Log in

Commentary: Dad of the Year


Some buddies and I have a contest called "Dad of the Year." Before you question my parenting skills, let me explain the game. There are no rules, judges or winner. The theory behind "Dad of the Year" is straightforward. Every player steps up and does whatever they can to be an award-winning dad. Making sure your kids brush their teeth, helping with homework, finding that lost toy (or buying a secret replacement) — I mean doing whatever it takes.

If we gave out a trophy like the Super Bowl for "Dad of the Year," it is possible someone would just give up if they had a bad first half of the season. For "Dad of the Year," every dad has a shot at the title. Don't get me wrong, there is plenty of friendly banter on who should win, but the point of this game is focused on participation — not victory. The real winners in the game are our kids.

In the same spirit of the "Dad of the Year" contest, electric cooperatives operate with a similar mindset for serving their members. Your electric co-op is an organization that prioritizes the well-being and needs of their member-owners. Just like Andy, Jared and I do whatever it takes to make sure our kids are successful, electric co-ops go above and beyond to ensure their members have a great life. 

Day in and day out, your co-op works to ensure you have access to the things that make living in rural Missouri great — reliable and affordable electricity, strong community support, broadband, jobs and other products and services.   

While they face challenges to do this, your co-ops are committed to your success, just like a proud father. When it comes to energy supply, your electric cooperative has to rely on a variety of fuels to generate the electricity that powers life 24/7. Renewable energy sources are key players in our fuel portfolio, but when the wind isn't blowing and the sun isn't shining, all of our member-owners still need those all-important electrons to flow down those lines to their houses. A diverse mix of natural gas, coal, wind and hydropower means you will have electricity when you need it.

Your electric cooperative views their success as more than just providing electricity. Their dedication to your community is something you won't find from anywhere else.    

They do this because the community they serve is the same community where their employees live. That's why you see your co-op's logo on the list of sponsors of youth programs such as FFA, 4-H and state high school championships. It's also why your co-op is always there to offer support for essential services such as your first responders and those who need energy assistance.   

Your co-ops, much like us dads, may not be in a race for a trophy, but their commitment to your communities is unwavering. Now that I let the cat out of the bag on our contest, let's hope our wives don't try to make us compete for "Husband of the Year."

Jones is the executive vice president and CEO of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives in Jefferson City. He is a member of Boone Electric Cooperative.