Parkland College Receives $75,000 Compeer Financial Grant

Parkland College Receives $75,000 Compeer Financial Grant

Parkland College Ag Department Receives $75,000 Grant

The Parkland College Foundation and Agricultural Technologies department recently received a $75,000 grant from Compeer Financial as part of their Agriculture and Rural Initiative.

"Compeer's generosity in this kind of investment demonstrates the value they see in, and our community's commitment to, Parkland's agriculture program," said Derrick Baker, Parkland's dean of career and technical education. "Our students will directly benefit from the ability to keep current with technology and continue to receive the most up-to-date education in precision ag."

Parkland's ag department will apply the grant to the school's Precision Agriculture program for equipment and technology purchases that supplement the hands-on learning and real-world experiences built into the curriculum. The college will also receive two annual $1,250 scholarships to award students enrolled in the Agriculture program or pathway over the next four years.

"We are grateful for Compeer’s commitment to support agriculture education and their investment in our students," Baker said.

Parkland College is one of four community colleges in Illinois to receive a grant and one of 11 community colleges overall. Compeer selected colleges as partners based on their agricultural education offerings, agriculture workforce development, and geographic impact.

"The future of agriculture and our client’s farms rely on a strong, vibrant, and robust agricultural workforce, and our partners in higher education provide opportunities for young adults to explore and gain hands-on experience in these careers," said Stephanie Wise, a Compeer financial director. "Our clients continue to list workforce development among their highest concerns, and these grants and scholarships are the first step to improving this challenge for the industry."

The Agriculture and Rural Initiative, Compeer Financial's donor advised fund, was created by the Compeer Financial Board of Directors in 2019 to make signature investments in programs and projects that directly address the needs of farmers and others who work in agriculture. In 2021, Compeer committed $1.9 million in grants and scholarships at select colleges over the next five years with the goal of further developing agriculture's workforce.

Based in the Upper Midwest, Compeer Financial is a member-owned Farm Credit cooperative serving and supporting agriculture and rural communities. The $27.7 billion organization provides loans, leases, risk management and other financial services throughout 144 counties in Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

[pictured from left: Derrick Baker, Jerry Lighty, Gordie Hedrick, Tracy Wahlfeldt, Karen Blatter-Schieler, Charlie Mitsdarfer, Nick Eisenmenger, Tom Ramage, Pamela Lau, and Agriculture program students]

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