Sustaining Sponsor Spotlight: CoBank
The Ohio AgriBusiness Association is pleased to feature our Sustaining Sponsors in the 2023 Spotlight Series. This week, the focus is on Gold Sponsor: CoBank.
Location (Main Headquarters): Greenwood Village, Colorado
Year started: 1989
Number of employees: 1213
Number of facilities:
14 Banking Centers, a Singapore International Representation Office and a Washington DC based Government Affairs Office
Type of services offered:
As an integral member of the Farm Credit System, CoBank’s mission is to serve as a relevant and dependable provider of credit and other value added financial services and support to agriculture, rural infrastructure and other similar business for the benefit of rural America.
While CoBank was established in 1989, our roots extend over a century to the establishment of the Farm Credit System in 1916. Congress established twelve federal land banks and later Federal Land Bank Associations to lend to farmers across the nation. In 1923, Congress established twelve intermediate credit banks to provide short and intermediate agricultural financing. A decade later the Congress created thirteen Banks for Cooperatives, twelve regionally focused banks and a thirteenth, the Central Bank for Cooperatives, to serve larger accounts and cross district lines.
In 1966, the first loan to an electric co-op was made, and in 1971, our scope expanded to permit loans for rural housing and telephone coops. In 1980, we gained authority to finance U.S. ag export goods. The Farm Credit Act of 1987 provided flexibility that led to the 1989 creation of CoBank from the merger of 11 of the Banks for Cooperatives with $12 billion in assets, $9 billion in outstanding loans and $807 million in capital.
The next 25 years saw CoBank merge with the Farm Credit Bank of Springfield (Massachusetts), the St. Paul (Minnesota) Bank for Cooperatives, Farm Credit Leasing Corporation, and US AgBank of Wichita (Kansas).
We provide loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states. We also offer wholesale loans and other financial services to affiliated Farm Credit associations serving more than 76,000 farmers, ranchers and other rural borrowers in 23 states around the country. In 2022, CoBank reported nearly $140 billion in loans outstanding and $189 billion in assets. Our patronage distributions, the highest in the history of the bank, totaled $996 million—$857 million in cash plus an additional $139 million in equity.
How has your company changed over the years?
Besides our growth, CoBank reflects the changes we see in rural communities. Today, broadband is essential for agriculture and rural communities. Education, medical services, precision agriculture, remote working and more require broadband service and CoBank is active in that sector.
How do you see your company growing in the future?
CoBank is well-positioned to meet the financial needs of our customers and to continue to fulfill our mission from Congress of delivering capital to rural America. As we see those needs evolve and grow, we will be ready to meet the challenge.
Interesting tidbits about your business:
CoBank invests approximately 1% of revenues in corporate social responsibility. Our signature program is Sharing Success through which we match customer contributions up to $10,000 per year. That program has helped deliver over $76 million to worthy recipients in the communities where our customers live and work.
Anything else you would like to share:
We are proud sponsors of OABA and look forward to many more years meeting members’ financial needs.
Interested in becoming a Sustaining Sponsor in 2024?
Click here to learn more about the program or contact Lauren Prettyman at email@example.com. Sustaining sponsors will automatically be promoted as such at all 2024 OABA events and will not be approached for sponsorship opportunities throughout the year.
Note that because the OABA Educational Trust is a 501(c)3 charitable organization, sponsorships related to this trust are separate from OABA.