CoBank Gives $250K Gift To NDSU Co-op Center, Trading Room

FARGO, N.D. – CoBank announced a $250,000 donation 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 the Denver-based CoBank, made the announcement on April 2 in Fargo at a regional customer meeting in the North Dakota region at the Ramada Plaza Suites in Fargo.  Among CoBank’s customers in the region include American Crystal Sugar Co., Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative, and numerous other cooperatives and companies.

Dobrinski noted that CoBank will give $250,000 to NDSU over the next five years. It is part of a $5 million national fund CoBank announced Feb. 12, 2013. The fund is for Land Grant and other universities across the country.

The $250,000 donation will support both the Quentin Burdick Center for Cooperatives and the Commodities Trading Room laboratory at NDSU’s Department of Applied Economics at Barry Hall, to 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.

David Kragnes of Felton, Minn., who is also a board member at CoBank, announced that Dobrinski who was selected Director of the Year by the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives for 2012, was also designating  the honor’s $5,000 scholarship award to the QBCC.

CoBank is a national cooperative bank 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 continues April 3 with speeches on April 3 by Bob Engel, CoBank’s chief executive officer, 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, the subject for the movie, “The Rookie,” urged people in the audience to mentor young people to follow their dreams and do more than they thought they could.