See Something, Say Something

There is a well-known proverb that says it takes a village to raise a child. What is meant by that is a child has the best ability to become a healthy adult if the entire community takes an active role in contributing to the rearing of the child. In all aspects the village takes an active role in teaching, nurturing and protecting the child.

In much the same way, we take that approach to electrical safety at Nodak. The idea is that safety is everyone’s business and their most important responsibility. Each employee needs to act in a safe manner so they don’t get injured and so they don’t hurt anyone else, but it’s also incumbent upon every employee to do the best we can to ensure our co-workers don’t hurt themselves. From this aspect, co-worker safety can come from seasoned employees properly training others by passing along the knowledge they’ve gained through experience, or it could come from a new employee speaking up about something they see as a potential hazard. Together we look out for each other’s safety.

It’s also a high priority at Nodak to do what we can to help our members stay safe. Electrical accidents and fires in homes across the country are responsible for thousands of injuries and electrocutions annually. To do our part to bring those numbers down, we frequently provide safety content in our newsletters and our social media. We also take great care to construct and maintain an electrical distribution network that meets all codes and requirements and is as safe as possible from the public’s perspective.

Thisis where you come in. Although we continually watch for potential hazards on our system, sometimes you may notice an issue before we do. Vehicles can damage electrical equipment without de-energizing it, or sometimes nature can cause overhead wires to hang lower than they should, or even fall to the ground. We would like you to join the village and help us keep everyone safe by contacting us if you see any potentially dangerous situation. With your help, we can make sure everyone goes home safely.

Electricity doesn’t have to be unsafe, but it is unforgiving. As long as we treat it with the caution and protocol it demands, it is safe and it does its job to better our lives. If we don’t treat it properly, its unforgiving nature can have disastrous consequences. In short, that is why we continually try to raise awareness about the dangers of electricity. We all depend on electricity to power our lives, but accidents can happen. With your help, we can reduce those numbers and enjoy the benefits of safe, reliable and affordable electricity.

Thank you for doing your part to stay safe and promote electrical safety.


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Grant Program Opportunity

The Rural Development Finance Corporation (RDFC) is pleased to announce it has approved a 2017 grant allotment of $2,000 available to Nodak Electric Cooperative, Inc., to be used to support community-owned entities, non-profits and community-based projects.

  • Eligible projects: include community-owned businesses (café, grocery store, motel, other); community facilities (such as ambulance services, fire districts, recreation, hospital/clinic, community center, etc.); or community-based projects (such as school/youth projects, other) that benefit rural areas.
  • Matching funds: $4 of other funds to every $1 of RDFC funds.
  • Maximum/minimum grant amounts: The minimum grant amount is $500; the maximum is $2,000 for year 2017.

For more information or to apply, please call Gretchen Schmaltz at 1-800-732-4373.

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Youth Tour Winner To Visit Washington, D.C.

Isaac Joerger was selected to represent Nodak Electric Cooperative at the 2017 Washington, D.C., Youth Tour. Isaac is the son of Bob and Melanie Joerger of Mayville, N.D., and is home schooled. He will join other North Dakota Youth Tour contestants and more than 1,600 other students from across the country in D.C. the week of June 10-16. The Youth Tour educates students about electric cooperatives, the cooperative business model and the legislative process. He will have an incredible experience visiting unforgettable historic monuments, museums and the U.S. Capitol.

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Seasonal Apprentices For This Construction Season

Trenton McCloud from Rolla, N.D., will work with the Michigan and Devils Lake crews.
Brock Janikowski from Grafton, N.D., will work with the Cavalier and Grafton crews.
Jacob Ihry from Hope, N.D., will work with the Construction crew.
 Alex Schultz from Thompson, N.D.,  will work with the Grand Forks crew.


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Annual Meeting Highlights

More than 400 members and guests attended Nodak Electric Cooperative’s 77th annual meeting Thursday, April 6, 2017, at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks. Members enjoyed a beef rouladen dinner served by the Alerus staff.

