The Compeer Financial Fund for Rural America has made the largest grant commitment in its history, pledging $1 million towards the building of the Dairy Pilot Plant and Training Center at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Pioneer Farm.
Members of the Compeer Financial Fund for Rural America board of trustees presented the ceremonial check to UW-Platteville Chancellor Dr. Tammy K. Evetovich at Pioneer Farm Monday afternoon.
The Dairy Pilot Plant and Training Center will be the first on-farm university dairy processing plant in the state, giving UW-Platteville a unique platform for education, research and outreach. Faculty and students will be able to process milk from Pioneer Farm to make cheese and ice cream, while performing research and development for other new diverse products, such as goat milk cheeses or unique bottling concepts. In addition, the plant would be available for local farmers, industry partners, artisan cheesemakers and regional stakeholders to create and test new products.
Students will have opportunities to be involved in applied research on sustainable farm-to-fork ecosystems, including water management and energy efficiency, as well as additional avenues to collaborate with the university’s Huff Family Innovation Center in the new Sesquicentennial Hall. The Dairy Pilot Plant and Training Center will increase the research capacity and experiential opportunities for nearly all majors at UW-Platteville.
“It is our vision to establish a state-of-the-art dairy processing facility that will not only meet the increasing demand for new and innovative dairy products but also create significant learning opportunities for our students, faculty, staff as well as local and regional dairy producers,” Chancellor Evetovich said. “On behalf of the university, I thank the Compeer Financial Fund for Rural America for the support towards this goal. Their belief in our vision and dedication to enhancing the dairy industry is truly commendable.”
“Our mission at Compeer Financial is to champion the hopes and dreams of rural America,” said Kim Wedig, farmer and Board Director at Compeer Financial. “We know that the industry needs a strong future workforce who are trained in the skills needed to succeed in our field. We can’t think of a better way to express our commitment to rural and agricultural communities than by supporting this pilot plant and training center.”
Compeer Financial, a Farm Credit cooperative based in Sun Prairie, Wis., has been a long-time supporter of UW-Platteville. In 2019, Compeer Financial’s Fund for Rural America enabled the creation of a student-run ice cream production business on campus, Pioneer Sweets.
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 compeer.com/giving-back.
About Compeer Financial
Compeer Financial is a member-owned Farm Credit cooperative serving and supporting agriculture and rural communities. The $30 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.