Compeer Financial Press Release: Ag Grants for Rural Schools

Posted by Pierz Schools on 10/26/2023

Download: Compeer Press Release

For Immediate Release
Nora Nolden, Communications Consultant or (651) 245-6804

Compeer Financial Awards 60 Grants to Ag Classrooms
$212K granted to schools to further agricultural education

Sun Prairie, Wis., (September 8, 2023) – Compeer Financial’s Fund for Rural America, the Farm Credit cooperative’s giving program, awarded a total of $212,000 through the Agriculture Education and Classroom Equipment Grant program this year. Sixty schools in Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin located across Compeer Financial’s territory will be receiving grants of up to $4,000 each, funding a variety of hands-on learning tools and new technologies for
agriculture education classrooms.

The lives of 12,290 students will be directly impacted through this grant program, which is intended to support agriculture education and motivate youth to further their knowledge of the agriculture industry. With this ever-changing industry comes the need for program funding, and that’s where Compeer Financial steps in.

“The agriculture industry offers a variety of career opportunities, and exposing young adults to this starts in the classroom,” said Karen Schieler, senior corporate giving specialist at Compeer Financial. “The goal of this grant program is to help develop and enhance modern, comprehensive agriculture education in schools, teaching students about its importance and limitless potential. These grants help to fuel the inspiration and exposure students receive in high schools.”

High school agriculture departments throughout Compeer’s 144-county territory were eligible to apply for an Agriculture Education and Classroom Equipment grant. The grant funds will be used across a variety of classes, including: animal and plant sciences, food science/chemistry, veterinary, horticulture, mechanics,  forestry/wildlife, aquatics, and more. Through new equipment
in these classrooms, applicants say, students are provided with real-world hands-on educational experiences, industry-standard equipment experience, exposure to STEM concepts and development of life-long skills.

The organizations receiving grants in 2023 include:
Camp Point Central High School: purchasing a CNC desktop machine
Elmwood Community School 322: multi-process welder with TIG kit, cart, and extra tips

Freeport High School: equipment to till the garden, spread mulch and other materials and turn compost piles

Grant Park School CUSD #6: educational materials for career development events and mechanics tools

Heyworth High School: cordless drills with backup batteries, hanging base assemblies for greenhouse water system, water nozzles, calcium filter, and plugs to fix overhead water

Lexington School District: mig welders

Michelle Obama School of Technology and the Arts: a chicken kit, indoor hanging grow lights, commercial crops identification mounts, leaves and seeds of common trees identification mounts, soybean plant model, full-size mobile light cart, root systems display, Poultry Judging 101 CDE Manual team set, and Forestry CDE resources

Olympia High School/Olympia CUSD No. 16: equipment and supplies to implement three new units in biology and three new units in agricultural science, including dissecting microscopes, soils test kits, feed testing chemicals, jars, baskets, hydroponic fertilizer, rock wool, grafting knives, dome lids, trays, rootstock and scion wood, clay pebbles, buckets, tubing, air poppers, bowls and DNA testing supplies.

Pearl City Jr/Sr High School: equipment for labs and hands-on activities

Rich Township High School District 227: corn stalk model, commercial crops identification mounts, plant mounting sheets, pig dissection mats, 4D science cell models complete set, leaves and seeds of common trees identification mounts, soybean plant model, plant science kit, and indoor hanging grow lights

River Ridge: small gas engines, set of digital micrometers, set of digital calipers, set of telescoping gauges, set of telescoping gauge balls, and feeler gauge set

Rolling Meadows High School: storage shed, refrigerator, food storage bins, heat sealer, plastic storage bags, hose, and a food prep table for food production and distribution at the school's suburban farm

Sycamore High School: optical dissolved oxygen probes, oxygen gas sensors, and turbidity sensors

Tri-Point CUSD #6J/Tri-Point High School: a greenhouse

Tri-Valley High School: supplies for Horticulture curriculum and workshops

Unity High School: hand tools, small power tools and cleaning tools

Williamsfield School District: a stainless-steel commercial utility sink with drainboard, backsplash and faucet for the shop

Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa Schools: GroShed

Cleveland High School: trout tank and supplies, rod building classroom kit, sets of classroom novels, immersion blenders, graduated cylinders, beakers, food thermometers, squirt bottles, hot oil popcorn popper, metal strainers, periodic table poster, conductivity meter, pH meter, petri dishes with agar, muffin and Bundt pans and kitchen timers

Hayfield Community Schools: replacement greenhouse tables and an inventory shelf cart

Heron Lake Okabena: greenhouse bench, reverse osmosis system, raised garden beds and irrigation, jerky guns, dehydrator, chicken coop run, activity tables, canine IV leg, feather dissection kit, bird beak adaption kit, and talon set

