Eight agriculture programs in Illinois received checks totaling $1 million dollars from Farm Credit Services of Illinois at a special endowment celebration program Tuesday in Mahomet at Farm Credit's corporate office. The gifts will be set up within each organization as permanent endowments that produce annual income for each respective program for all the years into the future.

The agriculture programs and endowment amounts are: University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences ($50,000) and Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics ($350,000); Southern Illinois University College of Agricultural Sciences ($125,000); Illinois Agricultural Leadership Foundation ($200,000); Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom ($125,000); Illinois Association FFA ($50,000), Illinois 4-H Youth Development ($50,000); and Illinois Farm Bureau Young Leaders ($50,000).

"Our Farm Credit association is completing an exceptional financial year which is a direct reflection of the overall success and outstanding performance of our farmer stockholders. This is a prudent time for us to make a significant investment in these important agriculture programs so they can be assured of a consistent future source of funding," said Dave Owens, president and CEO of Farm Credit Services of Illinois. "As an agriculture financial cooperative, we are privileged to create this everlasting legacy of support for superb programs that provide valuable service to our agriculture community. The Illinois agriculture industry will reap rewards on this investment for the years to come."

The $1,000,000 of endowments is expected to generate $40,000 of total income for the various programs within the first year. The annual income should gradually increase over time -- depending on the performance of each endowment's investment portfolio.

Farm Credit Services of Illinois is a farmer owned agricultural lending cooperative based in Mahomet that serves 8,000 farm families, rural landowners, and agribusinesses in the southern 60 counties of Illinois. Farm Credit has 190 employees, provides $2.8 billion of dependable and competitive financing, and delivers expertise on nearly two million acres of crop insurance coverage.

Source: Farm Credit Services of Illinois news release