Four of Colorado's top agricultural lenders have joined together to donate more than $1 million for construction of a modern Center for Agricultural Education at Colorado State University that will train new generations of teachers and leaders.
The donations come from Denver-based CoBank, AgCredit of Greeley, Colo.; Farm Credit of Southern Colorado in Colorado Springs, Colo., and Premier Farm Credit of Sterling, Colo. All are members of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of lending institutions specifically chartered to serve ag and rural America.
Lenders of the Colorado FFA Foundation, CSU College of Agricultural Sciences and donor partnership unveiled details of the gift during a Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame celebration in Denver on Valentine's Day.
"CSU has a distinguished history as a center of knowledge, research and education in agricultural sciences," says Robert B.Engel, president and chief executive officer of CoBank, which has launched a $5 million ag research and education funding initiative.
"We are delighted to be joining with American AgCredit, Farm Credit of Southern Colorado and Premier Farm Credit in support of this exciting initiative, which will deliver meaningful, long-term benefits to agriculture and Colorado's rural economy."
The Center will be built at the CSU research farm north of Fort Collins when the university and Colorado FFA Foundation have fulfilled a $3 million fund-raising goal.
The campaign already has generated more than $2 million in donations from companies, industry associations and individuals who understand the vital role of agriculture in the economy and society, says Dale McCall, chairman of the Colorado FFA Foundation board of directors.
The foundation has helped spearhead project planning and fund-raising.
"The gift from CoBank and its Farm Credit partners will provide an opportunity for students at CSU to be fully trained and effective when they go out to be agricultural education teachers and FFA advisers in schools throughout the region," he adds.
"This wonderful gift allows us to get closer and closer to our goal of a center that will influence students for generations."