Non-profits discuss the impact grants have made in area communities

With its latest contributions, Farm Credit has awarded more than 250 grants totaling more than $4 million in western North Dakota communities since 2012. In Minot, the leaders of three Farm Credit organizations, and several of the non-profits they support, met to discuss the impact the grants have made.

The Rural Community Grant Fund was established as a partnership between Farm Credit Services of Mandan and Farm Credit Services of North Dakota—the two largest providers of agricultural loans in western North Dakota—and AgriBank, their St. Paul, Minn.-based funding bank, to help communities impacted by oil development. Through the fund, Farm Credit provides grants to support infrastructure or development initiatives encompassing housing projects, medical facilities, health, safety and environmental programs, and other critical needs.

“Our goal with these grants is the same as the purpose of our loans—to help rural people grow and thrive,” said Jeff Swanhorst, CEO of AgriBank. “Farm Credit is also helping invest in the vibrancy of communities throughout rural America.”

“Farm Credit has 16 offices with over 200 employees in western North Dakota focused on that mission every day,” said Aaron Vetter, CEO of Farm Credit Services of Mandan. “Our employees live and work in the communities where these grants are made, and that gives us a special sense of pride in the work we do.”

“We want to celebrate our recipients and thank them for their service to our communities,” said Claude Sem, CEO of Farm Credit Services of North Dakota.

“The grants received from the Rural Community Grant Fund have improved the care and safety of our patients. It has made a direct impact on our patients now and [in] the years to come,” said Al Evon, foundation director, Trinity Health Foundation – Minot.

“The Rural Community Grant Fund provided new structure helmets for the Beulah Rural Fire Department, which replaced outdated helmets and improved firefighter safety,” said Bryce Brady, volunteer firefighter, Beulah Rural Fire Department.

Sem encouraged worthy organizations to apply for funds. “The Rural Community Grant Fund reviews grant applications three times a year,” he said. “We invite worthy organizations to apply online at www.AgriBank.com, www.farmcreditnd.com or www.farmcreditmandan.com.”

Clara Sue Price, a board member of Farm Credit Services of North Dakota, talked about the good workthe fund has done to support local rural communities. “For us these grants are personal – Farm Credit doesn’t just provide loans in western North Dakota, these are the communities we call home—where our friends and family are.”

Fred Stern, a board member of Farm Credit Services of Mandan, described how the needs of the communities have evolved since the program began in 2012. “We have funded programs from
emergency services to medical facilities to housing projects, all of which meet critical needs in western North Dakota.”


CAPTION: Claude Sem, Farm Credit Services of North Dakota CEO, discussed the impact of the Rural Community Grant Fund on area communities. Behind him, from left to right: Clara Sue Price, board member with Farm Credit Services of North Dakota; Fred Stern, board member with Farm Credit Services of Mandan; Aaron Vetter, Farm Credit Services of Mandan CEO; and Jeff Swanhorst, AgriBank CEO.

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