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Youth Tour-Washington, D.C.

Stute selected as Beltrami Electric Cooperative 2018 Youth Tour Representative

BeltraZachary Stute, Laporte High School Studentmi Electric has selected Zachary Stute of Laporte as the co­operative’s representative for the 2018 Youth Tour, June 9-14, 2018, where he will join hundreds of high school students representing their cooperatives on an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.  This trip is part of an annual Youth Tour sponsored by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), the Minnesota Rural Electric Association (MREA) and Beltrami Electric Cooperative.

Senator Lyndon Baines Johnson inspired the Youth Tour when he addressed the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Annual Meeting in Chicago in 1957. The Senator and future president declared, “If one thing comes out of this meeting, it will be sending youngsters to the national capital where they can actually see what the flag stands for and represents.”

The Youth Tour program continues to foster the grassroots spirit of the rural electric cooperatives by demonstrating to our youth how our government works and what the electric cooperative business model is all about. In a time when energy is at the forefront of our nation’s issues, this is a great opportunity to have a hand in the creation of electric cooperative advocates! Many former Youth Tour representatives have moved on to serve in significant positions in our communities, including becoming a member of congress.  The tour includes visits to the Smithsonian, the National Archives, Arlington National Cemetery, the WWI, Vietnam, Korean War Veteran’s Memorials as well as the Jefferson, Washington and Lincoln Memorials.

As part of the selection process, candidates were required to submit an application, write a 500-word essay and submit two letters of reference from teachers, group or community leaders.  Mr. Stute stressed in his application that he hopes to gain an understanding of our nation’s rich political history, to further his knowledge of U.S. history and the legislative process and that he looks forward to sharing that experience with his peers.

Mr. Stute is very active in his school. He is a member of the Student Council, Speech Team and Knowledge Bowl.  He is also active in his school’s drama program and has participated in many productions and plays.  He has received numerous academic achievement awards and has lettered in Speech, Drama and Knowledge Bowl.  Mr. Stute has a love of learning, including history and government, and plans to pursue a degree in Social Studies Education.

He is the son of Royce and JoAnn Stute of Laporte, MN. The members of Beltrami Electric are once again pleased to send a well-rounded student to our nation’s capital as a representative of the cooperative. Congratulations and good luck!


What is the Rural Electric Cooperative Youth Tour?

Youth Tour Logo

Every June, nearly 1,700 high school students from across the country spend a week in Washington, D.C., as part of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Youth Tour.  The students are sponsored by electric cooperatives - co-ops that are committed to educating America's rural youth about America and the role electric cooperatives play in developing strong rural communities.

Participating in the Youth Tour is an awesome way to learn about this great nation, develop leadership skills, gain a better understanding of electric cooperatives and make friendships that will last beyond the week!

Students on the tour learn about electric cooperatives, American history and U.S. government. They attend educational seminars and visit with their representatives in the House and the Senate. They see historical sights in and around Washington-the U.S. Capitol, the monuments, the Smithsonian, Arlington Cemetery, Mt. Vernon and countless other places and they learn more about the cooperative business model.

The Rural Electric Youth Tour started in 1957.


Check out this video from the 2017 Rural Electric Cooperative Youth Tour!


Photos from previous years' Youth Tours to Washington, D.C.

2017 Minnesota Rural Electric Cooperative Youth Tour group in Washington, DC    2017 Minnesota Rural Electric Cooperative Youth Tour Group  2017 MInnesota Rural Electric Cooperative Youth Tour Group  Image from 2017 Rural Electric Cooperative Youth TOur

The application process is easy!  Interested high school juniors (will be a senior in the fall of 2018) whose parent or guardian is a member of Beltrami Electric Cooperartive should complete an application for the Rural Electric Youth Tour, attach a 500-word essay (from list of topics on application), include a photograph and two letters of recommendation from a teacher, group or community leader.


2016 Minnesota Rural Electric Youth Tour Group    2016 Minnesota Electric Cooperative Youth Tour Group

For additional information about the Youth Tour, visit or


Online Resources (not limited to): (link is external) (Minnesota Rural Electric Association) (link is external) (Electric Cooperative Youth Tour)


This co-op sponsored educational event is valued at $2,050 (includes airfare, lodging, meals, transportation and tours).

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