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June 2023 | Volume 85 | Issue 6

Leaders On The Move

Manager's Report

Students Shine In Co-op Competition

Supporting our youth an important priority

Dave Deihl PCEC General Manager

Dave Deihl, General Manager / CEO

From the General Manager

First off, I want to thank all the consumer-members who voted in our annual election this past month. Our June newsletter is printed before our annual meeting takes place and the official results get tabulated, but we were thrilled to see a record number of election votes in May. I’m proud to see such strong engagement of members and desire to participate in our democratic process to elect board members. We look forward to sharing the election results in our next issue.

Concern for community is one of our seven cooperative principles, and youth outreach is one of the many ways we strive to give back to the communities we serve.

Besides the election, another annual highlight is our Youth Tour competition finals and the awarding of PCEC college scholarship awards. Concern for community is one of our seven cooperative principles, and youth outreach is one of the many ways we strive to give back to the communities we serve.

Youth Tour is a national rural electric cooperative program that brings high school students from every state to Washington D.C. Platte-Clay is proud to have two representatives attending this summer in Teddi Dixon from East Buchanan High School and Sophia Thomas from Smithville High School. Four additional students will have the opportunity to attend Youth CYCLE (Cooperative Youth Conference and Leadership Experience) in Jefferson City.

These programs have been around for decades and are a lot different now than I remember from 20 years ago. The students give presentations as part of the competition finals, and it’s impressive to see how they just seem to get better year after year after year. Each student gave very polished presentations accompanied by slick slideshow visuals. I’m glad I wasn’t a judge and didn’t have to determine the winners because they were all great.

Contact General ManagerIt was also wonderful to see the students who won last year, Jane Pemberton and Nolan Pestano, come back and join us at the finals to share their experiences visiting Washington D.C. They made it clear the leadership experience is very impactful and worthwhile.

Students from across our service area are benefiting from these programs and others PCEC supports. It has become expected of us to be a reliable community partner and youth champion. And I’m proud to be a part of a cooperative that has that reputation.

Even though we are seven counties large, we are still close-knit. We go to places like church, school and the store together. We will always strive to build goodwill in our communities. And the future of our communities will rely on our youth of today. It’s great to see we have talented young leaders capable of the challenge.

Board Members Tour Power Generation Facility, Learn What It Takes To Power Missouri’s Co-ops

Board President’s Column

Board Members Tour Power Generation Facility

PICTURED ABOVE CENTER: Second from left, PCEC General Manager Dave Deihl, Directors Kendall Davis, Ed Barger, Theresa Wren, David Edwards and Kelly Parkhurst participate in a tour with AECI staff.

Kendall Davis

Kendall Davis
Board President

Being a Platte-Clay consumer-member provides us so much to be thankful for. There are numerous benefits to being a part of an electric cooperative, especially ours. I have learned so much about these advantages in my time serving on the board the last 32 years.

Fortunately, I still get to learn and experience new things all the time. At the end of April, I had the opportunity to travel east across the state along with fellow board members and PCEC staff to the town of Thomas Hill. Thomas Hill is located about an hour northwest of Columbia and is home to one of the most critical infrastructure assets serving Missouri rural cooperatives in the state – the Thomas Hill Power Plant.

Thomas Hill is a coal power plant with three generating units that provide over 1100 megawatts of power. It is owned and operated by Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc. (AECI). It is one of two baseload generation coal plants in AECI’s fleet, which along with four natural gas plants in the state, hydropower and wind make up the balanced power generation mix that reliably serves 51 rural co-ops including PCEC.

Visiting the plant, I was awestruck at the sheer size of the facility. There are about 215 AECI employees who work at the plant, which operates 24/7. We were able to tour the facility and learn more about how the operations work. Trains from Wyoming bring in the coal and it gets offloaded into piles that are stocked routinely with around a month’s worth of demand. This onsite fuel inventory helps maintain reliability over a range of conditions.

Getting to meet the hard-working people at Thomas Hill helps keep in perspective all the effort it takes to provide safe, reliable power to our homes.

I was personally very grateful for this critical baseload generation resource during winter storm Uri in February 2021. Missouri’s electric cooperatives were able to keep the power on while other utilities were forced to revert to rolling blackouts.

