Everett M. Dobrinski is a third-generation grain and oilseed farmer who recognized at an early age the value of cooperatives in providing essential services that his family farm needed to compete in a global marketplace. A natural leader, Everett served on the board of directors of the Verendrye Electric Cooperative where he became chair in 1990. In that capacity, he was instrumental in financing a new daycare and convenience store in rural Verendrye.
An advocate for cooperative education in the boardroom, schools and universities, and the statehouse, Everett frequently educated members about cooperatives. As an Advisory Board Member of the Quentin Burdick Center for Cooperatives at North Dakota State University, Everett provided valuable advice on the development of curriculum about cooperatives for high school and college students. As a former member of the North Dakota House of Representatives, he championed political engagement and advocated on issues of cooperative taxation, retail wheeling, and territorial integrity.
A CoBank director from 1999-2018, Everett chaired the board from 2008-2018 where he helped CoBank and the Farm Credit System weather the U.S. financial crisis in 2007-2008. His leadership enabled agricultural cooperatives to maintain access to credit. Everett’s guidance has positioned CoBank to meet the needs of rural America today and into the future. Everett was honored for his contributions to rural America by the Obama White House as a Champion of Change for Rural America.
Former Board Chair
On behalf of the 84 CoBank Board Members who served with Everett, we congratulate him on his induction in the Cooperative Hall of Fame. Everett’s leadership and commitment to cooperative principals fostered the teamwork of the Board which resulted in many successes, including a smooth merger with U.S. AgBank and a recent CEO transition. His intellect combined with a calm and thoughtful demeanor served CoBank and the Farm Credit System well not only around the CoBank board table but in Washington DC as a member of the Farm Credit Council, the Farm Credit System’s trade organization. He has worked with members of Congress as an advocate for the cooperative business model, especially in the area of credit availability to enhance business opportunities in Rural America. Everett’s greatest strength is as a listener while encouraging others to voice their opinions. When all thoughts were expressed he brought the group/board back to a thoughtful, well vetted decision and strongly encouraged the board to then fully support that decision. His thoughtful approach to difficult issues and deep commitment to cooperative principles is well respected. We honor his dedication and became better Board members under his leadership.
The CoBank Management Executive Committee and CoBank Associates offer our thanks and appreciation of Everett’s leadership and his well-deserved induction into the Cooperative Hall of Fame. We all have benefited from Everett’s commitment to the cooperative business principles, especially Concern for Community. Under Everett’s tenure, the CoBank Board expanded CoBank’s corporate giving program, including the launch of the Sharing Success Program. In the eight years since its inception, CoBank and our customers have together contributed to more than $36 million to charitable organizations across the country. CoBank also launched a giving program for Directors and Associates. Every year, each CoBank board of directors is able to designate $25,000 in contributions from the bank to the nonprofit organizations of their choice. In addition, each CoBank associate may direct a $500 charitable contribution annually and is allowed a paid day off from work to volunteer in their community. Everett’s emphasis on Concern for Community has increased the engagement of our associate and customer-owners in their local community. Everett’s enthusiasm and commitment to the cooperative business was contagious to all that had the opportunity to interact with him. He left a legacy at CoBank by increasing the focus on giving back to the community.
Through his two decades of servant leadership on the CoBank and Farm Credit Council boards of directors, Everett truly embodies Farm Credit's cooperative mission to support America's farmers, ranchers and rural communities. Congratulations, Everett!
Everett, congratulations on your induction into the Cooperative Hall of Fame, a fitting tribute to not just a friend but also a life-long supporter of FS and the GROWMARK System, agriculture, and cooperative businesses everywhere.
NCFC congratulates Everett Dobrinski on his induction into the Co-op Hall of Fame. Throughout his career, Everett has been a committed champion for cooperatives and there is no one in the ag co-op community who is more deserving of recognition.
Nationwide congratulates our friend, Everett Dobrinski, on induction into the 2020 Cooperative Hall of Fame. As a past Nationwide Board Council member, we know firsthand your passion for helping rural communities and proudly honor your legacy of advocating for cooperative principles and agriculture.
You have selflessly helped cooperatives succeed for a major part of your life. Because of your integrity, dedication, faith, and willingness to help others, you truly deserve this honor. May God bless you, your family and your farm.
The NCBA CLUSA members and staff congratulate Everett Dobrinski on his induction into the 2020 Cooperative Hall of Fame. We applaud you for your dedication to the cooperative movement.