu- nity. We know that we can do more for you by partnering with other co-ops and like-minded organizations.

    Your parents were right when they said, “Honesty is the best policy.” As an owner, you have the right to expect us to act with openness and in a transparent manner. We welcome your active participation in our co-op.

    Cooperatives have long (and correctly) been identified as the original socially responsible business, meaning we care about the impact we have on the community while ensuring we are economically viable.

    We try to demonstrate our concern for our communities through caring for others every single day, whether it is through volunteer efforts, cooperative programs, safety demon- strations, school programs, the Youth Tour or the 4-County Foundation.

    By using our values in support of our principles since our found- ing in 1939, we have been able to serve you for the past 76 years and will do so long into the future.

    Here’s an idea

    Are you grounded? GFCI outlets can help! Did you know there are different types of electrical outlets? Each are

    designed for different purposes; however, there is one specific type that stands high above the rest—the ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet. GFCIs have saved thousands of lives and cut the number of electro- cutions in half since the 1970s. If your home lacks GFCI outlets, don’t fret—you can learn how to “get grounded.”

    GFCIs are the most efficient outlet in protecting from electrical shock. If it senses a loss of current, the outlet switches off power to that circuit. These devices can either be installed in your electrical system or built into a power cord. The third hole at the bottom of the outlet is known as the “ground” slot, and it monitors electrical currents that flow through the left “neutral” slot and the right “hot” slot on each outlet. A GFCI can react faster than a blink of an eye to any imbalance of power by immediately shutting off the electrical current. These outlets are now a requirement in all places where water could potentially come into contact with electrical products such as bathrooms, garages, outdoors and kitchens. GFCIs are not exclusive to three-prong outlets. They can be installed into standard outlets, and there are even portable devices available when installation is not practical.

    GFCIs should be tested at least once a month to ensure they are work- ing effectively. The first step you need to take is to test an item, such as a lamp, that visibly powers on when plugged in. Push the “reset” button to prepare the outlet then push the “test” button. Did your lamp turn off? If it did, the GFCI is working properly. Now, hit the “reset” button once again to power it back on. If your lamp did not power off, then you should contact a certified electrician to correct the problem.

    Next time you have a free moment, take the time to look around your house. If you’re not “grounded,” consider updating your electrical outlets to GFCIs.

    Sources: Electrical Safety Foundation International, Consumer Product Safety Commission

    By Joe Cade CEO/General Manager

    Principles + values = cooperatives

    Co-op Connections Card saves Since the Co-op Connections Card was

    unveiled in September 2011, 4-County mem- bers have saved over $465,025 on prescrip-

    tion drugs through June.

    Look here each month to see the savings total!

    www.4county.org • 1-800-431-1544

    August 2015 n Today in Mississippi n 10a

    Inspection and treatment of wooden 4-County Electric Power Association poles has begun in parts of Noxubee County, near and around Macon.

    The six-week inspection of the approximately 5,400 poles will be per- formed by contract workers with Osmose. These workers inspect and treat every wooden 4-County pole. The work requires digging around those poles, which means Osmose employees will be working in 4-County members’ yards.

    The workers will be wearing clothing clearly identifying them as Osmose workers, and their trucks will also have 4-County contractor signs.

    4-County Manager of Engineering Lynn Timbrook said the work is part of an overall plan to inspect and treat every pole in the 4-County system. “Our plan

    calls for every one of our poles to be inspected and treated on a 10-year cycle. We do this to identify any poles that need to be replaced and to extend the lives of those poles that remain in serv- ice. This helps on reliability and safety issues and keeps costs down for our members,” Timbrook said.

    Osmose, a New York-based company with offices around the country, has been providing services to utility compa- nies since 1934. “4-County, along with many other electric cooperatives in the United States, has had a long working relationship with Osmose,” Timbrook explained. “They are the acknowledged industry leaders in pole treatment and inspection.”

    Timbrook said if members have any questions or concerns, they should call 4-County at 1-800-431-1544.

    4-County to begin pole inspections

    A group of over 50 Mississippi 4-H high school leaders received a lesson in Cooperative 101 July 22 at the 4-County Electric Power Association Corporate Center.

    The cooperative hosted the group, composed of first-place winners in senior level competition at this year’s 4-H Con- gress, state awareness team members and state 4-H Council officers.

    Young leaders got a first-hand look at cooperative hospitality as they were treat- ed to breakfast at 4-County’s Corporate Center Pavilion. The group also viewed a hot-line safety demonstration provided by 4-County linemen and watched a video detailing the cooperative’s history.

    Lauren Revel of Noxubee County was impressed. “I especially enjoyed the his- torical aspect of how electricity really changed the landscape of Mississippi. It’s also very clear that electricity is danger- ous. It’s kind of like fire. Fire can be good for a lot of things. You just have to know how to use it properly. Electricity is the same way,” Revel said.

    Nadia McKinley of Choctaw County agreed. “It was very informative. While

    electricity is very dangerous, we’re so glad to have it. It’s come a long way.”

    Laura Lemons, an assistant professor in human sciences at Mississippi State University and working with the 4-H group through the Extension service, said the 4-H cooperative leadership tour allows “the best of the best” of our youth to experience the real business of cooperatives.

    “I’m a firm believer in experiential education. I think this is the kind of experience that they will remember long term. They’ll remember coming to 4-County and learning what electricity looks like,” Lemons said.

    The group also visited the Mississippi Delta later in the day.

    Officials at 4-County believe the rela- tionship with 4-H is beneficial for both parties.

    “It’s a great way to kick off the day when 4-County can be involved with such an exemplary group of young peo- ple. Take a good look at a group like this today and you’ve got a great look at tomorrow’s leaders,” said Joe Cade, 4-County CEO/general manager.

    4-H meets 4-County

    Osmose employees are treating and inspecting poles in the Noxubee County area. Sometimes, the employees will be doing their work in members’ yards. Their clothing will identify them as Osmose workers and their trucks will have 4-County contractor signs.

    4-County welcomed 4-H July 22. About 50 young 4-H leaders visited the Corpo