During the meeting, the cooperative’s board of directors was seated for the upcoming year, including the selection of officers and three director elections. Cheryl Osowski, Grafton, N.D., was elected to represent District 1. This is her first time serving on Nodak Electric Cooperative’s board of directors. Pete Naastad, Hatton, N.D., was re-elected to represent District 2 and Steven Smaaladen, Aneta, N.D., was re-elected to represent District 3. Following the meeting, Nodak’s board of directors elected Paul Sigurdson as its chairman. In addition, Luther Meberg was named vice chairman and Les Windjue was named secretary-treasurer.

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Your Small Change Makes A Big Difference!

Operation Round Up® is a program that rounds up members’ monthly electric bills to the next whole dollar amount. The resulting funds are put into a special account to assist others in need. The funds collected through Operation Round Up are used for a variety of projects, programs and items throughout the Nodak service area.

The Round Up board meets quarterly and considers each application that has been received since the previous meeting. It awards funds to the applicants based on how well the application fits the original funding guidelines: 1. Individuals or families in crisis; 2. Services – ambulance and fire; 3. Community youth needs with emphasis on permanent benefit; 4. Scholarships with emphasis on re-education of displaced agricultural people; 5. Senior needs with emphasis on permanent benefit; and 6. No requests for funding of utility and space heating energy will be accepted.

Operation Round Up is a voluntary program with roughly 60 percent of the 14,386 members participating. Since the program started, a total of $778,384 has been distributed to individuals  and organizations throughout the Nodak Electric service area.

2016 Recipients and Dollar amounts

Doug Clifton  1,000
Jaxon Dietz 490
Jordan Haydon 145
Leslie Hensrud 500
Francine McClendon 600
Christian Nelson 1,137
James Ottem 458
RayAn Osowski 1,000
Lalo Perez 1,000
Luke Riley 2,000
Linda Schwols 1,000
Linda Scott 280
BreAnn Ziegelmann 2,000
Altru Ambulance Service 125
Aneta Ambulance Service 125
Binford Ambulance Service 125
Cooperstown Ambulance Service 125
Drayton Ambulance Service 125
Finley Ambulance Service 125
Fordville Ambulance Service 125
Hillsboro Ambulance Service 125
Hoople Ambulance Service 125
Hope Ambulance Service 125
Lake Region Ambulance Service 125
Lakota Ambulance Service 125
Larimore Ambulance Service 125
McVille Ambulance Service 125
Michigan Ambulance Service 125
Northwood Ambulance Service 125
Pembina County Ambulance Service 125
St. Ansgar Hospital Ambulance Service 125
Valley Ambulance & Rescue Squad 125
West Traill Ambulance Service 125
Grafton HS After Prom Party 50
Devils Lake HS After Prom Party 50
Cavalier HS After Prom Party 50
Central Valley HS After Prom Party 50
Finley-Sharon-Hope-Page HS After Prom Party 50
Park River HS After Prom Party 50
Red River HS After Prom Party 50
Dakota Prairie HS After Prom Party 50
Midway HS After Prom Party 50
Larimore HS After Prom Party 50

Northwood & Hatton HS After Prom Party 50
Edmore HS After Prom Party 50
Thompson HS After Prom Party 50
Valley-Edinburg HS After Prom Party 50
Minto HS After Prom Party 50
Drayton HS After Prom Party 50
Fordville-Lankin HS After Prom Party 50
GF Central HS After Prom Party 50
Myron Anderson 500
Ryan Erickson 165
Alexis Everson 500
Austin Gray 480
Earl Grise 773
Owen Hayden 165
Leslie Johnson 500
Shane Krom 70
Hunter Landreville 750
Carlene Peltier 500
Jazmyn Raysor 650
Connor Soeby 250
Orin Soli 1,000
Kari Spivack 380
Frank Votava 910
Janet Werven 270
Gary Woinarowicz 750
Donnada Aipperspach 1,195
Garrett Barclay 460
Christie Carlson 1,000
Jared Carpenter 2,000
Emiliano Contreras 1,000
Donald Jensen 1,500
Archer Lemer 1,000
Tami Ostlie 500
Tobiason Ripley 630
Nicholas Titus 500
Anthony Wagner 2,000
Leo & Lenore Beauchamp 1,700
Community Violence Intervention Center 1,000
Sylvester Grabinski 550
Robert Laney 284
Gail Nash 135
Debra Nygaard 285
Harlan Strand 1,000

