Partnership creates new annual gift plan to benefit Institute’s world-renowned cancer research  

   In its ongoing efforts to improve the future for rural communities, the AgStar Fund for Rural America has committed $30,000 overall for the next three years to supporting The Hormel Institute’s world-renowned cancer research.

This annual giving plan – donating $10,000 annually for three years – serves as the first made specifically to support cancer research by the AgStar Fund, which, since its inception in 2001, has donated more than $3 million to organizations working to improve rural America’s future. The AgStar Fund is a corporate giving program of AgStar Financial Services based in Mankato, Minn., with a mission to enhance the quality of life and future opportunities for rural residents and their communities.

Dr. Zigang Dong, executive director of The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota-Mayo Clinic, accepted the gift Wednesday from John Monson, chairman of AgStar’s Fund Board of Trustees.
As with all donations, the AgStar funds will go 100 percent directly toward The Hormel Institute’s cutting-edge research and technologies focused on identifying nontoxic, natural compounds found in plant-based foods for preventing or controlling cancer.

“We deeply appreciate our friends at AgStar Fund for Rural America and their commitment to supporting The Hormel Institute’s cancer research,” said Dr. Zigang Dong, Executive Director of The Hormel Institute. “This is a gift for all of us. Funding for cancer research is a gift that helps people everywhere as it makes discoveries possible. AgStar has long been our friend and we welcome them now as an important new partner.”

AgStar is honored and privileged to support The Hormel Institute through its Fund for Rural America, Monson said.
“AgStar is all about enhancing life in rural America and The Hormel Institute’s mission dovetails perfectly with that concept,” Monson said. “Not only is the work they are doing of the utmost importance – saving lives – but the Institute also brings new jobs to rural Minnesota and shines a spotlight on how our food, and where it comes from, impacts the health of everyone.”

Monson called The Hormel Institute an “impressive group” that is doing everything right.
“Our Fund Board was very impressed with every aspect of their program: their collaboration with the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota, the remarkable research they are conducting to help further cancer prevention and cures and the caliber of scientists they attract from all around the world,” Monson said.

Started in 1942 by Jay C. Hormel, The Hormel Institute has had strong research connections with agriculture since its inception. Today, The Hormel Institute is comprised of a group of highly successful medical scientists who are focused on determining the basic molecular mechanisms of cancer development to develop new anti-cancer agents.

AgStar Financial Services, ACA, employs more than 600 full-time team members. The company is part of the national Farm Credit System and has a public mission to serve 69 counties in Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin. AgStar’s industry specialization, client segments and market delivery systems result in diversification nationwide. The company has expertise in the corn, soybean, swine, dairy and bio-energy industries. AgStar has developed successful programs in loans, leases, crop insurance, tax services, accounting, consulting and rural home mortgages. As a value-added financial services cooperative, AgStar allocates patronage dividends to its more than 14,000 stockholders.