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To support the childcare needs of its members and surrounding communities, Dairyland Power Cooperative has donated a total of $5,000 to the Sunflower Child Development Center in Decorah, Iowa. Dairyland contributed $2,500, which was matched by CoBank, a national cooperative bank, through CoBank’s Sharing Success Program. Sunflower is constructing a new, approximately 29,000 square foot, Northeast Iowa Child Development and Discovery Center in Decorah. The new facility will replace the current aging center and support capacity of 215 children with room to grow.

“Dairyland is proud to support our local communities,” said Dairyland President and CEO, Brent Ridge. “Efforts such as these are central to our mission to power our communities and empower our members to improve the quality of their lives.”

Support from Dairyland’s member cooperatives, Allamakee-Clayton Electric Cooperative and MiEnergy Cooperative, have also played a critical role in the advancement of this project. MiEnergy helped access $1,860,000 through the USDA Rural Economic Development Loan Financing and Allamakee-Clayton helped access $1.5 million through the USDA Rural Economic Development Loan Financing.

“Supporting growth and helping address critical childcare needs will provide economic benefits lasting well into the future. This project is a clear example of cooperatives working together to make a difference,” said Dairyland Senior Economic Development Specialist, Jenny Kuderer-Radcliffe.

The new facility will include 19 classrooms with direct access to age-appropriate outdoor playgrounds. Classrooms will be separated from STEAM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning areas, indoor play areas and other common-use spaces so that children from throughout the region can benefit. Common-use spaces will be available for families and children from throughout the community at various times and days through scheduling.

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