A gorgeous nearly 5,000 acre man-made reservoir runs along the plant that provides a constant cooling source for plant equipment. This area also serves as a wildlife habitat managed in a partnership with the Missouri Department of Conservation. Swimming, fishing and boating on the lake are all open to the public as well.

Our distribution cooperative makes up just one small part of the state’s three-tier system. AECI provides the power generation. Then there are seven transmission co-op’s throughout the state. Our transmission cooperative is NW Electric Cooperative based in Cameron. All of the cooperatives working closely together helps keep our lights on.

Getting to meet the hard-working people at Thomas Hill helps keep in perspective all the effort it takes to provide safe, reliable power to our homes. It also made me appreciate that our cooperative uses balanced generation sources including coal to help maintain a reliable source of power to meet our growing demand. AECI has invested over a billion dollars into ensuring it exceeds all of the environmental emissions standards. The plant has received national recognition for its efficiency and successful conversion to low-sulfur coal that reduced sulfur dioxide emissions 90 percent.

You can be assured that AECI and Platte-Clay are working alongside one another to continue providing great reliability and affordability moving into the future. I’m grateful for our three-tier system and the advantages it provides compared to investor-owned utilities. We are in very capable hands around here, and this trip was another awesome highlight to add to my growing list while helping lead our co-op.

In The News

Youth Tour Competition Winners Announced

Youth Tour Competition Winners Announced

From left to right: Teddi Dixon, Avery Aller, Jason Besherse, Nolan Pestano (2022 Youth Tour participant), Jane Pemberton (2022 Youth Tour participant), Sophia Thomas, Wren Wilkins and Emily McDowell.

Six local high school juniors participated in the Youth Tour finals at Platte-Clay headquarters in Kearney on April 26 for their chance to represent PCEC at leadership conferences in Washington D.C. and Jefferson City, Mo.

East Buchanan High School junior Teddi Dixon and Smithville High School junior Sophia Thomas were selected as Platte-Clay Electric Cooperative delegates to the 2023 Youth Tour conference in Washington, D.C. this summer.

Youth Tour is an annual youth event sponsored by rural electrical cooperatives around the country. More than 100 students from the Show-Me state and over 2000 students nationwide will have the opportunity to tour museums, visit America’s historic monuments and even meet their elected officials.

Jason Besherse from Excelsior Springs High School, Emily McDowell from Kearney High School, Wren Wilkins from Platte County High School, and Avery Aller from Kearney High School were selected to serve as delegates to the Youth CYCLE (Cooperative Youth Conference and Leadership Experience) in Jefferson City.

The competition finalists prepared presentations and presented to a panel of judges on the 2023 contest question: “What dreams do you have to empower and energize your community.”

You can learn more about Youth Tour and Youth CYCLE by visiting

College Scholarships Awarded To Students Pursuing Energy Careers

Each spring, PCEC awards three $1,000 scholarships to deserving local students. The scholarship program focuses on students accepted or enrolled in a two or four year accredited college or trade school, and pursuing a career in the electric industry.

The 2023 scholarships were presented to:



  • 2023 Lathrop High School graduate
  • Enrolled at State Technical College of Missouri in the Lineman Program


  • 2022 Platte City graduate
  • Enrolled at State Technical College of Missouri in the Lineman Program


  • 2023 Liberty North graduate
  • Enrolled at Kansas State University- Engineering

Energy Efficiency Tip

Easy Ways to Reduce Your Energy Usage

Easy Ways to Reduce Your Energy UsageSummer is a prime opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors. To reduce home energy use, avoid using your oven and use a grill instead. Not only will cooking outdoors eliminate the electricity used to power the stove, but it will also avoid raising the temperature inside your home, reducing the need for air conditioning or cooling.

You can also avoid the oven with tasty no-bake recipes. Get creative in the kitchen (or the backyard) and find new ways to save energy!

How Americans Use Electricity

The latest data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows the combined use of clothes washers and dryers, dishwashers, ovens, small appliances and other electrical equipment (noted as “all other uses” below) accounts for the largest percentage of electricity consumption in American homes.

How Americans Use Electricity

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The Northland Connection is published monthly by Platte-Clay Electric Cooperative, Inc., 1000 W. 92 Highway, Kearney, MO 64060. Postmaster: Please send address changes to: Northland Connection, PO Box 100, Kearney, MO 64060 or

Platte-Clay is an equal opportunity employer.