ACE Hardware, State Farm, REI, Land O’Lakes and Dixie Electric all share something in common: we’re all cooperatives.
We may be in different industries, but we all share a passion for serving our members and helping our communities to thrive. In fact, all cooperatives adhere to the same set of seven principles that reflect our core values of honesty, transparency, equity, inclusiveness and service to the greater community good. October is National Co-op Month, so this is the perfect time to reflect on these principles that have stood the test of time but also provide a framework for the future. Let’s take a look at a few of these cooperative principles.
Voluntary and Open Membership
Just like all co-ops, Dixie Electric was created out of necessity––to meet a need that would have been otherwise unmet in our community. In 1938, a group of neighbors banded together and organized our electric co-op so everyone in our community could benefit.
While this history may be forgotten, key parts of that heritage remain––the focus on our mission and serving the greater good. In this, we strive to improve the quality of life and economic opportunity for the entire community. Membership is open to everyone in our service territory, regardless of race, religion, age, disability, language, political perspective or socioeconomic status.
Democratic Member Control
Our co-op is well suited to meet the needs of our members because we are locally governed. Through the election of directors, each member gets a voice and a vote in how the co-op is run, and each voice and vote are equal. Our board of directors, who help set long-term priorities for the co-op, live locally on co-op lines. These board members are elected by members just like you. We know our members have a valuable perspective, and that’s why we are continually seeking your input and encourage you to weigh in on important co-op issues and participate in co-op elections. You can do so right now by voting in our annual board elections.
Cooperation Among Cooperatives
One of the greatest values of your membership is knowing that it’s not just Dixie Electric who has your back – it’s hundreds of co-ops around the nation who are ready to respond when needed. We collectively work together so that no electric co-op faces a challenge alone. We recently carried out this principle by sending lineworkers to Magnolia Electric Power Association and Washington-St. Tammany Electric Cooperative to restore power after Hurricane Ida caused widespread damage to their electrical system.
Dixie Electric is a reflection of our local community and its evolving needs. We view our role as a catalyst for good and making our corner of the world a better place.