COLLEGE STATION–The agricultural cooperative that was once the world’s largest exporter of wheat gave an endowed scholarship in the amount of $31,700 to the Texas A&M University department of agricultural economics.
The Producers Grain Corporation educational trust fund was established 10 years ago when the Producers Grain Corporation began to downsize and prepare for the company’s liquidation.
Tom Engelke, trust fund executive director and a 1975 Texas A&M graduate, said the original planners wanted to create a fund for Texas A&M students who wanted to further their study of agricultural cooperatives. “Most students wanting to study cooperatives go through ag economics, so that’s where we decided to send the money,” he said.
Bill Clark, former secretary of the board at Producers Grain Corporation and who graduated from Texas A&M in 1950, said he and the original planners wanted to use money left from the company’s liquidation to establish the educational trust fund.
“Since the company was closing its doors, we decided to use the funds that producers were to return to the cooperative to establish this educational fund,” he said. “The producers had the option of putting the money into the trust or back into the corporation, and most everyone opted for the trust fund.”
“It is great that we can finally put this money to use,” Clark said. “Our initial intentions are finally being realized.”
Dr. Edward G. Smith, Distinguished Roy B. Davis Professor of Agricultural Cooperation and Extension, said the cooperative industry has been a long-time supporter of Texas A&M, and this is another example of their commitment to education.
“We’ve always had a good relationship with the cooperatives,” he said. “And it’s great that they have helped to establish this fund for those who are interested in cooperative management.”