Co-op Q&A is a quarterly publication from the Member Relations Team. The goal is to provide education about the cooperative business model and answer commonly asked questions by our employees and patrons. Our theme this quarter is the Local Community Support.
What are some of the main ways that Country Partners Cooperative supports Nebraska communities?
Local community support is an imperative part of the cooperative business model. We emphasize support for programs and efforts that have an impact on communities as a whole, that may help sustain the vitality of a community or that promote ag education, safety or the importance of the ag industry.
Can you tell me more about your support of FFA?
We are proud to participate in the Nebraska FFA Foundation’s I Believe in the Future of Ag program. Our donation and a prorated allocation of funds from the Foundation, go 100% to the FFA chapters across the state. Also, as part of our involvement we have attended and given short presentations at local FFA banquets and welcomed the State FFA officers for a visit to our cooperative. Three Minute Ag was excited to catch up with the officers and you can view that episode here.
Are there any other ways that you support ag-related education for students?
Yes! One investment we have made in educating students is through ESU 10 as a Premier Partner in Education for the Mid-Nebraska Makerspace Lab. This lab is a mobile trailer that is visiting schools throughout a large portion of our trade area and gives kids a hands-on experience involving STEM projects.
Country Partners Cooperative also contributes to the Nebraska Agricultural Youth Institute (NAYI) held on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus each summer and farm safety programs held annually in communities in which we operate.
Are your employees involved in the community?
Our employees are involved in a wide variety of organizations in the communities in which they live and work. Many are first responders, therefore, in addition to our monetary contributions to the volunteer fire & rescue departments, our employees give of their time to support a critical need in our small towns. Country Partners employees also serve on school boards, church councils, city and regional governing boards, county fair boards and are volunteers for organizations such as the Boy / Girl Scouts, the TeamMates Mentoring Program and 4-H Clubs.
Why do you have a focus on First Responders?
Fire departments and first responders provide vital services that benefit all community members. Country Partners Cooperative greatly appreciates the first responders across our operations territory. We have a goal to make annual donations to consistently and routinely support the volunteer departments in our operations footprint.
Do you participate in local events?
Absolutely! Whether it is putting together a float for a parade, hosting a watermelon feed, or working in the 4-H café, we value our involvement with county fairs and community celebrations, as these are a great way for us to support agriculture and our patrons.
What type of community health and wellness causes do you donate to?
We support hospital foundations, community wellness centers and senior center activities.
What falls into the business and community growth category?
Country Partners Cooperative is proud to be a member of numerous Chambers of Commerce and supports local economic development efforts and many community foundations – all contributions toward keeping rural Nebraska communities alive and thriving.
What’s your connection to the Land O’Lakes Foundation?
As a member of Land O’Lakes, a regional cooperative, we are eligible to apply for the Land O’Lakes Foundation Member Co-op Match program which doubles our community impact, a shining example of the power and uniqueness of the cooperative business model. We’ve successfully applied for matching funds several times, including in support of the Mid-Nebraska Makerspace Lab previously mentioned.
Can you participate in any other matching fund programs?
We can! As a member of CoBank, a national cooperative bank that provides us financial services, we can apply for matching funds through their Sharing Success program. Through this partnership, we have supported the Nebraska FFA Foundation’s I Believe in the Future of Ag program previously mentioned as well as helped provide flood relief in our territory in 2019. We are also able to apply for matching funds through the Seeds for Stewardship program of CHS, another regional cooperative.
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