W. Malcom Harding
W. Malcolm Harding, who retired as CEO of CoBank in 1993, spent 35 years in cooperative banking serving American agriculture, agricultural co-ops, and rural utility co-ops. Throughout his career his vision, leadership, and communication skills strengthened the Farm Credit System. His style was to lead by example and encourage everyone around him to strive for excellence.
At the Central Bank for Cooperatives, Harding led the initiative to create an international banking program to help U.S. farmer-owned co-ops compete in world markets. As a result of that initial effort, $22 billion in agricultural exports have been financed on behalf of U.S. farmer-owned co-ops.
Harding spearheaded the consolidation of 11 of the nation's Banks for Cooperatives to form CoBank. His vision resulted in the creation of a financially strong international bank for co-ops, ensuring that the nation's agricultural co-ops and rural co-op utilities would continue to have a dependable source of financing well into the 21st century.
Harding was also a pioneer in building a stronger, unified approach to fundraising and employee commitment to worldwide co-op development. As such he played a key role in launching the United Co-op Appeal.