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AgStar Fund for Rural America Pledges $25,000 to Provide Disaster Relief to Farmers

Tue, Jun 29th, 2010
Posted in Business Announcements

MANKATO, Minn. (June 25, 2010) - The AgStar Fund for Rural America, AgStar Financial Services' corporate giving program, has pledged $25,000 to the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) to provide immediate relief to farmers affected by the June 17th tornadoes. These dollars will be allocated as grants to help get farm producers and rural businesses whose property was damaged or destroyed back in operation. AgStar initiated a disaster relief fund with $25,000, which will be administered by the SMIF. SMIF also designated $25,000 to the cause. Both organizations are challenging other organizations and corporations to match their donations to help those most directly impacted by this disaster.

"We've identified at least 26 AgStar clients who have been affected to varying degrees by the storms," said AgStar President and CEO Paul DeBriyn. "Some clients have moderate damage to their homes and farm buildings, while other clients' farms were completely destroyed. We're eager to help our clients through this hardship, and of course, we would like to help other rural residents where possible."

On Monday, AgStar's Blue Earth office was closed so team members could help their neighbors clean up, and thus far, nearly 100 AgStar employees have volunteered in the effort. Unfortunately, according to DeBriyn, the needs are extensive and more volunteers are needed.

"AgStar continues to encourage team members from all locations to assist in the clean-up effort and is working with the local Red Cross to determine other ways in which they can help recruit additional volunteers and serve those affected," he said. "AgStar works hard to establish our clients for life and serve as their partners. We want our clients to know we are here for them, not only during the good times, but we're here to walk with them during the difficult times as well."

In addition to the $25,000 pledged by AgStar's Fund for Rural America, there are also plans in the works to provide financial aid to AgStar Home Mortgage clients who sustained damage to their properties. AgStar also donated water, gloves, hats, snacks, lunches and other supplies for volunteers and victims.

AgStar encourages other organizations that do not have corporate giving programs, but would like to add the Tornado Relief Fund, to contact AgStar at 866-577-1831 or SMIF at 507-455-3215. Grant applications are available on line at www.smifoundation.org, click on "Applications." Or contact Pam Bishop at 507-455-3215 or by e-mail at pamb@smifoundation.org.

About AgStar:

AgStar Financial Services, ACA, headquartered in Mankato, Minn., employs nearly 600 full-time team members. The company is part of the national Farm Credit System and has a public mission to serve 69 counties in Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin. The company has expertise in the corn, soybean, swine, dairy and bio-energy industries. AgStar has developed successful programs in loans, leases, crop insurance, tax services, accounting, consulting and rural home mortgages. As a value-added financial services cooperative, AgStar allocates patronage dividends to its 13,000 stockholders. Visit www.AgStar.com for more information.

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