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Sheldon Petersen

Retired Governor & CEO

National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC)

Sheldon Petersen transformed the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC) into a $27 billion business dedicated to strengthening rural electric cooperatives. A skilled statesman, a fierce co-op champion, and a generous mentor, Petersen retired in 2021 after a 46-year career. He is the recipient of the 2022 Clyde T. Ellis award for exemplary service to rural electrification.

Congratulatory Listings

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What an incredible milestone to be inducted into the Cooperative Hall of Fame, and very well deserved! Your thoughtfulness, caring, and commitment to cooperatives is a model for everyone. This is an impressive accomplishment, and it could not have been given to a better person. Congratulations, Sheldon!


The Colorado Rural Electric Association congratulates Sheldon Petersen on his induction into the Cooperative Hall of Fame. Sheldon's leadership and commitment to the rural electric program has been critical to the success of Colorado's electric co-ops and to CREA. Sheldon will always be on the Mount Rushmore of America's electric co-op program and this recognition of his service is well-deserved. Congratulations Sheldon!


Homestead Advisers is pleased to add its voice to the many organizations acknowledging Sheldon Petersen’s long career in support of rural electric cooperatives and the communities they serve. Thank you, Sheldon, for your leadership, vision, and countless contributions.

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Your legacy supporting rural electrification is profound. Spanning 45 years, you have made a mark on rural electrification, helping tenured co-ops grow and supporting the formation of new co-ops both in the United States and across the world.


Congratulations from the people of CoBank.

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Sheldon Petersen is a true champion for rural America. At Farmer Mac, we know him best for his visionary commitment to expanding access to funding sources for rural electric cooperatives. Because of his unwavering dedication and leadership, millions have more reliable and sustainable electricity and broadband, which has helped to raise the level of prosperity in rural communities. Congratulations to our inspiration, partner, and friend!


Congratulations on your induction into the Cooperative Hall of Fame! Your expertise and guidance have profoundly impacted the quality of life in rural America. Thank you for your personal integrity, humility, and unwavering commitment to the Cooperative community. Your visionary leadership sets a high standard for all who follow, and your legacy is an inspiration for us to emulate.

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Your visionary leadership, tenacity and unwavering commitment to empowering rural electric cooperatives and the communities they serve will forever be part of CFC’s legacy. Thank you for leading our organization so valiantly and inspiring us with your passion for the cooperative business model. Congratulations on your well-deserved honor from all of us at CFC!


Congratulations, Sheldon Petersen, on this well-deserved recognition. Your tireless leadership and commitment to the improvement and financial well-being of rural electric cooperatives nationwide have built a solid foundation for the future success of the cooperative program. Thank you for your dedication to the cooperative principles and your devotion to strengthening the cooperative family. You are an inspiration to us all.

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There is not a person more deserving of Cooperative Hall of Fame recognition than Sheldon Petersen. The role you played leading a cooperative financial institution whose purpose was to support other cooperatives will have a lasting impact on our industry. NISC is a better company because of your friendship and guidance.


From your many friends at NRECA, congratulations to a leader and champion of the cooperative movement on your induction to the Cooperative Hall for Fame.  Thank you for a career spent in service to maximizing the contributions America’s electric cooperatives make to the communities they serve.


NRTC congratulates Sheldon Petersen on a most deserved induction into the Cooperative Hall of Fame. Sheldon, throughout your career, you demonstrated the power of cooperative principles and servant leadership to improve lives and transform communities. Thank you for the guidance and encouragement you provided NRTC over the years. We are better cooperative leaders – and people – because of you.


NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association and our nearly 900 community-based communications providers congratulate Sheldon Petersen on his induction into the Cooperative Hall of Fame. Mr. Petersen’s unceasing dedication to promoting the cooperative business model has improved the lives of countless rural Americans.


Friends of Sheldon Petersen


Adam Hargett

Andrew Don

Bernadette Waugh

Bo Rosser

Brad Captain

Brian P Stagen, Cpa, Tvp

Brian Stavish

Chris Haas

Colette Knowles

Dave Swanson

Doug O'Brien

Ed Yaker

Farmer Mac

Elaine MacDonald

Gary Bradbury

Jeffrey Connor

Jill Maison

John M. Borak

Jim Matheson

Karen Zimbelman

Lawrence Zawalick

Lenny and Amy Luongo

Lyle Korver

Mark A. Suggs

Martin Lowery

Mary Griffin

Michelle L Schry

Mike O'Brien

Nathan Howard

NTCA - The Rural Broadband Association

Rich Larochelle

Rick Taylor

Shirley Bloomfield

Steve and Carol Kettler

Vicki Reeves

Transformative Leader

In a cooperative career that began in 1976 with a staff assistant job in Harlan, Iowa, Petersen's exclusive mission was to strengthen rural electric co-ops. For 26 years, he piloted CFC with a steady compass set to service, helping to transform CFC from a primary lender into a $27 billion, mission-focused financial services cooperative.

Sheldon Petersen

Sheldon Petersen Intro
Sheldon Petersen - Leader for All
Sheldon Petersen - Rural Iowa
Sheldon Petersen - NRECA International
Sheldon Petersen - CFC Career
Sheldon Petersen - Bolstering Co-op Development
Sheldon Petersen - P6
Sheldon Petersen - Moving Forward

Honoring and Planning Committee

Andrew Don

Brad Captain

Rick Taylor

Nominated by:

Andrew Don


National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC)

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