|DENVER (June 19, 2020)
CoBank, a cooperative bank serving agribusinesses, rural infrastructure providers and Farm Credit associations throughout the United States, today announced it will commit $500,000 from its corporate social responsibility program to civil rights organizations dedicated to promoting racial equity and ending discrimination.
The board of directors unanimously approved the contribution at a special meeting on Wednesday, June 17. Money will be directed to four national organizations with proven records of accomplishment in the area of civil rights, as well as to establish two funds that will be directed by CoBank employees.
“We have all experienced the national outpouring of grief and anger in recent weeks about the persistent problem of race discrimination in America,” said Kevin Riel, chair of the CoBank board of directors. “Our board believes that CoBank has an opportunity to be part of the solution and that we should seize that opportunity. We look forward to working with each of these highly credible organizations to promote civil rights and social justice.”
CoBank’s $500,000 commitment will be implemented as follows:
“The George Floyd tragedy in Minneapolis has created a widely shared moment of moral clarity for Americans of all races about the need to end discrimination in all of its ugly manifestations,” said Thomas Halverson, president and chief executive officer. “Personally, I have been overwhelmed by the depth of feeling that has been expressed on this issue, particularly from our employees. I greatly appreciate the generosity of the board and its willingness to commit resources from the bank to help address racial discrimination and build a more inclusive society.”
CoBank is a $158 billion cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America. The bank provides loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states. The bank also provides wholesale loans and other financial services to affiliated Farm Credit associations serving more than 70,000 farmers, ranchers and other rural borrowers in 23 states around the country.
CoBank is a member of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of banks and retail lending associations chartered to support the borrowing needs of U.S. agriculture, rural infrastructure and rural communities. Headquartered outside Denver, Colorado, CoBank serves customers from regional banking centers across the U.S. and also maintains an international representative office in Singapore.