Cooperatives are businesses, but they’re not in it for the money. Because they are not-for-profits, cooperatives don’t operate to make shareholders richer. When cooperatives make more money than they spend, and when they’re in a good place financially, that extra money (called “margins”) goes right back into members’ pockets. At Cherryland, we try our hardest every year to keep our costs down and to pass those cost savings on to you in the form of lower rates and better margins.
In 1938, three Grand Traverse men were on a mission.
President Roosevelt had just promised to bring electricity to farmers and others living in rural areas, and Max Goin, Frank Burkhart and Eino Lehto were committed to making it happen in northern Michigan.
So they spent a year gathering the information they needed, formed a co-op and submitted a loan application to build a substation and 300 miles of line.
The first lines were energized on May 25, 1939, and 60 people in rural Grand Traverse could now refrigerate their food and more efficiently do their farm chores. Cherryland was in business.
Today, Cherryland is in six counties—Leelanau, Grand Traverse, Benzie, Kalkaska, Wexford and Manistee—and we have 35,000 members. We’re a community cooperative, and we’re dedicated to serving our members now and in the future.
Cooperatives are member-owned and member-governed. You elect our Board of Directors and they manage the business affairs of our cooperative.
Every June we get together at Incredible Mo’s in Grawn with more than 1,000 of our fellow co-op members to celebrate the co-op we all love. Come enjoy bowling, live entertainment, bucket truck rides, food, and arcade games for free.
It’s not all fun and games. You will also hear updates about the co-op’s financials, elect directors to represent you on the board, and learn more about the co-op you own. After all our business is concluded, we raffle off a bunch of great prizes. We believe our annual meeting should be as awesome as our co-op.
This year’s Annual Meeting will be held June 21 from 4pm to 8pm. This event is open to all Cherryland members. See you there!