Large Co-Op Continues Scholarship Program Into 2012

Large Co-Op Continues Scholarship Program Into 2012

Officials put $20,000 on the line for students of members.

Twenty college-bound students could benefit from $1,000 scholarships provided by one of Indiana's largest cooperatives. The program is called the Co-Alliance Solutions Scholarship Program, and it offers scholarships to students preparing for college.

Co-Alliance actually covers a large part of Indian, plus parts of Ohio and Michigan. It's actually made up of a partnership of other co-ops. Many of those co-ops were themselves conglomerations of several county co-ops that banded together to improve the profitability of the co-op system over the past two decades.

Children or grandchildren of members are eligible for the scholarships. The action to set aside $20,000 for scholarships was made by the directors of Co-Alliance. The co-op has made the same scholarship awards in the past few years.

Member partnerships that make up Co-Alliance include Midland Co-op, based in Danville, Ind., where Co-Alliance is headquartered, IMPACT Co-op, LaPorte County Co-op, Frontier Co-op and Excel Co-op. Together, these co-ops cover a large section of central and northern Indiana, providing fertilizer, chemicals and grain handling and marketing for customers.

Students have until March 31 to apply for the scholarship. The application is posted on the Co-Alliance Website at : www.co-alliance.com. The availability of the scholarship was also announced via Facebook.

The exact functions offered by the member co-ops vary from location to location. The LaPorte County Co-op, for example, was noted for serving hog farmers. Other member co-ops deliver fuel, along with other inputs to farmers. The Co-Alliance umbrella even includes TopCrop Crop Insurance division, based in Seymour, Ind.

Kevin Still, long-time manager of first Midland Co-op and now Co-Alliance, says being able to offer the scholarships and get acquainted with young people through the applications is a highlight of the year for employees directly involved in the process. He's looking for another large crop of applicants in 2012.

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