Grady EMC was created in 1936 when 175 farmers got together and decided to form their own REA in South Georgia. Those initial members incorporated Grady EMC in 1937 with the goal of providing power to South Georgia. More than 77 years later, we serve over 13,000 members through over 3,000 miles of power lines in Grady, Decatur and Thomas counties. While much has changed with the passing of time, our purpose today is the same as it was when we were founded …to provide safe, reliable and affordable power to the members we serve!
As late as the mid-1930s, nine out of 10 rural homes were without electric service. The farmer milked his cows by hand in the dim light of a kerosene lantern. His wife labored over a wood range and washboard.
The unavailability of electricity in rural areas kept their economies entirely and exclusively dependent on agriculture. Factories and businesses, of course, preferred to locate in cities where electric power was easily acquired. For many years, power companies ignored the rural areas of the nation.
Today, about 99 percent of the nation’s farms have electric service. Most rural electrification is the product of locally owned rural electric cooperatives that got their start by borrowing funds from REA to build lines and provide service on a not-for-profit basis. REA is now the Rural Utilities Service, or RUS, and is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.