Compeer Financial Awards MORE for Agriculture Grant to CLC

The check received for the grant Published May 28, 2024

Compeer Financial’s Fund for Rural America has awarded a $50,000 grant to College of Lake County (CLC). The grant, provided through the MORE for Agriculture grant program, will support the CLC Grows initiative, focusing on agricultural-based educational partnerships and curriculum development.

Now in its sixth year, the MORE for Agriculture grant supports innovative programs that encompass four qualities:

  • Mission: Aligns with the mission of Compeer Financial, enriches agriculture and rural communities
  • Opportunity: Provides a new opportunity for clients or future clients, fills a known void in agricultural and rural markets, is a new and innovative project
  • Replication: Can be replicated by others to serve different geographic areas, with the ability for future collaboration
  • Evolution: Evolves over time to create a better future for agriculture and rural America

CLC’s Grows program is establishing an Urban Farm Center with a focus on promoting equity and opportunity in food, health and jobs for students and the community. The project aims to enhance innovation and resilience in Lake County by offering hands-on training and education in urban farming.

"The Urban Farm Center will join the new Student Services Center in downtown Waukegan as a door to all of the opportunities College of Lake County has to offer with a focus on food, health and jobs for our students and community,” said Ali O'Brien, Vice President Community and Workforce Partnerships at the college. "The Urban Farm Center will offer a steady supply of locally grown food all year round, promoting collaboration among growers, processors, institutions and consumers throughout Lake County. This partnership will provide a connection between rural and urban areas across the county.""

The MORE for Agriculture grant will assist in funding a facility that supports training in hydroponic growing and greenhouse production, provides a space to process local food into value-added products like salsas and salads, and creates a retail space to offer local products to the public.

“College of Lake County is bringing an innovative approach to urban agriculture education,” said Karen Schieler, senior corporate giving specialist at Compeer Financial. “CLC is deeply dedicated to education, community and local agriculture, aligning perfectly with the Fund for Rural America’s grant objectives. The Urban Farm Center offers a hands-on learning experience, and we are enthusiastic about its future.”

The Compeer Financial Fund for Rural America Trustees tasked Compeer team members with identifying programs and projects that create MORE for agriculture. To date, more than $1million has been awarded to 23 organizations since 2019.

For more information, visit the Compeer Financial website.

About the Fund for Rural America

The Compeer Financial Fund for Rural America is the corporate giving program of Compeer Financial, structured to support Compeer Financial’s mission to enrich agriculture and rural America. Compeer Financial’s Board of Directors has dedicated one percent of annual net earnings to support the Fund’s focus areas of agricultural advocacy and development, agriculture education, cooperative initiatives, rural development and community enrichment; and youth engagement. The Fund is managed by a Board of Trustees, made up of team members from Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin and members of the Compeer Financial Board of Directors. More information about opportunities available through the Fund can be found at

About Compeer Financial

Compeer Financial is a member-owned Farm Credit cooperative serving and supporting agriculture and rural communities. The $32.3 billion organization provides loans, leases, risk management and other financial services throughout 144 counties in Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Based in the Upper Midwest, Compeer Financial exists to champion the hopes and dreams of rural America, while providing personalized service and expertise to clients and the agriculture industry. Compeer Financial is the third largest cooperative of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of lending institutions supporting agriculture and rural communities with reliable, consistent credit and financial services. Learn more about Compeer Financial.