Joe Jeffrey, Dawson PPD Board Member
Area served: Dawson County Subdivision
Years of service: 38 years
National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Credentialed Cooperative Director
National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Board Leadership Certificate
What do you do outside of serving on Dawson PPD’s Board of Directors?
I am retired, but I keep in touch with the things I used to do. I do some farming, ranching, public speaking, practice veterinary medicine and am involved in politics at the local and state levels.
I’ve been a member of Toastmasters for more than 50 years. That organization taught me how to stand up and speak to a crowd, although my wife wished it would have been the other way. I’ve done public speaking events in 27 states, Canada and China.
I’m known as Fence Post Joe, and I have a presentation on fence posts with 120 slides. I also talk about outhouses, mailboxes and food – you are what you eat.
I thoroughly enjoy entertaining people. My life has been a glorious trip, and if I kick the bucket tomorrow that’s okay. I’ve had a lot of fun in my life – I wish everyone could have as much fun as me.
What made you want to serve on the Dawson PPD Board of Directors?
I was asked to run for a seat to represent Gosper County in an open election. I was a veterinarian, entertainer and county commissioner at the time. That’s how I started in politics – they would send the right person to come talk to me to ask me to run for a seat on a board.
When I went to my first Dawson PPD Board Meeting, I didn’t realize just how big and how important public power was. I grew up without electricity and it wasn’t until I was four years old that my country school got four light bulbs.
What is your favorite memory serving on the board thus far?
I have so many, but I’m very proud of when Dawson PPD’s Board became 100% involved in ACRE® – Action Committee for Rural Electrification. (ACRE is a Political Action Committee that supports the campaigns of candidates who support rural electrification locally and nationally.)
I remember being at a national convention with fellow board member Paul Neil. Paul was worried that the Republican members of our board would never join ACRE. The Dawson PPD Board President, Doc Kloepping, was also concerned. I bet Paul a $100 bill that I could get everyone on the board to become a member of ACRE.
I called each board member and asked them to join ACRE with a $25 membership fee. Each one said yes. At the next board meeting, I asked if I could have a moment to speak. I presented an envelope to Paul Neil, and right away he knew what I had done and that he just lost a $100 bet.
The President got a little emotional because he never thought this day would come. I said to Doc, ‘did you ask these board members to join?’ and he said no. The answer is usually no until you ask. Don’t be afraid to ask others to join your cause. Since then, Dawson PPD’s Board of Directors has always held a 100% membership in ACRE.
What are your top three priorities for Dawson PPD?
- Reliable electricity – It is so important to our everyday lives.
- Strong organization – We need to keep Dawson PPD strong, so we are ready when new legislation comes our way.
- Prepared for the future – You do the best you can with the knowledge available, whether it is energy efficiency, new technology or something else.
Don Batie has been appointed to fill a vacant seat on the Dawson Public Power District Board of Directors. He began his duties in May.
Volunteers are the heart of every non-profit organization, and the Kearney Therapeutic Horseback Riding Program is no exception. The independent, non-profit organization is dedicated to fostering emotional, physical and social well-being through horseback riding. It is designed to meet the needs of individuals of all ages and disabilities.
After 28 years of service, Engineering Coordinator Rose Welch is ready to pass the torch. “I’m extremely happy that I was able to carry one of the many torches at Dawson PPD for 28 years, and I’m honored to now hand the torch to the next generation of Dawson PPD,” she...