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Published April 03, 2013, 11:07 AM

CoBank gives $250,000 to NDSU projects

CoBank, a national cooperative bank, will donate $250,000 to North Dakota State University’s new Commodity Trading Laboratory and the Quentin Burdick Center for Cooperatives.

By: Mikkel Pates, Agweek

FARGO, N.D. — CoBank, a national cooperative bank, will donate $250,000 to North Dakota State University’s new Commodity Trading Laboratory and the Quentin Burdick Center for Cooperatives.

Everett Dobrinski, Makoti, N.D., board chairman of Denver-based CoBank, made the announcement on April 2 in Fargo at a regional customer meeting. Among CoBank’s customers in the region are American Crystal Sugar Co., Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative, as well as others.

The money will be distributed over five years and is part of a $5 million national fund CoBank announced Feb. 12 for land-grant and other universities across the country.

The $250,000 donation will help train students in the understanding of trading on commodities exchanges that are important to customers in rural America, Dobrinski said. That’s on top of $100,000 CoBank gave to the Burdick Center in 2012.

“The mission of the Burdick Center, as well as NDSU’s position as one of the nation’s leading agricultural schools, makes NDSU a perfect university partner for CoBank,” Dobrinski said.

NDSU President Dean Bresciani thanked Dobrinski for the donations, saying the goal is about the “success of the people we serve.” He noted that business partnerships have helped NDSU become one of the top 100 research universities in the nation, both public and private.

CoBank is involved with loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states. It is a member of the Farm Credit System.

In addition to serving direct retail borrowers, the bank also provides wholesale loans and other financial services to affiliated Farm Credit associations, serving 70,000 farmers and other borrowers in 23 states. CoBank announced $853.9 million in net income in 2012, up from $706.6 million in 2011.

The CoBank meeting continued April 3 with speeches by Bob Engel, CoBank’s CEO, as well as economist Marci Rossell, who speaks on economics, culture and media.

In its April 2 customer banquet, speaker Jim Morris, the high school teacher turned major league baseball pitcher and subject for the movie “The Rookie,” urged people in the audience to mentor young people to follow their dreams and push themselves to succeed.

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