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Nodak Electric Cooperative Elects Three Members To Its Board Of Directors

With A Strong Turnout, Nodak Electric Cooperative Elects Three Members To Its Board Of Directors At 77th Annual Meeting

GRAND FORKS, North Dakota, April 13, 2017 – Nodak Electric Cooperative recently elected three members to its board of directors. Cheryl Osowski was elected for District 1 in Grafton, North Dakota. This is her first time serving on Nodak Electric Cooperative’s board of directors. Osowski works as a special projects coordinator at the Red River Region Council (RRRC) in Grafton and is also a freelance writer for The Walsh County Record. She also serves on the board of the Dakota Science Center. Pete Naastad was elected for District 2 in Hatton, North Dakota. Naastad is an excavation and utilities contractor from Traill County. Steven Smaaladen was elected for District 3 in Aneta, North Dakota. Smaaladan is a rural mail carrier at the Northwood Post Office. Naastad and Smaaladen have both served on the board of directors previously. Once again, the board will be led by Paul Sigurdson as chairman. Luther Meberg will remain as vice chairman, and Les Windjue will continue to serve as secretary/treasurer.

Nodak Electric Cooperative members voted during the cooperative’s 77th annual meeting on Thursday, April 6, 2017, at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks. More than 425 members attended, which was a record turnout for recent years.

“We had an exciting election this year, with so many great candidates looking to fill the three board seats,” says Mylo Einarson, president and CEO of Nodak Electric Cooperative. “Our members made their votes count, and we’re confident our directors will do an excellent job leading our organization in the right direction.”

Nodak Electric Cooperative supplies power to more than 14,000 members. Its service territory covers all or parts of Barnes, Benson, Cass, Cavalier, Eddy, Grand Forks, Griggs, Nelson, Pembina, Ramsey, Steele, Traill and Walsh counties in North Dakota.

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Message To Our Members

Finding the proper blend of resources for our wholesale power mix can be a delicate task. Each source has pros and cons associated with it, such as varying costs, reliability, availability and environmental impacts. That is one reason we believe the best approach for our membership is what’s been termed an “all of the above approach.” Each of North Dakota’s various natural resources has unique benefits that the others may not, so utilizing all types of North Dakota’s bountiful natural resources, including coal, wind, natural gas and hydroelectric has long been our approach. This diversity in generation sources helps to insulate us from the impact of targeted environmental rules, unplanned outages and changes in market conditions.

Elsewhere in this report, you will see that 42 percent of our wholesale power mix now comes from renewable sources. At the end of 2016, our wholesale power provider, Minnkota Power Cooperative, commissioned an additional 100 megawatts of wind capacity from the Oliver III wind farm near

Center, N.D. With the addition of these 100 megawatts, wind now accounts for 34 percent of the generation capacity, hydroelectric from the Garrison Dam makes up another 8 percent and another 55 percent comes from North Dakota lignite coal. To take advantage of this diversity, we have begun offering our Infinity Renewable Energy Program to those members who would like to purchase up to 100 percent of their energy from these renewable sources.

The addition of more wind energy is in part a response to the strong federal government push away from coal. Although we believe that North Dakota’s bountiful coal deposits provide a great resource for clean, affordable electricity, the environmental push toward a more carbon-constrained world is a stark reality and one the nation will move toward. To keep rates low, reliability high and North Dakota’s economy strong, coal needs to remain part of the nation’s resource mix for the long term. The new administration’s approach to environmental regulation gives us hope that the Clean Power Plan regulation implemented under the Obama Administration will be redrawn in a more thoughtful, deliberate way, so we can maintain our “all of the above strategy” into the future.

When we look back on 2016 from an operational perspective, I think we would characterize it as one of mixed results. One of the warmest winters on record and a cool wet summer in parts of our service territory helped keep kilowatt-hour sales lower despite healthy growth in new services. Although we posted a net increase of 329 new members and 373 new service locations, we ended 2016 with kilowatt-hour sales down 2.3 percent from 2015. Consistent growth in membership leaves us optimistic that sales will be robust when weather patterns return to something we would consider more North Dakota normal.

