A look back
Country Living came into being at a time when the country was still getting used to the idea that farmers could get electricity from a centralized power plant, just like urban dwellers could.
A little more than 20 years had passed since Franklin D. Roosevelt had signed the Rural Electrification Act, which allowed for the creation of electric cooperatives to illuminate the mostly dark countryside. By October 1958, 28 electric cooperatives had formed and were successfully providing electricity to rural areas — mostly farms — in the Buckeye State.
The cooperatives recognized early on the need to communicate with their member-owners, and most produced their own newsletters with important updates, announcements, and news of the day. It was not an efficient system.
Thanks to the visionary guidance of early leaders from the statewide trade association, Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives — General Manager Howard Cummins, Chairman of the Board Howard Clapper, and Managing Editor Paul Sterner — Country Living made its debut in 1958. It was mailed directly to about 20,000 members for, as it remains today, less than the cost of a postage stamp.
A look ahead
As the electric co-ops grew, so did their magazine. The circulation has increased to about 300,000 homes, farms, and businesses in 77 of Ohio’s 88 counties.
You’ve told us that you look forward to receiving the magazine because it’s the best way to find out what’s happening at your cooperative. It’s also consistently entertaining, with features about some of the best places to visit in the state and region, bits of fascinating history, and mouth-watering recipes that you clip, save, and try, over and over.
The content is great, you’ve told us, but Country Living is ready for a makeover. We agree.
Finally, you’ve told us that you consider yourselves to be a cooperative community, regardless of whether you live in a suburban or rural environment. Again, we agree. In that spirit, starting in March, Country Living becomes Ohio Cooperative Living, with a fresh look to accompany the new name.
The focus of the revised magazine will remain on you — the member-owners. Ohio Cooperative Living will be the same magazine that you’ve welcomed into your homes for the past 58 years — only better: better photos, better stories, better paper, and better organized to better serve you.
We invite you to celebrate the past 58 years of Country Living, while welcoming Ohio Cooperative Living into your homes and businesses. We’re confident that you’ll enjoy the new look, the new feel, and, yes, the new name.