Holdingford: vertical milling machine

ISD 316 (Greenway Public Schools): food-grade stainless steel sink and a faucet for the agriculture classroom

LeRoy-Ostrander Schools: tablet with protective cover, hot plates, multi-use utility transfer carts, taxidermy and dissection lab specimens, and microscopes with LED illumination

Lewiston-Altura School District: shovels, rakes, shears, trowels and other basic tools, and a storage shed, piston ring compressors, and a floor jack

Madelia High School: agricultural power and technology materials package, advanced wind experiment kit, circuit boards, energy sensor, ethanol sensor, force and acceleration sensor, rotary motion sensor, and variable load sensor

Mankato West High School: storage shed, shade tent, cash register, table and display shelves, startup containers for sales, and a floral cooler

Medford Public School: food lab update, wildlife teaching material, small gas engines equipment, welding equipment

Milaca High School: pedestal grinder and battery power tools

Mora High Public Schools: bathing and grooming supplies kit

Nicollet: dishwashers, baking and cooking equipment, Vernier Lab quests, auto darkening welding helmets, pairs of welding gloves

Pierz Healy High School: oil immersion microscopes

Plainview-Elgin-Millville: equipment for new food science class: meat grinder, air fryer, blenders, canning equipment, movable stainless-steel tables, canning jars, ice cream maker, dehydrator, meat grill, knives, bowls, and utensils

Red Rock Central Public Schools: plant grow towers and supplies
Southland Public Schools: new hand power tools, calculators, router bits, small engine tools, welding helmets, socket sets, small engine testing equipment, and electric wiring tools

St. Clair Public Schools: hydroponics table, seeds, gardening gloves and a vet trainer dog model

Upsala Area Schools: tool cabinets, orbital sanders, air nailer, assortment of clamps, welding pliers, cordless drills, impact screwdriver set, screwdriver set with case, electrician pliers,
combination wrench set, and drill bit sets

Blair-Taylor: flood benches for the greenhouse, fertilizer injector system, and soil mixing table

Brodhead School District: bovine artificial insemination simulator

Cadott High School: food processing equipment, including grinder, juicer attachment with screens, cheese presses, maple syrup vacuum press, mixers, pasta attachments, and convection ovens

Campbellsport School District: fruit trees, fencing, and maintenance equipment for school education center

Cashton School District: swine litter processing simulator and supply packs, cow and pig ear simulation and replacement packs
Clinton Community School District: swine litter processing simulators and corn stalk model

DeForest Area School District: hydroponic system

Eleva-Strum: shade cloths, outdoor whiteboard, seating, and tables including ADA accessibility for outdoor garden classroom

Gilmanton Schools: mig welder

Howards Grove School District: canine vet trainer and animal training models

Lancaster High School: hand tools, portable power tools, miter saw, and subscription to online curriculum

Lodi High School: adding lights to the new greenhouse

Milwaukee Public Schools: duck barn and a chicken coop

Mineral Point High School: installation of a walk-in cooler and shelving, bins, and trays

Montello School District: livestock gates

Monticello School District: butcher beef cut models

Portage High School, Portage Community School District: vertical hydroponics systems

River Valley School District: food science supplies, including: pots, pans, bowls, and mixing utensils

Sauk Prairie School District: vertical hydroponic unit and consumable supplies

School District of Wisconsin Dells: veterinary equipment, hoof trimming kit, entrance disinfectant mats, cattle panels and T-posts, calf hutches, poultry netting, feed troughs and hay mounts
Shullsburg: egg incubator, brooding pen, grow-out pen, a quail cage, and processing equipment

Tomah Area School District: garden tools, soil, seeds, hoses, watering heads, tomato cages, stock tanks, and a portable livestock scale
Waupun Area School District: swine breeder artificial inseminator simulator

About the Fund for Rural America
The Compeer Financial Fund for Rural America is the corporate giving program of Compeer Financial, structured to support Compeer Financial’s mission to enrich agriculture and rural America. Compeer Financial’s Board of Directors has dedicated one percent of annual net earnings to support the Fund’s focus areas of agricultural advocacy and development, agriculture education, cooperative initiatives, rural development and community enrichment; and
youth engagement. The Fund is managed by a Board of Trustees, made up of team members from Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin and members of the Compeer Financial Board of Directors. More information about opportunities available through the Fund can be found at

About Compeer Financial
Compeer Financial is a member-owned Farm Credit cooperative serving and supporting agriculture and rural communities. The $30.5 billion organization provides loans, leases, risk management and other financial services throughout 144 counties in Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Based in the Upper Midwest, Compeer Financial exists to champion the hopes and dreams of rural America, while providing personalized service and expertise to clients and the
agriculture industry. Compeer Financial is the third largest cooperative of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of lending institutions supporting agriculture and rural communities with reliable, consistent credit and financial services. Learn more about Compeer Financial.