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William Bailey, Western Illinois University agriculture department chair; WIU President Al Goldfarb; and Growmark's Steve German on Western's Macomb campus, Feb. 23, 2009.
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Growmark Donation Provides Support for Western Ag Students

February 24, 2009

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MACOMB, IL -- Western Illinois University's agriculture department will benefit from an infusion of funding for students from Growmark this year. Announced Monday, Feb. 23, the monies donated through the Growmark Foundation will not only fund a third $1,000 scholarship -- in addition to two existing $1,000 ag scholarships already donated by the Bloomington (IL)-based cooperative -- in WIU's ag department, but another $5,000 sum is being donated via the Glen Webb Education Fund via the Growmark Foundation. The $5,000 is for Western's ag department to use to enhance programs or projects that further students' development, explained Steve German, a manager at Growmark.

A cooperative that operates primarily in the Midwest, northeastern United States and Ontario, Canada, Growmark System is an FS cooperative organization whose members provide the agriculture industry with a variety of products and services, including grain storage and handling systems, precision farming and advanced seed genetics services, as well as diesel fuels and lubricants.

"We have a very good relationship with Growmark and FS," noted William Bailey, chair of Western's ag department. " Steve, in particular, has spent a lot of time here with our students and our classes. He has also hired a good number of them."

"Growmark is committed to being a good corporate citizen through sound business practices and investments and advancing agriculture education, leadership development cooperatives and priority community needs," German said. "We support programs and projects that enhance the objectives of Growmark and its shareholders from contributions through the Growmark Foundation. During this past year, we thoroughly reviewed and reaffirmed our strategies for funding the Growmark Foundation, and during this review, we decided to increase our investment in educational efforts."

German noted the $5,000 sum is to be used at the agriculture department's discretion to fund student-related programs and/or initiatives through the end of the calendar year. In 2010, also via Growmark Foundation's Glen Webb Education Fund, another $5,000 will be made available to WIU's ag department.

The additional $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to an ag student who meets specified guidelines set by Growmark and WIU's ag department.

"We also invite scholarship recipients to attend Growmark's annual convention in Chicago," German said. "At this year's convention, attendees will get a special treat as Jim Lovell, astronaut and commander of NASA's Apollo 13 mission, will deliver the keynote address."

According to Bailey, Growmark's annual convention is an event that provides Growmark scholarship recipients with beneficial networking and ag-industry learning opportunities. "Growmark is very generous and provides financial support for the students to travel to and stay in Chicago for its superb annual convention, too," he added.

For more information, contact Bailey at (309) 298-1080 or Visit WIU's ag department online at Learn more about Growmark at

Posted By: Teresa Koltzenburg (
Office of University Communications & Marketing