Jessica Johnson, Community Relations Specialist at Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association, recently took time to share the many valuable ways in which the electric cooperative has supported the Colorado 4-H Foundation for more than a decade—and why it continues to do so.
What is Poudre Valley REA?
Poudre Valley REA is a local, not-for-profit, electric cooperative. We provide more than 40,000 members in Larimer, Weld and Boulder counties with electricity. Our mission is providing safe, reliable, efficient energy solutions with exceptional service to our members.
What is PVREA’s history of supporting Colorado’s 4-H program?
We have supported the Colorado 4-H program through a variety of sponsorships—monetary donations, sponsoring and participating in golf tournaments and donating toward the production of the livestock manuals. We have also sponsored the Junior Livestock Sale at the Colorado State Fair for many years along with the other Colorado electric cooperatives.
How is PVREA currently supporting 4-H?
We again sponsored the Colorado Livestock Sale in Pueblo this year which was a great success. Our newest and most recent support for the 4-H program is a joint sponsorship along with other electric cooperatives in Colorado for the 2018 Western National Roundup program.
Why is it important to your organization to support Colorado’s 4-H youth?
Because we are a cooperative, we follow the Seven Cooperative Principles. One is Concern for Community. We care about our members in the communities we serve and want to support them, including our younger members by supporting programs like 4-H, our own scholarship program and sending students on two developmental trips. The “REA” in our name stands for Rural Electric Association. We were established in 1939 and at the time, all our service territory was rural land located outside of the major towns and cities in this Northern Colorado area. There has obviously been a ton of growth since 1939, much of which has been in our territory making some parts seem more urban, but we still serve much of the land that is rural that is used for agricultural purposes and farms and activities that align with 4-H. The youth that take part in 4-H are dedicated, have high work ethic and learn to work with others at a young age. The youth are the future and the qualities that these 4-H kids display are exactly the type of people we want to support.
How does the mission and vision of PVREA align with 4-H values?
We strive to go above and beyond for our member-owners and 4-H participants strive to reach their full potential. They learn to grow and work together and we have another co-op principle that lines right up with that—Cooperation Among Cooperatives. We pride ourselves in open communication and collaborating ideas and efforts with other Colorado co-ops as well as co-ops nationwide.
What is the most rewarding part of supporting our state’s 4-H program?
Knowing that our support is helping advance the development and success of local youth is a great reward. We know that behind each youth 4-H participant is their support system—their family and community, and if we can put our co-op principles to work by benefiting others and that support continues to trickle down the line, that’s about the best reward we could ask for.
Do PVREA employess have personal connections to 4-H?
Yes, many of the employees here at PVREA were involved with 4-H growing up. We have a great team here and it’s safe to say that some of the skills that are prevalent at our organization were picked up and held on to from a young age through programs like 4-H.