In April 2016, we adjusted our rates by 5 percent in response to a wholesale power cost increase from April 2015. Since the end of 2014, we have been using our Revenue Deferral Plan to help stabilize your rates. Through long-term planning, we’ve been able to delay the impacts of millions of dollars in wholesale power cost increases to our membership. With wholesale power now accounting for more than 84 percent of our total expenses, managing how these costs are passed along is a critical part of keeping your rates affordable.

Technology is one of the ways we continue to work to provide better service at a reduced cost. Consequently, we are excited about the introduction of SmartHub in 2016. SmartHub is an app that allows member access to account information 24 hours a day. With SmartHub, members can now view and compare hour-by-hour usage, pay bills or interact with your cooperative right from your phone, tablet or computer. The availability of this data helps members analyze their own energy usage to confirm when and why power was used.

Cost is one of our most important performance measures; however, reliability is also an important aspect to providing a good value for membership. In this vein, we are happy to report that our wholesale power provider, Minnkota Power Cooperative, is planning $1.4 million in blink mitigation updates to their transmission system in Nodak’s service territory during the first quarter of 2017. These updates will help lessen the number of interruptions our membership have due to lightning activity and wildlife contacts.

In closing, we just want to point out that while 2016 wasn’t a record year by most measures, it certainly was a good one. We met all our financial requirements, we kept rates affordable, kept the power on and sent everyone home from work without serious injuries. Thank you for your patronage this past year and more importantly, all your support on issues important to your cooperative. It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve and work with you this past year.

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2016 Youth Tour

During the 2016 electric cooperative Youth Tour, Britton Bina joined 1,600 fellow youth representing cooperatives from across the nation June 11-17 in Washington, D.C. Nodak Electric sponsored Bina.

The action-packed tour included visits to the Smithsonian Museums, Lincoln Memorial Museum, National World War II Museum, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Newseum, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery and Mount Vernon. Another highlight was a riverboat cruise along the Potomac River. In addition to sightseeing, Bina and the other 14 North Dakotans in his tour group had the chance to meet and ask questions of Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, Sen. John Hoeven and Rep. Kevin Cramer.

To earn a seat on the all-expense-paid Youth Tour, North Dakota students entered an essay-writing contest and answered the following question: “Pick one of the four Touchstone Energy™ Cooperative core values – innovation, integrity, accountability or commitment to community – and describe how you see this in action at your family’s electric cooperative.” The North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives judged the entries.

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Treasurer’s Report 2016

As treasurer of Nodak Electric Cooperative, it is my honor to present the 2016 financial statements of the cooperative.

The financial year 2016 brought many months of kWh sales unpredictability due to unseasonable temperatures throughout most of the year. Weather patterns such as what we experienced in 2016 create issues with utility finances, but despite the weather uncertainty, we were able to meet our lenders financial requirements for the year. Revenue from electric sales totaled $95.5 million. Power costs for 2016 were $80.8 million. Total cost of electric service (less power costs) was 95 percent of the 2016 budgeted levels. We were fortunate to not have any severe storms during the year that would create an unusual amount of extra expenses.

Margins for 2016 were audited at $923,603. Of that amount, $134,463 came from operating margins and the balance of $789,140 from nonoperating margins.

For a more detailed look into the revenue, expenses and margins of your cooperative please feel free to contact Nodak at your convenience.

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The Right Energy Mix

Some people associate Nodak Electric Cooperative and our wholesale power supplier, Minnkota Power Cooperative, with coal-based energy.

And for good reason. Nodak continues to depend on coal to provide its baseload, 24-7 energy. Baseload energy is needed, after all, to keep homes warm and the lights on when intermittent energy resources such as wind energy are not producing any kilowatt-hours.

We are much more than coal, however. The amount of energy resources coming from baseload-coal declines every time we add a renewable resource. With the addition of 100 megawatts from the Oliver Wind Energy Center near Center, N.D., in late 2016, only about 55 percent of the electric generation capacity mix received by Nodak comes from coal.

