SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. — Compeer Financial’s Fund for Rural America, the Farm Credit cooperative’s giving program, has awarded 29 General Use Grants, totaling $181,200. General Use Grants fund initiatives and organizations whose work enriches agriculture and rural America, aligning with Compeer Financial’s mission. For this cycle, priority was given to projects centered around COVID-19 relief efforts that aligned with the goals of this grant program.
In total, the grants will directly impact the lives of 135,851 people and will touch 840,023 lives.
Since the program was established in 2018, the Fund has awarded General Use Grants to 199 community organizations, totaling over $1.1 million. The Fund will offer this grant again in November 2020 to provide funding for early 2021.
“Rural communities are facing extra hardships as they deal with the effects of the coronavirus,” said Karen Schieler, senior corporate giving specialist at Compeer. “These organizations give back to their communities every day, supporting agriculture, technology, education and the environment now more than ever. We saw many groups find ways to help those impacted by the pandemic in rural America.”
The following 29 organizations in Compeer Financial’s territory received support from the General Use Grant Program:
Angelic Organics Learning Center: program support for Stateline Farm Beginnings and Farm Viability Circles
Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences: urban agriculture teacher professional development
Conservation and Ag Partners: video equipment and editing, eggs and chick hatching supplies, and other supplies, for virtual learning during the pandemic.
Illinois Farmers Market Association: mini-grants to Farmers Markets to offset COVID-19 operating costs and technical assistance, video series, and marketing and strategy support consultation services
Kane County: mini-grants to Kane County direct sale farmers for financial costs associated with the COVID-19 virus and the adjustment to e-commerce and market challenges
People’s Resource Center: sourcing and purchasing high demand food items and household products, which are needed to help families impacted by COVID-19
Rural Schools Collaborative: develop a support network for the rural teacher corps programs, as rural schools are impacted by COVID-19
Smart Farm of Barrington: the costs of plants including bare root and potted plants, seeds, bulbs, understory plants and a variety of bushes for the Permaculture Community Food Forest
Agricultural Utilization Research Institute: transforming an existing space at the Waseca Coproducts Pilot Lab into a certified food grade area
Central Minnesota Vegetable Growers Association: general operating support for changes in service model for farmers markets due to COVID
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota/LSS Meals: the cost of providing extra meals to seniors in Southwestern Minnesota because of COVID-19
Maple River Loaves and Fishes Food Shelf: replacing old tile flooring with new flooring and updating the shelving units
Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom: the development of robust resources, communication and data collection tools for Farm Camp
Renewing the Countryside: conducting an online farmland access short-course for beginning and emerging farmers, and to provide one-on-one assistance from trained farmland access navigators
Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota: broad based short and long term technical assistance to local food producers, as producers are impacted by COVID-19
Community Connections Free Clinic: purchasing supplies, medications, and equipment, and mechanical needs for the Outreach Bus
Curds for Kids: purchasing cheese curds to include in schools summer meals, especially following the pandemic
Free Clinic of Pierce and St. Croix Counties: providing medical services after being impacted by COVID-19
GROW: increasing access to fresh, locally grown and healthy food snacks to free lunch and food pantry sites, after seeing an increased need because of COVID-19
HealthNet of Rock County: providing home healthcare to migrant farm workers who have been impacted by COVID-19
Living Hope Food Pantry: purchasing milk, butter, yogurt, personal care items and cleaning supplies, after increased need because of COVID-19
Madison Area Food Pantry Gardens, Inc: a solar powered walk-in cooler, which was needed after a shared space was impacted by COVID-19
Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service: staff training to provide more digital content and respond to shifting needs for farmer focused education and resources in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
Neighbors Helping Neighbors: support for food insecurity efforts and additional relief services
REAP Food Group: increasing support and technical assistance to farmers including free digital listings and webinars and resources on digital marketing and sales platforms, as producers are impacted by COVID-19
Sheboygan River Progressive Farmers: educational programs including field days, field signs and newsletter
Society of St. Vincent de Paul Council of Dodge County: expanding food box meals by purchasing dairy, protein, and produce items, after increased need because of COVID-19
United Way of Dunn County: providing free personal protection kits and educational materials to community members, and personal protection supplies for staff, in response to COVID-19
Vincent High School of Agricultural Sciences: urban agriculture teacher professional development
About the Fund for Rural America
The Compeer Financial Fund for Rural America is the corporate giving program of Compeer Financial, structured to support Compeer Financial’s mission to enrich agriculture and rural America. Compeer Financial’s Board of Directors has dedicated one percent of annual net earnings to support the Fund’s focus areas of agricultural advocacy and development, agriculture education, cooperative initiatives, rural development and community enrichment; and youth engagement. The Fund is managed by a Board of Trustees, made up of team members from Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin and members of the Compeer Financial Board of Directors. More information about opportunities available through the Fund can be found at Compeer.com/giving-back.
About Compeer Financial
Compeer Financial is a member-owned Farm Credit cooperative serving and supporting agriculture and rural communities. The $22.8 billion organization provides loans, leases, risk management and other financial services throughout 144 counties in Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Based in the Upper Midwest, Compeer Financial exists to champion the hopes and dreams of rural America, while providing personalized service and expertise to clients and the agriculture industry.
Compeer Financial is the third largest cooperative of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of lending institutions supporting agriculture and rural communities with reliable, consistent credit and financial services. Learn more.
— Compeer Financial
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