Winneshiek Co-op manager Doug VanSloten presented members of the Fillmore County Fair Board with a check for $5,000 on Wednesday, July 9.
Board Member Doug Lind said the fair board is greatly appreciative for the donation, along with their numerous other donors throughout Fillmore County.
“It’s very nice that Winn Coop with CoBank sees the value of supporting the youth and the 4-H of Fillmore County,” he added. “Being an ag retail outlet in Fillmore County, they’ve just made a donation to a whole bunch of ag-related families. With Fillmore County being an ag county — I think that speaks volumes for them.”
Another $5,000 in matching funds is expected to be received from the coop’s lender, CoBank, through its “Sharing Success” charitable program.
“This year the Fillmore County Ag Society requested funds to update some of their buildings on the fairgrounds,” said VanSloten. “Our board of directors decided to donate the maximum amount ($5,000) that the CoBank ‘Sharing Success’ program matches dollar-for-dollar.”
The donation came about through a conversation between fair board members and coop board members and management. “We were looking for donations and we were very surprised of a $10,000 donation,” Lind said.
The large donation will be used to pay for the repainting of the roof on the big livestock barn at the Fillmore County Fairgrounds in Preston.
“We were able to get it (the project) done before the fair and it looks very nice,” Lind said.
The Fillmore County 4-H enrollment currently stands at 357 youth and 108 volunteers with nearly 900 4-H livestock exhibits at the fair in recent years. A total of 1,200 projects are registered for this year’s fair.
"We appreciate the opportunity to partner with CoBank to help support programs where members, employees, plants and facilities are located,” VanSloten concluded.
Winneshiek Cooperative Association is a locally-owned cooperative that provides products and services to its members in northeast Iowa and southeast Minnesota. They have locations in Decorah, Mabel, Granger, Ridgeway, Cresco and Burr Oak.
CoBank, the coop’s lender, is a national cooperative bank serving industries across rural America. The bank provides loans, leases, financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states.