Area students sponsored by Allamakee-Clayton Electric Cooperative for Youth Tour

Youth Tour participants ... Left to right, Caleb Opfer of Waukon High School and Luke Tuecke of Central Community High School stand with the U.S. Capitol Building looming in the background during their recent Electric Cooperative Youth Tour in Washington, D.C. Both Opfer and Tuecke were sponsored by Allamakee-Clayton Electric Cooperative for the Tour. Submitted photo.

Thirty-seven high school students representing Iowa’s locally-owned electric cooperatives traveled to Washington, D.C. June 8-14 and joined more than 1,800 other students from across the nation for the 2018 Electric Cooperative Youth Tour. Iowa’s electric cooperatives were the first ones to send students to Washington, D.C., back in 1958; this year marks the 60th anniversary of the journey.

“The Youth Tour is the highlight of the summer for many students, and we’re proud to send 37 of Iowa’s best and brightest to our nation’s capital this year to participate,” said Chuck Soderberg, Executive Vice President of the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives. “These students gained a first-hand understanding of the legislative process and made connections with other student leaders from across the country that will last a lifetime. We look forward to continuing the Youth Tour tradition for years to come.”

Local tour participants Caleb Opfer of Waukon and Luke Tuecke of Garnavillo were sponsored by Allamakee-Clayton Electric Cooperative. Opfer is the son of John and Jenny Opfer and will be a senior at Waukon High School this fall. Tuecke will be a junior at Central Community School and is the son of Joe and Liz Tuecke.

Students on the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour participated in leadership training, engaged in one-on-one conversations with elected officials, jumpstarted their national peer network, learned about electric cooperatives, and toured the monuments and museums of Washington, D.C.

Students apply and are selected for this program by their local electric cooperative. Nationally, nearly 50,000 students have participated in this program since it began. For more information, visit

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