Wind energy accounts for about 34 percent and hydroelectric from the Garrison Dam makes up 8 percent of the generation capacity. Other nonrenewable resources total 3 percent. Since hydro is a renewable energy resource as well, about 42 percent of our generation capacity mix comes from renewables.

Not enough for you? There is another alternative. Nodak members can now receive the equivalent of 100 percent of their electricity from renewable resources through the Infinity Renewable Energy Program.

With the program, you can increase the amount of renewable electricity you use without sacrificing your lifestyle or the comfort of your home. By enrolling through Nodak Electric Cooperative, you can choose a designated number of 100 kilowatt-hour blocks, or 100 percent of the electricity used to come from renewable resources. Nodak will allocate the appropriate amount of renewable energy through the program and indicate your purchases on your monthly bill.

While it is not possible to direct where electrons are specifically delivered on the electric grid, it is possible to ensure the renewable energy you have purchased is from a resource connected to your cooperative’s electric system. The record of purchase and the proof that it was reserved for you is done through a renewable energy credit (REC).

As one can see, we have come a long way since Minnkota put up the first commercial-scale wind turbine in the state in 2002. Minnkota and Nodak are among the leaders across the country in wind energy, as evidenced by Minnkota winning the 2010 Wind Cooperative of the Year Award from the U.S. Department of Energy.

At the time, Minnkota and Nodak had wind investments representing more than 30 percent of Minnkota’s total generation capacity.

That number climbed again when Minnkota added the Oliver III wind farm.

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Board of Directors Candidates

District 1 Candidates

Loren Estad
Loren Estad is a native from Crystal, N.D., where he is a fourth-generation farmer raising potatoes, edible beans, soybeans and wheat. Estad also operates a trucking company and is a partner in a couple of small businesses in the area.

Estad served on the Valley School Board for 12 years, the North Dakota Potato Council for six years and has currently been serving on the Park Township Board for 25 years.

Loren and his wife, Marge, have three grown daughters and one high school-aged son. Loren enjoys hunting and traveling with his family.

Gordon L. Johnson
Gordon L. Johnson a native of Langdon, N.D., grew up on the family farm west of Cavalier, N.D. He graduated from Cavalier High School in 1969, and then attended the University of North Dakota and North Dakota State College of Science-Wahpeton. In 1973, Johnson received an associate’s degree in civil engineering technology from NDSCS.

After graduating, he worked for KBM, Inc., in Grand Forks as a field engineer until he accepted a rural water manager position with the North Valley Water District in 1975. Johnson is in his 42nd year as manager of that water district – now renamed Northeast Regional Water District.

Johnson served 23 years as a supervisor on the Akra Township Board; served on the Cavalier School Board and has been active in a number of local committees.

He and his wife, Deb, have three children and 11 grandchildren.

Cheryl Osowski
Cheryl Osowski serves as special projects coordinator at the Red River Regional Council (RRRC) in Grafton, N.D., an economic and community development organization that serves the counties of Grand Forks, Nelson, Pembina and Walsh.

Osowski earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of Minnesota – Crookston. She spent 17 years working at the University of North Dakota, serving as a personnel officer and the outreach coordinator at the College of Engineering and Mines. In 2000, she was elected president of the Northeast North Dakota Human Resource Association. She also serves on the board of the Dakota Science Center.

In addition to working at the RRRC, Osowski is a part-time freelance writer for The Walsh County Record and is bookkeeper for her husband’s business, REO Truck Repair and Salvage, LLC.

Cheryl and her husband, Robert, live on their farmstead northeast of Voss, N.D.

Derek Roach
Derek Roach is a fourth-generation Nodak Electric member. He and his family reside next to his parents’ farmstead east of Mekinock, N.D., where his family has lived since the 1930s. He graduated from Midway Public School and attended Le Cordon Bleu for Culinary Arts in Las Vegas.

Roach has worked in the food service industry for more than 10 years. He managed and owned various restaurant and bar establishments. For the last six years he has worked for the Grand Forks Public Schools.

