CEO’s Message: Planting Seeds for a Better Future

May 2022

By Michael S. McWaters

Lots of businesses offer support for their communities. They provide jobs for the people who live there or give back through charitable donations and fundraisers. Maybe the work they do even has a positive impact on the places where they do business.

For an electric cooperative, all of the above is true. But, our connection with our community goes deeper than that. Suwannee Valley Electric Cooperative was created by the people who live here and their desire to build their own electric system. If we ever start to forget that, the cooperative principles are there to remind us. And right there in the seven pillars that guide our mission is concern for community.

That concern can take a lot of forms. It might be raising money for United Way to help people in our area who are struggling, or opening doors for students with programs like the annual Youth Tour. It could even be something as basic as reinforcing our electric system to keep our community-powered where there may have been outages before.

As a rural cooperative, farming also plays a big role in the life of everyone we serve. That’s why SVEC is excited to have the opportunity to work with researchers on a project that explores new indoor agriculture techniques.

The research project, performed in partnership with the University of Florida and Seminole Electric Cooperative, could shed light on new approaches to farming that would make it possible to produce crops in any environment while making more efficient use of water and electricity. You can learn more about how it works and how the project came to be in this newsletter.

You can also see some photos of one of our favorite student events, Suwannee Pineview Elementary’s egg drop. The event started with SVEC lineman Jay Chambliss and has become a highlight each spring as kids find creative ways to keep their egg from cracking when it is dropped from a bucket truck.

If you missed this year’s annual meeting, you can also read about the important business members took part in. More than 1,000 members joined in the voting, reelecting two trustees and welcoming a new one. As for the health of your cooperative, suffice to say, we are still in a strong financial position and prepared to continue finding new and better ways to bring our members the power they need.

It all goes back to the people and the community we serve. We are built, run, and owned by people who call the Suwannee Valley home, so we will never take it for granted. This is our community, and it is a privilege to serve it each and every day.