By definition, a Cooperative is a group of people joining together to do something for the group that cannot be done individually (in this case, provide electric energy).  It is a business enterprise, which is jointly owned and equally controlled by those who use it.

During the 1930's, the vast majority of rural America did not have electricity.  The existing providers of electric energy felt it was not feasible or profitable to run electric lines into the rural areas to provide electric service.

In 1935, President Franklin Roosevelt created the Rural Electrification Act (REA), which provided money in the form of loans to electrify rural America.  Rural Americans joined together and formed cooperatives that could borrow money from the REA to build an electric system.

To that end, Central Missouri Electric Cooperative (CMEC) began business in 1938.

Today, your non-profit, member-owned Cooperative serves over 8,200 farms, residences, schools, and industries in rural, central Missouri.  The counties of Pettis, Benton, and Saline are served by over 2,180 miles of electric line.

CMEC exists for only one purpose:  to provide the best possible electric service at the lowest possible cost to the member‑owners in the area it serves.

Your Board of Directors is elected from the membership, by the membership, and governs the cooperative.  They employ a general manager who is responsible for day-to-day operations of the system.  The general manager employs and oversees the staff as they perform all duties necessary to provide rural electric service. These duties are divided into the following departments:

Three-tier system

Distribution – Central MO Electric Cooperative, Inc; Sedalia, MO

Transmission – Central Electric Cooperative; Jefferson City, MO

Generation – Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc; Springfield, MO

The Seven Cooperative Principles

Cooperatives are businesses owned by the consumers they serve and are guided by a set of seven principles that reflect the best interests of those consumer-owners.

Voluntary and Open Membership - Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political, or religious discrimination.

Democratic Member Control - Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions.  The elected representatives are accountable to the membership.  In primary cooperatives, members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote) and cooperatives at other levels are organized in a democratic manner.

Members’ Economic Participation - Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative.  At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the cooperative.  Members usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership.

Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes:  developing the cooperative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the cooperative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.

Autonomy and Independence - Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their cooperative autonomy.

Education, Training, and Information - Cooperatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperatives.  They inform the general public, particularly young people and opinion leaders, about the nature and benefits of cooperation.

Cooperation Among Cooperatives - Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional, and international structures.

Concern for Community - While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies accepted by their members.

Board of Directors

CMEC operations are carried out under the policies established by the Board of Directors.  Nine directors serve on the board and are elected from among the membership at CMEC’s annual meeting. Each member has one vote in the election.  Each director must be an active CMEC member and is elected for a three-year term.

Name Position County
Ron Bledsoe Director Saline
Raymond Boland Director Saline
Francis Burks Vice President Saline
Don Thiel President Saline
Ron Eickhoff Director Pettis
Pat Wood Sec./Treas. Pettis
Jim Sneed Director Pettis
Robert Leftwich Director Pettis
Jerry Rank Director Benton











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