Farm Credit celebrates reaching $2 million in grants to support western North Dakota communities

Farm Forum

Minot, N.D. – With its latest grants, Farm Credit has invested more than $2 million in western North Dakota communities since 2012, and on May 13 in Minot, the leaders of three Farm Credit organizations and several of the non-profits they support met to discuss the impact the grants have made.

The Rural Community Grant Fund was established as a partnership between Farm Credit Services of Mandan and Farm Credit Services of North Dakota – the two largest providers of agricultural loans in western North Dakota—and AgriBank, their St. Paul, Minn.-based funding bank, to help communities impacted by the oil development. Through the fund, Farm Credit provides grants to support infrastructure or development initiatives encompassing housing projects, medical facilities, health, safety and environmental programs, and other critical needs.

“The Farm Credit System was created with one mission— to support rural communities and agriculture with reliable, consistent credit and financial services,” said Bill York, CEO of AgriBank. “Our goal with these grants is the same as the purpose of our loans – to help rural communities grow and thrive.”

“Farm Credit has 16 offices with nearly 200 employees in western North Dakota focused on that mission every day,” said Aaron Vetter, CEO of Farm Credit Services of Mandan. “Our employees live and work in the communities where these grants are made, and that gives us a special sense of pride in the work we do.”

“Farm Credit has been there for us when we needed them,” said Alfred Sams, executive director of the St. Luke’s Community Foundation. “When we needed to replace the central boiler at the Sunrise Care Center in Crosby, Farm Credit was there with the grant to help senior residents stay warm. They provided us with the funds for a hematology analyzer so that community members could have blood tests done locally instead of driving all the way to Williston or Minot. And they funded the machinery we needed to ensure that respirators fit properly for workers in oil fields.”

Grants to the Mountrail County Medical Center in Stanley helped purchase emergency exam room equipment, an EKG machine and a portable ultrasound unit that allows providers to diagnose injuries and conditions wherever the patient is. Steph Everett, foundation director at the center, said, “We are so grateful for these funds. These grants are crucial for our ability to update equipment. They help us save lives, plain and simple.”

“The Central Dakota Forensic Nurse Examiners provides a critical service to men and women in crisis situations,” said Tisha Scheuer, the organization’s executive director. “With Farm Credit’s grant, we can be there when we are needed most.”

Claude Sem, CEO of Farm Credit Services of North Dakota, encouraged worthy organizations to apply for funds, “The Rural Community Grant Fund reviews grant applications three times a year,” he said. “We invite worthy organizations to apply online at, or”

Rollin Tonneson, a board member of Farm Credit Services of North Dakota who is also a grain farmer from Souris, talked about the good work the fund has done to support local rural communities. “For us these grants are personal – Farm Credit doesn’t just provide loans in western North Dakota, these are the communities we call home – where our friends and family are.”