Initial discussions were held to form the organization. Its purpose would be to coordinate the interests of the electric utility industry in serving agriculture. Involved in the first meetings were electric power suppliers, university educators, equipment manufacturers, and the Rural Electrification Administration (now Rural Utilities Services).
The organization held its first Annual Conference to share information among a growing group of supporters. The association was managed by a committee of utility leaders.
The nonprofit association was incorporated under the name Inter-Industry Farm Electric Utilization Council in the state of Kentucky.
Council was granted an exemption from Federal Income Tax by the IRS under Section 501(C)(6). The organization continued to work jointly with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Assn. and Edison Electric Institute.
Name was shortened to the Farm Electrification Council, and a full-time Executive Manager was hired (J. Turrel). Offices were located in Oakbrook, Illinois. The FEC published Electricity on the Farm magazine to educate customers about electrical safety, productivity and new technology.
Under new management (K. McFate), the FEC’s name was changed to Food and Energy Council to broaden the scope of topics covered, particularly the link between food production on farms and energy supplies.
The word National was added to the name. The National Food and Energy Council continued to serve a combined audience of electric power suppliers and educators
on topics involving electricity use in rural areas. Offices were located in Columbia, MO.
To keep pace with changing needs of NFEC members, the Council began to broaden its scope beyond production agriculture to include “rural related” electricity use. Under new management (R. Hiatt), the association added training courses to help members educate businesses and residential customers on energy topics, such as motors, lighting and power quality.
The NFEC offices were moved to their present location in Wilmington, Ohio.
Following a year of discussions and member input on a name change, the organization became the Rural Electricity Resource Council (RERC) in April.