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Rural POWER, which stands for Powering Opportunities While Energizing Rural, is accepting applications for a second year Jan. 1 to Feb. 1. Applications for Rural POWER and Sutton’s other leadership program, the Billie Sutton Leadership Institute, are available online at suttonleadership.org.

“When the lights came on in our little farm house, I noticed that Mother was silently crying. ... She, more than anyone else in the family, understood how electricity was going to change their life.”

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Clesham became frustrated with the volatility of the Irish beef sector, something American beef farmers know all too well. So, looking at the books, he felt after 23 years, it was time to go back to dairying.

"We have so many different folks on our team that each have a critical role in what we do. Each position on the team is filled with men and women who are invested in the success of our farm and want to do their part to make it happen."

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Running a rural cooperative takes dedication from local people willing to serve on its board of directors, but in areas with small populations it can be hard to find people to step up into leadership. The Rural POWER program aims to address that shortage.

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