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$50K Awarded for Agriculture Grant

For Immediate Release


Nora Nolden, Senior Communications Consultant

[email protected] or (651) 245-6804




Compeer Financial Awards MORE for Agriculture Grant to 

School for Agricultural and Environmental Studies

The $50K grant will expand programming and implement food animals


Sun Prairie, Wis., (January 11, 2024)  Compeer Financial’s Fund for Rural America has awarded $50,000 to the School for Agricultural and Environmental Studies (SAGES) to expand their agriculture-based research plots, school gardens and add food animals to their project and place-based learning model.

This grant supports innovative programs that encompass four qualities:

  • Mission: Aligns with Compeer Financial’s mission, enriching agriculture and rural communities
  • Opportunity: Provides a new opportunity for clients or future clients, fills a known void in agricultural and rural markets and is a new and innovative project
  • Replication: Can be replicated by others to serve different geographic areas, fostering future collaboration
  • Evolution: Evolves over time to create a better future for agriculture and rural America

SAGES, located in Fox Lake, is a public charter school that partners with the Waupun Area School District. The 4K through sixth grade school has implemented a multi-phase program for agricultural education titled “Growing, Raising and Enriching our Future.”

The school will use the funds for research plots, implementing food animals, expanding school gardens, creating grade-specific agricultural businesses and procuring supplies. The grant enables the school to continue its vision for agricultural education programs. Agriculture classes are part of the curriculum at all grade levels. 

“The future agricultural career opportunities are endless,” said Kim Pokorny, agriculture science teacher at SAGES. “From farming to finance to agronomy to technology to food service and everything in between, we need to prepare the next generation of agricultural leaders and consumers. By providing exposure, hands-on learning opportunities and experiences, students can build upon their agricultural interests at the elementary school level. That is exactly what we are doing at SAGES.” 

Compeer team members were introduced to SAGES through the Beaver Dam Area Community Foundation. The community foundation believed in the mission and education at SAGES aligned with Compeer’s support.

Team members at Compeer refer organizations in their community to apply for the MORE for Ag Grant. Since 2019, nearly $1 million has been awarded to 23 organizations. 

“SAGES does an amazing job of incorporating agriculture in all aspects of the students’ education,” said Karen Schieler, senior corporate giving specialist at Compeer. “Concepts of math, science, physical education all can have a connection to agriculture. The goal of the MORE for Agriculture grant is to partner with organizations who are innovators in the world of agriculture. SAGES is providing this immersive program to students, which gives students a deeper appreciation for ag, and those students could be the next innovators in our field.”

For more information, visit

About the Fund for Rural America

The Compeer Financial Fund for Rural America is the corporate giving program of Compeer Financial, structured to support Compeer Financial’s mission to enrich agriculture and rural America. Compeer Financial’s Board of Directors has dedicated one percent of annual net earnings to support the Fund’s focus areas of agricultural advocacy and development, agriculture education, cooperative initiatives, rural development and community enrichment; and youth engagement. The Fund is managed by a Board of Trustees, made up of team members from Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin and members of the Compeer Financial Board of Directors. More information about opportunities available through the Fund can be found at

About Compeer Financial

Compeer Financial is a member-owned Farm Credit cooperative serving and supporting agriculture and rural communities. The $30.4 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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