Derek and his family are very involved with Ness Lutheran Church. He has served on the council since 2013, and is treasurer/secretary for the church’s Men’s Club.

Thomas Vaughn
Thomas Vaughn Cavalier, N.D., native, is a farmer and rancher near Cavalier. A fourth-generation farmer, Vaughn and two of his sons run a seed stock operation with purebred Limousin cattle.

Vaughn has been a 4-H leader and was superintendent of the cattle barn at the Pembina County Fair for several years. A lifelong member of Cavalier Presbyterian Church, he served as an elder for many years.

He serves as vice president of the Pembina County Memorial Hospital/Wedgewood Manor Board. Other boards he has served on include the Pembina County Livestock Association, Heartland Limousin Association and the North America Limousin Foundation.

He belongs to the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association, National Cattleman’s Beef Association and the Pembina County Farm Bureau.

Tom and his wife, Rita, have three sons and six grandchildren.

District 2 Candidates

Paul R. Hanson
Paul R. Hanson lives on the family farm east of Mayville, N.D., along the Goose River. Hanson attended the University of North Dakota. He holds a bachelor of science degree with majors in biology and chemistry, along with a minor in mathematics.

Hanson farmed with his father, operating a farrow-to-finish hog operation along with cow-calf production and grain and sunflowers. He has worked as a chemist at American Crystal Sugar and is now employed at the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

As a farmer, he served and presided on the boards of Mayville Township, the Mayville Farmers Co-op Elevator and Gran Lutheran Church. As a nationally Registered EMT – Intermediate, he worked toward organizing and training Traill County’s rural EMS system.

Hanson has three adult children and enjoys four-wheeling and hunting along the Goose River, as well as playing instruments with the KEM Shrine Band.

Peter Naastad
Peter Naastad has been on the board since June, filling the unexpired term of Roger Diehl. Pete is an excavation and utilities contractor from Traill County. He has lived in rural Hatton all of his life. Naastad and his brothers started Naastad Brothers, Inc., in 1974. Though Pete’s brothers left the company, he and his wife, Karen, continue to work at Naastad Brothers. Now their sons have joined them at the company.

Naastad is a past member of the Hatton School Board and the Bethany Church Council. He was also on the board of the Land Improvement Contractors Association, the Community Club Apartment Board, Hatton Prairie Village Loyalty Club and was past president and a current member of the Hatton Men’s Club.

Naastad has two sons and a daughter, three goddaughters and eight grandchildren.

District 3 Candidate

Steven Smaaladen
Steven Smaaladen became a Sheyenne Valley Electric Cooperative board member in 1997 and a Nodak board member after the merger between Nodak and Sheyenne Valley in 2001. He was re-elected in 2002 and has held several positions on the board.

Smaaladen attended Minnesota State Moorhead and Trinity Bible College. He farmed with his father and brother until 1997 and then worked construction until 2004. For the past 13 years he has been a rural mail carrier and is currently employed at the Northwood Post Office. He is secretary-treasurer for the Griggs-Steele unit of the Rural Letter Carriers Association and has served on the North Dakota Rural Letter Carriers’ Association Financial Committee.

Smaaladen is a member of the Finley Assembly of God Church, where he serves on the board and teaches Sunday school. For the past 24 years, Smaaladen and his wife, Marsha, have operated Country Greenhouse on their farm north of Aneta. They have two sons, Zachary, 19, and Zane, 10.

How to vote

Members may vote in person at the Alerus Center
Thursday, April 6, 6:30 p.m.,

– or –

by mail.
Ballots will be mailed out prior to the meeting. Voting instructions will be included.

Attention corporate members

If you are a member Corporation, Cooperative, School, Church or Township (or other nonnatural person) of Nodak Electric Cooperative, Inc., and want to be represented at members’ meeting(s), please request a Designation of Voting Representative form and one will be mailed to you. The form must be completed and signed by an authorized officer of the organization. This form must be completed annually.

In order for the member corporation, etc., to participate in business matters, this form must be received by the secretary of Nodak on or before the date of the members’ meeting(s). This form may be mailed with your ballot to Nodak or presented at registration at the members’ meeting(s).

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