How Electric Co-ops Energized Rural America

history

1844
Cooperative principles established in Rochdale, England
1909
Country Life Commission recommends creation of electric cooperatives to power rural areas.
1935
President Franklin D. Roosevelt creates federal Rural Electrification Administration (REA) by executive order.
1936
2,000 miles of electric lines under construction by electric co-ops.
1937
53,000 total miles of co-op lines constructed.
1940
180,000 miles of rural lines built with another 80,000 underway.
1941
One million farms have power.
1942
National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) formed to represent co-op interests nationally.
1949
Roughly 184,000 miles of rural line constructed this year alone.
1950
Willie Wiredhand, a mascot for electric co-ops debuts; named after the hired hand electricity gave to farmers.
1962
Electric co-ops serve 5 million Americans; NRECA joins U.S Agency for International Development (USAID) to bring electricity to developing nations.
1969
Apollo 11 mission; 500 million people around the world tune in to watch astronaut Neil Armstrong walk on the Moon.
1994
REA renamed Rural Utilities Service
1998
Touchstone Energy Cooperatives debut, providing a co-op “brand ID” and marketing options.
2009
NRECA/USAID partnership connects more than 100 million people to electricity in 42 nations.
2010
75 years after creation of REA, 900+ co-ops in 47 states serve17 million homes and businesses.