Minnkota and CoBank team up to “Share Success”
Minnkota Power Cooperative and Square Butte Electric Cooperative donated $20,000 to local programs as a part of CoBank's matched giving program.
Minnkota has partnered with financing provider CoBank once again to help fund organizations that support the region’s rural communities. As a part of CoBank’s 2021 Sharing Success program, Minnkota and Square Butte Electric Cooperative distributed a total of $20,000 to three initiatives. Those donations will be matched by CoBank.
“For us, it’s not just a matter of poles, wires and steel. Although that’s our core mission, we’re also invested in helping our communities thrive,” said Stacey Dahl, Minnkota senior manager of external affairs. “This is at the heart of what we do as cooperatives.”
Minnkota’s gifts include a $7,500 donation to the Altru Health Foundation and a $2,500 donation to Farm Rescue, a nonprofit that helps farm families complete planting, harvesting and livestock care when a major health crisis or natural disaster strikes. Volunteers have assisted hundreds of families across the Midwest since the effort began in 2005.
“If you look at what Farm Rescue does, it’s hard to imagine a more deserving program,” Dahl said. “The agricultural community is central to our membership. Helping those in need is a big part of how we began as a co-op, so Farm Rescue’s mission of helping farm families dealing with illness or injury is in perfect alignment with what we do.”
"This funding support helps to pay for volunteer lodging, meals and in-state crisis case travel expenses when they are planting, haying, harvesting or providing livestock feeding assistance to these families,” said Farm Rescue development officer Tim Sullivan. “We are grateful for the local and regional support from all our generous sponsors, donors and volunteers."
Minnkota has contributed to Altru in several ways throughout the past year to assist the health system’s teams through the challenges that came with the regional spread of COVID-19.
“We knew as the pandemic continued to escalate, Altru’s employees were critical heroes in our community – we couldn’t have made it through without them,” Dahl said. “Their mission is to serve not only Grand Forks residents with high-quality medical care, but also many of our surrounding rural areas. That’s an essential part of maintaining vibrant communities.”
“Minnkota’s generosity will have a significant impact on Altru patients and families throughout the region,” said Brittany Caillier, Altru Health Foundation director of philanthropy. “This support impacts patients directly in need of assistance, provides our care teams with the tools and technology needed to do their best work, and even supports wellness initiatives across our region such as keeping kids safe or promoting preventative cancer screenings. We value the synergy between Minnkota and Altru – knowing that our teams are needed around the clock in good weather or bad, sickness or health.”
Square Butte Electric Cooperative, Minnkota’s power partner and owner of Unit 2 of the coal-based Young Station near Center, used the Sharing Success Program to donate $10,000 toward new playground equipment for Center’s Moch Lehmkuhl Park – a project that was estimated to cost more than $60,000.
“This project is one that had a significant gap between available grants and the total project cost,” said Craig Bleth, Minnkota senior manager of power production. “The playground equipment is really nice, really colorful, and I’m sure it will be enjoyed by kids for years to come. The community really appreciated the gift, especially when combined with the matching funds from CoBank.”
CoBank established the Sharing Success program in 2012 and has since partnered with customers like Minnkota to contribute more than $56 million to local causes. The effort supports schools, hunger relief programs, volunteer fire departments and countless other organizations that make rural communities stronger. This year, in response to the pandemic, CoBank raised its maximum match per customer to $10,000.
CoBank customers who are interested in becoming a part of Sharing Success are urged to learn more and review the program guidelines at CoBank.com/citizenship.
MAIN IMAGE: The Altru Health Foundation team accepts a Sharing Success gift from Minnkota’s Brita Endrud. From left to right: Ashley Stocker, Altru Health Foundation; Kristi Hall-Jiran, Altru Health Foundation; Brittany Caillier, Altru Health Foundation; Nolan Higdem, Altru Health Foundation; Brita Endrud, Minnkota; Ana Wilebski, Altru Health Foundation; Emily Buteau, Altru Health Foundation.