North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives Recognized by N.C. Foundation for Soil & Water Conservation for Leadership and Support

Raleigh, N.C. — For more than six years, North Carolina’s electric cooperatives have provided the North Carolina Foundation for Soil & Water Conservation financial support and leadership to its board of directors. Today, the Foundation presented its most prestigious award, the “President’s Award,” to N.C. Electric Membership Corporation Board President Ron McElheney and Fred Tedder, board president of North Carolina Association of Electric Cooperatives (NCAEC), the state trade association for the cooperative

The President’s Award is given to organizations that have made exemplary contributions to enhance the work of the Foundation in the state’s 96 soil and water conservation districts, including those in rural parts of the state that support agriculture and citizens of rural communities.

Cecil Settle, executive director of the Foundation, said of North Carolina’s electric cooperatives commitment to the Foundation, “North Carolina’s electric cooperatives have a true understanding of the Foundation’s mission, and we appreciate everything they have done for us in the last six years.” Settle added, “It is our pleasure to present the President’s Award to them today in recognition of their outstanding support, and we look forward to building upon our relationship with the electric cooperatives.”

Nelle Hotchkiss, senior vice president of corporate relations for NCAEC, said, “North Carolina’s electric cooperatives have a long history of environmental stewardship.  We appreciate the partnership we have with the Foundation and the local conservation districts who do so much to protect our environment.  We are honored to receive this award.”

She said that Surry Yadkin EMC in Dobson, and EnergyUnited in Statesville pioneered the endeavor to support the North Carolina Foundation for Soil & Water Conservation. “On this day of recognition,” Hotchkiss said, “We would like to show our appreciation to them for bringing this important cause to our attention.

N.C. Foundation for Soil & Water Conservation provides financial support to conservation districts covering all 100 counties in North Carolina. Since 2000, the Foundation has provided $4 million primarily from private sources for building capacity in conservation districts to serve people’s natural resource needs, teaching environmental education to 58,000 students and protecting streams against sediment, nutrients, and other pollutants through implementation of agricultural water quality projects that prohibit those pollutants from leaving farmers’ fields.

North Carolina’s electric cooperatives provide energy to 2.5 million people in 93 of 100 counties, primarily in the rural parts of state. The electric cooperatives own and maintain 95,000 miles of power lines, by far the most of any electric utility in North Carolina.