In 1935, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order No. 7037 establishing the Rural Electrification Administration. Within the year, loan applications from farmer-based cooperatives made rural electrification a possibility. McLeod Cooperative Power Association (MCPA) was one of those cooperatives that made electrification possible within rural Minnesota.
The cooperative was created to serve the energy needs of local farmers and continues to do so today. MCPA powers many farms with grain dryers, resulting in annual system peak demand during the fall crop harvest. In addition to the farmers themselves, MCPA also serves many agribusinesses.
Heartland Corn Products is farmer-owned ethanol plant, a load shared with Brown County Rural Electrical Association since the plant’s location is in both cooperatives’ service territory. Rather than fight over the load, the cooperatives shared in the investment, risk and benefits of serving it jointly.
Crow River Winery is another MCPA member. The business has grown from a small wine producer to a large winery, restaurant, event center, corn maze, tourist attraction, retail store, and much more in recent years.
In addition to the farms and agribusinesses, MCPA provides service to the only state-of-the-art astrological observatory in Minnesota. MAS Eagle Lake Observatory, located in Baylor Park in Carver County and owned by the Minnesota Astrological Society, educates thousands of people each year via nighttime public viewing parties where attendees look at the stars, planets, sun, international space station and satellites through telescopes.