4:05 AM EST, February 22, 2013
DENVER - CoBank, a cooperative bank serving agribusinesses, rural infrastructure providers and Farm Credit associations throughout the United States, announced today that it has committed $5 million to fund agricultural research and education at land grant universities and other institutions throughout the United States.
The CoBank contribution will support a broad range of programs at more than 30 schools, including academic research, scholarships for students, cooperative education and leadership development.
"We're pleased to announce the establishment of this new fund," said Everett Dobrinski, chairman of the CoBank board of directors. "For well over a century, land grant universities and other academic institutions have supported the development of the rural economy, helping U.S. agriculture to become the most productive and innovative in the world. This contribution, which was unanimously approved by our board, will enhance research and education programs at these schools and promote the continued advancement of American agriculture and rural America."
Recipient institutions were selected based on a wide range of criteria, including the nature and extent of their agricultural programs as well as existing relationships with CoBank, its customers and Farm Credit association partners across the country. Area recipient universities included are:
University of Minnesota
South Dakota State University
University of Nebraska
Iowa State University
North Dakota State University
Details regarding the gifts to individual universities will be announced over the course of the year as the particulars of each grant are finalized. CoBank is designing each contribution in collaboration with the school as well as customers and Farm Credit associations from the surrounding area.
Bob Engel, CoBank's president and chief executive officer, noted that support for research and education is an important part of the bank's broader corporate social responsibility program. "One of the best ways for CoBank to return value to rural America is by giving to academic institutions that are engaged in agricultural research and training the next generation of rural business and civic leaders," Engel said. "We're deeply thankful for our board's generosity and look forward to strengthening our long-term relationships with these great schools."
The $5 million agricultural university fund follows a significant contribution by CoBank to the University of Colorado last year. In early 2012, the bank announced it would contribute $2.5 million to CU Denver Business School in support of a new center for commodities research and education at the school.
For more information about CoBank, visit the bank's web site at http://www.cobank.com.