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National Cooperative Month

A Bit of History:

Minnesota was the first state to declare an official Co-op Month proclamation in 1948.

  • Co-op Month has been a nationally recognized celebration since 1964, when U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Orville Freeman, a former Minnesota governor, proclaimed October Co-op Month.
  • The first national theme in 1964 was “Cooperatives: USDA Helps Build a Better America.”
  • The U.S. Government sponsored Co-op Month from 1964-70.
  • Beginning in 1971, cooperatives, statewide associations, and the National Cooperative Business Association fueled their own events and promotions. 
  • In 2016, a national campaign was developed by a Cooperative Network-led committee of diverse communication professionals through the Cooperative Communicators Association.






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Aubrey Davis, Hannah Eilert, Reed Sage and Kristin Stiebe Receive 2017 CoBank Outstanding Student Scholarships

(left to right) Reed Sage, Hannah Eilert, Tobias Carson - CoBank Senior Relationship Manager, Kristin Stiebe and Aubrey Davis at the K-State Department of Agricultural Economics Awards Banquet, September 29, 2017. 

October 18, 2017 (MANHATTAN, Kan.) – Aubrey Davis of Scott City, Kansas, a senior in agricultural economics; Hannah Eilert of Jewell, Kansas, a senior in agribusiness; Reed Sage of Maple Hill, Kansas, a junior in agricultural economics; and Kristin Stiebe of Kinsley, Kansas, a senior in agribusiness, have each been awarded the CoBank Outstanding Student Scholarship through the Arthur Capper Cooperative Center and the Department of Agricultural Economics at Kansas State University.
Aubrey Davis is actively involved in St. Isidore’s Catholic Student Center and the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, serving as President. She is also a College of Agriculture Ambassador.  Aubrey completed an internship with CoBank and is a student assistant in the College of Agriculture Student Records. She is anticipating a May 2018 graduation and would like to either pursue a career in the agricultural industry or go to graduate school for a Master’s degree in agricultural economics. The Davis family is affiliated with the following cooperatives: Midwest Energy, Inc., Pioneer Communications, Scott Cooperative Association and Wheatland Electric Cooperative, Inc.
Hannah Eilert is a member of Block and Bridle and sits on the Powercat Financial Advisory Board. She serves in leadership roles in Collegiate Cattlemen’s Club and is an active volunteer for St. Isidore’s Catholic Church. Hannah spent two summers working for Farmway Co-op, Inc. (now CVA) and works as a Powercat Financial Counselor on campus. Upon graduation in December 2017, Hannah plans to pursue a career as a loan officer. The Eilert family is affiliated with the following cooperatives: CVA and Rolling Hills Electric Cooperative.
Reed Sage is an active member of the Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity having served in several leadership roles. He is also a member of the Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness Club. Reed participated in a study abroad experience in Ireland and completed an internship with American AgCredit. Reed plans to graduate in May 2019 and would like a career in the ag credit industry. The Sage family is affiliated with the following cooperative: FreeState Electric Cooperative.
Kristin Stiebe is a member of the Collegiate Cattlewomen and has served in a leadership role in Collegiate Farm Bureau. In addition to school, Kristin works as a teller at Farmers State Bank in Manhattan, Kansas, and has interned for several summers with First National Bank of Syracuse in Garden City, Kansas. Kristin is a previous recipient of the CoBank Outstanding Student Scholarship. She plans to graduate in December 2017 and hopes to return to western Kansas to be a farm loan officer or credit analyst. The Stiebe family is affiliated with the following cooperatives: Golden Belt Telephone Association, Golden Valley, Inc., Midwest Energy, Inc. and Pride Ag Resources.
“The CoBank Outstanding Student Scholarships are one way CoBank contributes to the education of future agricultural leaders with an interest in a career in finance or banking at Kansas State University,” states Professor Brian Briggeman, director of the Arthur Capper Cooperative Center. This scholarship has awarded over $74,000 since 2006. To be eligible for a scholarship, students must be a sophomore, junior or senior in high academic standing in K-State’s Department of Agricultural Economics at the time the scholarship is received. Preference is given to students who are studying agricultural economics or agribusiness, who have demonstrated an interest in pursuing a career in banking or finance, have taken accounting or finance classes and are residents in one of the following states: CA, CO, CT, IA, KS, KY, MO, MN, NE and TX.
The awarding of the CoBank Outstanding Student Scholarships is coordinated through the Arthur Capper Cooperative Center. “Additional contributions by those who want to support the purposes of cooperative scholarships are welcome,” Dr. Briggeman said. They should be made payable to “KSU Foundation/ACCC” and sent to the Arthur Capper Cooperative Center, Department of Agricultural Economics, 305 Waters Hall, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas. 66506. 
About CoBank
CoBank is a $125 billion cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America. The bank provides loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states. The bank also provides wholesale loans and other financial services to affiliated Farm Credit associations serving more than 70,000 farmers, ranchers and other rural borrowers in 23 states around the country.
CoBank is a member of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of banks and retail lending associations chartered to support the borrowing needs of U.S. agriculture, rural infrastructure and rural communities. Headquartered outside Denver, Colorado, CoBank serves customers from regional banking centers across the U.S. and also maintains an international representative office in Singapore.
For more information about CoBank, visit the bank's web site at
About the Arthur Capper Cooperative Center
The Arthur Capper Cooperative Center provides research-based information, education and assistance to people with and interested in cooperative businesses, including cooperative members, directors, managers and employees. The Center also works with students and faculty at educational institutions, the general public and public officials as well as owners, directors, managers and employees of agribusinesses. Further information can be obtained about this scholarship or about establishing additional scholarships by emailing Brian Briggeman at or visiting the Arthur Capper Cooperative Center website at





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