Big Horn Rural Electric Company has proudly served its members for over 80 years. Since its incorporation on April 2, 1937, Big Horn has operated under the Seven Cooperative Principles. These principles ensure that our members have a say in the cooperative's business by electing a board of directors from among the members. They provide a way for our members to invest in and improve their system while also allowing them to share the profits made by the cooperative. Business in the cooperative is taken care of by local board members and employees that live in and are familiar with the area. We have an office in Basin with outposts in Lovell and Ten Sleep. We work with other businesses in the community to keep the Big Horn Basin economically strong.
The first concept of Big Horn REC was planted in 1935 at a summer picnic sponsored by the County Farm Bureau and held on the Davis Ranch east of Greybull, Wyoming. Ranchers, farmers, and their families in attendance listened to Big Horn County Agent K.E. Van Wagenen as he explained how much their lives would change with electricity. Several communities were canvassed to determine the interest in bringing electricity to the area. The Washington Office recommended combining efforts with a countywide cooperative. That is when Big Horn Rural Electric was incorporated.
On February 13, 1937, the REA allotted $82,000 for the Greybull Valley project. Big Horn formally filed its Articles of Incorporation on April 2, 1937. At 5:45 p.m., February 1, 1938, M.M. Roush threw the switch energizing the line and turning on the lights to 225 family farms in the Greybull Valley and Emblem Bench. It was 352 days from that date that the first loan was granted.
Big Horn's system continued to expand and now provides electricity to 3,950 services in Big Horn, Park, Washakie, Johnson, and Sheridan Counties in Wyoming: and Carbon and Big Horn Counties in Montana.
Big Horn REA was formed to provide power to its members at the lowest cost, consistent with good business practices. Although tools, equipment, and technology have advanced, the principles we were founded on are just as strong today as the day we began business in 1937.