Whetstone Valley Electric Cooperative (WVEC) will host its 81st annual membership meeting on Thursday, March 23, at the Milbank High School. Registration starts at 6 p.m. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. Each member receives a $30 food voucher. This year, three members must be selected to serve on the board of directors — each for a three-year term. Win the $500 cash drawing! Kids ages 14-18 are eligible for the $100 cash drawing. Kids ages 0-13 are eligible for the $50 cash drawing. Activity bags will be available for the children.
Districts with Open Seats-
District 1: Dry Wood Lake, Goodwill, Easter, Agency, and Lawrence Townships
David Behrns Dave has retired from dairy farming and truck driving, so he has plenty of time to help lead Whetstone Valley Electric to even better times. His daughter Michelle lives across the road and has taken over the family business that Lorna started 20 years ago. His son lives and works in St. Louis, Missouri. Dave has served on the Sisseton School Board. He has been clerk of Lawrence Township for the past 25 years and is on the Peever Lutheran Church Council. His interests include reading, horseback riding, dancing, some hunting and fishing. Dave would also like to do some traveling in the future.
District 2: Becker, Lee, and Lake Townships
Matt Cameron Matt Cameron lives in Lake Township. He attended Wilmot High School and Northern State University. He is a retired director of operations in the banking industry, and is currently farming. He has one son, Gage Cameron, who lives and works in Nashville, Tennessee. Matt has served on the planning commission in Fort Mill, South Carolina, and the Palmetto Leadership Society. He has been a Special Olympics coach, and has been a part of the Fort Mill Rotary Club. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with family, hunting, day trading, traveling, and riding motorcycles. He especially enjoys spending time with his 92-year-old father who was on the WVEC board for many years.
Kent Frerichs Kent and his wife, Faye, farm near Wilmot. Faye is a registered nurse and a farm homemaker. They have one daughter, Miranda (Mark) Huesman, and three sons, Aaron, Jason (Ashley), and Ryan. They have six grandchildren: Noah, Nathaniel, Nicholas, and Ava Huesman, and Elizabeth and Violet Frerichs. Kent graduated from Wilmot High School and has a Bachelor of Science degree from South Dakota State University with a major in agricultural education. Kent and Faye assist their sons on the farm when possible. The farm involves raising crops (corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa) and livestock (beef cows/calf, and hogs). All three of their sons are members of the Whetstone Valley Electric Co-op and are involved in farming. Ryan also works at the POET ethanol plant and has his own tree business. Kent taught agriculture education and was an FFA Advisor for fifteen years. Kent served as president of the South Dakota Pork Producer’s Council (SDPPC) and as president of the South Dakota Association of Agricultural Educators (SDAAE). Kent served in the South Dakota Legislature, House of Representatives, for fourteen years, four of those years in a leadership position. Kent has served his church as an usher. He also enjoys woodworking and photography.
District 5: Osceola, Kilborn, Mazeppa, Twin Brooks, and Leola Townships
William Tostenson Bill Tostenson and his wife, Kristy, live on a farm in Twin Brooks Township, west of Milbank. Bill is a graduate of Milbank High School and the Community College of the Air Force. Kristy continues to develop her music and teaching career. They have four grown boys, Jeremy and Ginny Tostenson, Paul and Janea Tostenson, Justin and Katie Tostenson, and Matt and Kristin Tostenson. They have 12 grandchildren. Bill is retired from the USPS and the South Dakota Air National Guard, Sioux Falls. Bill has served as treasurer of WVEC and currently serves as the board president. He also represents WVEC in the South Dakota Rural Electric Association. Bill is treasurer for the Twin Brooks township board and is a Grant County commissioner.
The WVEC board serves on behalf of the membership to provide oversight and strategic governance. Day-to-day operations are led by the cooperative general manager. The board is responsible for sending representatives to the associations of which the cooperative is a member. Directors are expected to attend educational seminars and may be asked to serve on other associated cooperative boards. Directors may be asked to lobby and remain informed on pertinent legislative issues. Reading and studying is necessary to keep informed of current issues and how they may affect the co-op. It is the responsibility of the board to evaluate and develop long-term strategic plans to assure the financial and operational stability of the cooperative.