The precursor to this magazine, Kansas Electric Farmer, launched in August 1952 with a mission to educate electric co-op consumer-members about legislative issues, electrical safety, and wise energy use. Seventy years and more than 800 issues later, the name has changed but the mission and support for Kansas electric co-ops and their consumer-members remains steadfast.
This month marks the 70th anniversary of Kansas Country Living in all names and forms of its existence. It has emerged from a newsprint tabloid to a full-color magazine and continues to be the most cost-effective way for your electric co-op to regularly share important co-op business news with you, an owner of the co-op.
While the main magazine publishes a variety of useful and entertaining content that reflects the lifestyles and cultures of rural and suburban Kansas, electric co-ops include their own personalized pages with local news, updates, and announcements specific to their consumer-members, which can be found beginning on Page 12A. This is where you will find information on your co-op’s board of trustee nominations and elections, along with annual meeting updates and activities.
The local co-op pages provide cooperative business news along with helpful articles to improve the safety and quality of you and your family’s life, particularly when it comes to electrical safety.
The magazine’s circulation has grown steadily through the years. Between 2008 to 2022 we have added close to 30,000 readers, with today’s Kansas Country Living reaching nearly 133,000 readers.
Although the magazine still offers the latest news, energy efficiency tips, and electrical safety at home and on the farm, it also covers emerging technology related to electric vehicles, smart devices that help save energy, the grid and future challenges, and rural sustainability topics electric co-ops engage in with state lawmakers.
In celebration of the magazine’s 70th anniversary, we launched kclonline.com at the beginning of the year. The website enhances the magazine by bringing to life the stories told of Kansas people and places with bonus online content, photos and videos. The site also offers opportunities for readers to submit recipes, photos and story ideas to help us share the best that Kansas and its people have to offer.
Regardless of the world’s shift toward digital communications, our most recent reader survey indicated an overwhelming majority of our readers — 96% — prefer the printed version of the magazine delivered to their mailbox each month.
In a digital world, why do hard copies of the magazine remain alluring? Several factors contribute to that preference — lack of reliable internet connection, oversaturation of digital communications (how many emails do you receive daily?), co-op consumer-member demographics, and the fact that leisurely reading a magazine affords a break from the computer, phone or tablet screen we spend a good portion of the day staring at while working.
Most certainly communication trends and technology will change in the years to come as will reader and co-op member demographics. Kansas Country Living will assuredly remain a trusted publication for electric co-op members regardless of the form it may take in the future.