As a mission-based cooperative lender and member of the Farm Credit System, CoBank is committed to serving as a good corporate citizen. The bank maintains a variety of corporate social responsibility programs primarily focused on rural America and the vitality of rural communities and industries.
In 2018, CoBank provided more than $8.8 million in funding for charitable organizations and programs across the United States: programs that are addressing critical social and economic needs in the communities we serve.
CoBank’s corporate giving incudes our signature Sharing Success and No Barriers programs; programs that engage our directors and associates; and special, one time contributions made in partnership with our customers and other stakeholders.
With a retail and wholesale agribusiness portfolio totaling approximately $83.1 billion, CoBank is one of the nation’s largest agricultural lenders. Our customers are a key part of the value chain in every ag sector, so are our affiliated Farm Credit associations that serve farmers, ranchers and other rural borrowers.
CoBank supports agriculture in other ways as well. The bank makes significant investments in local cooperative development; Young, Beginning and Small (YBS) farming programs; and local and urban food systems that are addressing issues of food access and nutrition while creating new markets and sources of demand for farmers.
Sponsorship of trade and industry associations is core part of CoBank’s commitment to corporate citizenship. In 2018, the bank contributed more than $4.8 million to hundreds of national, state and local organizations that promote the policy interests of cooperatives and the rural industries we serve.
Since 2012, CoBank has contributed millions to America’s land grant universities and other institutions that are developing the next generation of farmers and rural business leaders. These contributions underwrite university-based cooperative development centers; scholarships for students pursuing careers in rural industries; and research that fosters knowledge and innovation that benefit rural America, from agriculture to energy to international trade in commodities.
In addition, the bank committed to seeking out university partners that are conducting research into the social and economic issues impacting rural communities.
In addition to its core lending business, CoBank is an investor in equity funds that promote job creation and economic development in rural communities, including a number of funds formed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Business Investment Program. As of March 31, 2018, CoBank's financial commitment to rural economic development funds totaled approximately $72.5 million. CoBank has also partnered with other Farm Credit organizations, USDA and community banks to facilitate over $300 million in community facility bond investments.
Rural disaster relief has become a significant pillar of CoBank’s corporate citizenship efforts. In times of crisis, the bank is committed to doing its part to aid impacted communities as they work to rebuild and recover.
In 2018, the bank donated more than $1.1 million to support impacted communities throughout the country in partnership with its customers and charitable organizations like the American Red Cross.
At CoBank, we believe that a commitment to sustainability and the environment is an integral part of good corporate citizenship. The bank takes meaningful steps to reduce the environmental impact of its business operations. Through its Sharing Success program, it partners with customers to support projects that promote responsible stewardship of natural resources.
In addition, the bank is one of the largest underwriters of renewable energy in the country. Its $3.8 billion renewable energy portfolio includes solar, wind, hydro, biofuels, landfill gas and biomass projects. CoBank is proud to serve as a strategic financial partner to electric cooperatives and other rural power providers who are making these forward-looking investments.
Growing Rural America
We encourage you to learn more about corporate citizenship at CoBank by reading our annual corporate social responsibility report, Growing Rural America. The report provides complete information about our various citizenship programs as well as stories that illustrate the real-world impact of these programs have in rural communities.