NREDA Banner

Message from the President


Jim Vermeer, NREDA President

The Power of Advocacy

Jim Vermeer, NREDA President Many NREDA members already know about the proposed USDA budget cuts and the negative impacts of the proposed Farm Bill. Although the President's budget has been proposed, Congress can change the outcome of the final budget. Therefore, we all need to remain vigilant, engaged and ready for action to help advocate for rural America.

Although NREDA doesn't lobby, we will advocate for the interests of our membership and those of our allied partners. This year, NREDA agreed to send a letter to President Trump asking him to strengthen America's rural infrastructure. The joint letter focused on the deteriorating infrastructure that jeopardizes jobs, our agricultural competitiveness, and the health of rural families. The letter points out the necessary improvements that must be made to highways, bridges, railways, locks and dams, harbors and port facilities. In addition, rural America's economy needs clean water, broadband expansion and an affordable, reliable and secure power supply.

You can find the 2017-18 NREDA Grassroots Advocacy Issues Paper located in the About Us section on NREDA's website. These are board approved issues that NREDA will advocate for on your behalf.

Here are some things you can do to make a difference for rural America:

  • Contact your senators and representatives and let them know how the USDA programs have made a difference in your community.
  • Provide examples of projects that would not have happened without USDA's assistance.
  • Provide totals of retained and new jobs that can be attributed to USDA's programming.
  • Remind them of the need to rebuild our infrastructure and how they can help to improve quality of life for the people they represent.

The power of advocacy comes from the collective voice of our grassroots efforts.

If it's to be, it's up to us. Please help ensure a positive future for rural America.

NREDA Awards History


2016:

  • Rural Economic Development Leadership Award - Mike Meissen, Iowa Area Development Group, Des Moines, Iowa 
  • President's Award - Mendi Alexander Anschutz, NEX-TECH, Hays, KS

2015:

  • Rural Economic Development Leadership Award - John Bradford, formerly with Valley Telephone Cooperative Inc., Raymondville, TX
  • President's Award - Newsletter Editor, Shawnna Silvius, iShine Productions LLC, Nebraska, NE
  • President's Award - Dana Baker, GVNW Consulting Inc., Colorado Springs, CO

2014:

  • Rural Economic Development Leadership Award - Linda Salmonson, East River Electric Cooperative, Madison, SD
  • President's Award - Administrator John Padalino, Administrator for Rural Utilities Service, USDA Rural Development, Washington DC


2013:

  • Rural Economic Development Leadership Award - Gordon Ipson, CEcD, FM, Northeast Missouri Electric Power Cooperative, Palmyra, MO
  • President's Award - Bruce Nuzum, EDFP, Iowa Area Development Group, West Des Moines, IA

2012:

  • Rural Economic Development Leadership Award - Clare Gustin, Sunflower Electric Power Corporation
  • President's Award - Richard J. Nelsen, CEcD, Nebraska Public Power District, Columbus, NE


2011:

  • Rural Economic Development Leadership Award - Jim Vermeer, Corn Belt Power Cooperative
  • President's Award - G. Mark Gaddy, Berkeley Electric Cooperative


2010:

  • Rural Economic Development Leadership Award - Dennis G. Hall, CEcD, CKAE, Economic Development Manager, Nebraska Public Power District, Columbus, NE
  • President's Awards - Georgia Electric Membership Corporation, Atlanta, GA And Sherry Rose, Wabash Valley Power Association, Indianapolis, IN


2009:

  • Rural Economic Development Leadership Award - James T. "Tim" Mood, Electric Power Associations of Mississippi
  • President's Award - Mary Logan Wolf, Former Editor, The Rural Developer


2008:

    Rural Economic Development Leadership Award - Allegra Brigham, Four County Electric Power Association, Columbus, MS
  • President's Award - Rand Fisher, Iowa Area Development Group, Des Moines, IA
  • President's Award - Molly Lopez, Association Management, Ltd., Des Moines, IA


2007:

    Rural Economic Development Leadership Award- Dennis Krueger, Kiwash Electric Cooperative, Cordell, OK
  • Rural Economic Development Leadership Award-JoAnne Lewis, Douglas-Coffee Co. Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development Authority, Douglas, GA
  • President's Award - William F. Hagy, III, USDA Rural Development, Washington, DC
  • President's Award - National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA), Arlington, VA


2006:

  • Rural Economic Development Leadership Award - Eric Phillips, Union County Chamber of Commerce, Marysville, OH
  • Rural Economic Development Leadership Award - Joe "Max" Higgins, Columbus-Lowndes Development LINK, Columbus, MS
  • President's Award - Loren Medley, Kansas Electric Power Co-op, Topeka, KS


2005:

  • Rural Economic Development Leadership Award - F. Eugene Williams, Berkeley Electric Co-op, Goose Creek, SC
  • Rural Economic Development Leadership Award - Randall S. Jones, Lumbee River Electric Co-op, Red Springs, NC
  • President's Award - Linda Salmonson, East River Electric Power Co-op, Madison, SD
  • President's Award - Dena Stoner, NRECA, Arlington, VA
  • President's Award - Rich Larouchelle, CFC, Herndon, VA

2004:
  • Economic Developer of the Year - Bruce Hensley, North Central Missouri Electric Co-op, Milan, MO
  • Rural Leadership Award - Bobby Koepplin, Cass County Electric Co-op, Valley City, ND
  • President's Award - Jane Marden, NRECA, Arlington, VA
  • President's Award - Bob McLaury, CFC, Herndon, VA

2003:
  • Economic Developer of the Year - Henry H. Johnson, III ("Hal") - Orangeburg County Development Commission, Orangeburg, SC
  • Rural Leadership Award - Marci Penner, Kansas Sampler Foundation, WE-Kan, and Kansas Explorer's Club, Inman, KS
  • President's Award - Pat Merritt, Georgia Elec. Member Corp., Atlanta, GA

2002:
  • Economic Developer of the Year - Larry Sevier, Rural Telephone Service Co., Lenora, KS
  • Rural Leadership Award - Stephen Miller, Sunflower Electric Power Corporation, Hays, KS
  • President's Award - LaDonna Boyd, Dakota Electric Assn., Farmington, MN

2001:
  • Economic Developer of the Year - Jack Rhodes, Electric Power Assn. of Mississippi, Jackson, MS
  • Rural Leadership Award - Ralph Thomas, Palmetto Econ. Dev. Corp, Columbia, SC
  • President's Award - Jerry Andrews, Alabama Electric Co-op, Inc., Andalusia, AL

2000:
  • Economic Developer of the Year - Jack Briggs, NW Electric Power Co-op, Cameron, MO
  • Rural Leadership Award - Michael Treadwell, Lindsay, Oklahoma
  • Founders' Award - No record of recipient

1999:
  • Economic Developer of the Year - Bruce Nuzum, Iowa Area Development Group, Des Moines, IA
  • Rural Leadership Award - Tom Seth Smith, Rural Enterprises of Oklahoma, Inc., Durant, OK
  • Founders' Award - Gene Williams, Berkeley Electric Co-op, Goose Creek, SC



NREDA | 1255 SW Prairie Trail Parkway | Ankeny, IA 50023 | Phone: (515) 284-1421 | Fax: (515) 334-1174