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Compeer Client Services

Grants to Community and Technical Colleges

For Immediate Release


Nora Nolden, Communications Consultant

[email protected] or (651) 245-6804



Compeer Financial Announces $600,000 in Grants to Community and Technical Colleges

Eleven Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin colleges receive up to $75K


Sun Prairie, Wis., (July 12, 2022)  The Agriculture and Rural Initiative, Compeer Financial’s donor advised fund, has granted $600,000 to community and technical colleges across the cooperative’s 144-county territory. 

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. This announcement represents the second of three rounds of grants being presented.

“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 Greg Nelson, 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.” 

Many of the grants help to enhance the hands-on learning and real-world experiences offered to agriculture students at these institutions.

In total, 11 colleges in Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin are receiving grants. These colleges are:

  • Black Hawk College East Campus (Galva, Ill.) – $75,000 for precision agriculture equipment.
  • Heartland Community College (Normal, Ill.) – $50,000 for equipment to expand the agriculture program and student recruitment.
  • Joliet Junior College Foundation (Joliet, Ill.) – $75,000 for equipment, immersive experiences for students, and student internship support.
  • Parkland College (Joliet, Ill.) – $75,000 for precision agriculture equipment and recruitment for custom applicator program.
  • Central Lakes College (Brainerd, Minn.) – $75,000 for precision agriculture equipment, recruitment for a new meat cutting program, and training for new equipment.
  • Rochester Community & Technical College (Rochester, Minn.) – $25,000 for a new CNC plasma table for their welding program. 
  • Blackhawk Technical College (Janesville, Wis.) – $25,000 for bovine simulators, hydroponics, and a recruitment video.
  • Fox Valley Technical College (Appleton, Wis.) – $75,000 for precision agriculture technology, mobile teaching carts, recruitment materials, student development club, and tours.
  • Lakeshore Technical College (Cleveland, Wis.) – $25,000 for a calf simulator, bovic, butcher beef, a plant system, a crop scanner, and materials for outreach and recruitment.
  • Southwest Wisconsin Technical College (Fennimore, Wis.) – $50,000 for new mobile agriculture lab programs/materials and support for the livestock judging teams. 
  • Western Technical College (LaCrosse, Wis.) -- $50,000 for Hydroponic equipment, models, simulators, etc., and Student Outreach: New marketing materials 

In addition to these colleges represented this year, more will receive grants in 2023 as part of this program. Each partner college will also receive two annual $1,250 scholarships to award students enrolled in the school’s agriculture program or pathway over the next four years.

Thirty colleges were selected as partners based on their agricultural education offerings, agriculture workforce development and geographic impact. 

The Agriculture and Rural Initiative 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. 

“As we enter the second year of this support to community and technical colleges, we are seeing positive impacts on the students studying agriculture by providing one-of-a-kind educational opportunities,” said Nelson, of Spring Valley, Wis. “These grants represent Compeer’s commitment to champion rural, by supporting our clients and communities, creating sustainable and long-term success in the industry.”


About the Agriculture and Rural Initiative
The Agriculture and Rural Initiative was created by Compeer Financial’s Board of Directors in 2019 to make signature investments in programs and projects that are high priorities to member-owners. To date, $10 million has been invested in the Initiative. To date, the Initiative has awarded $1.8 million to support communities during the pandemic and agriculture workforce development. 

The Agriculture and Rural Initiative is managed by the Compeer Financial Fund for Rural America Board of Trustees, who oversee the organization’s corporate giving efforts. More information about Compeer’s corporate giving programs can be found at


About Compeer Financial
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. 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 about Compeer Financial.

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