"Sharing Success" Program Will Match Contributions By Co-ops To Non-profit Organizations Across Rural America ♦

CoBank, a cooperative bank serving agribusinesses, rural infrastructure providers and Farm Credit associations throughout the United States, today announced the creation of a $3 million charitable fund designed to benefit cooperatives and charitable groups they support throughout rural America. Under the bank’s new "Sharing Success" program, CoBank will match contributions by its cooperative customers to nonprofit organizations of their choice.

Contributions made during the remainder of 2012 will be matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis, from a minimum of $1,000 up to a maximum of $5,000. "Shared success is a hallmark of the cooperative business model, so we’re absolutely delighted to be announcing this new program," said Robert B. Engel, CoBank’s president and chief executive officer. "Throughout rural America, cooperatives of all sizes are working not only to provide value to their members but to improve the quality of life in their local communities. We hope all our cooperative customers will take advantage of this new fund, and use it to leverage the support they provide to worthy causes in the areas they serve.

" The launch of CoBank’s Sharing Success program coincides with the United Nations’ "International Year of Cooperatives" in 2012. Throughout the year, the U.N. and cooperative organizations are using programs and special events to celebrate the many contributions of co-ops and the strength of the cooperative model.

"I commend CoBank for its generous decision to establish this fund," said Wilson Beebe, chairman of the National Cooperative Business Association. "I can think of no better way for a cooperative to take part in the International Year of Cooperatives than by participating in the Sharing Success initiative." CoBank will begin formally accepting applications for funding from cooperatives on August 1, 2012.

The program will run through December 31, 2012 or when the $3 million matching fund is exhausted, whichever comes first. Cooperative customers interested in participating should contact their CoBank relationship manager for an application and detailed program requirements. Additional information about the "Sharing Success" program is available at www.cobank.com/sharingsuccess.

CoBank is a 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. 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 and the nation’s rural economy.  In addition to serving its direct retail borrowers, 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. Headquartered outside Denver, Colorado, CoBank serves customers from regional banking centers across the U.S. and also maintains an international representative office in Singapore. For more information about CoBank, visit the bank’s web site at www.cobank.com.