Paraguayans CU Leaders Focus on Ag Lending and Corporate Credit Unions In Minnesota
Paraguay credit union leaders learn ag lending at Minnesota
SLEEPY EYE, Minn. – Credit union visits were
the agenda Wednesday for the credit union
representatives from CENCOPAN, a credit union
trade association. St. Marys Federal Credit Union
(SMFCU) in Sleepy Eye, Minn., welcomed the
visitors for an afternoon of agricultural lending
and technology discussions.
The four Paraguayans, along with an
are visiting Minnesota as part of their newly-
formed relationship with the Minnesota Credit
Union Network through of the World Council of
Credit Unions, Inc. (WOCCU) Partnership Program.
The group toured the credit union and visited
Bruggeman Company, an implement dealership in
Sleepy Eye that sells John Deere machinery and
parts, and fixes equipment for area farmers.
Posing during their visit at the Bruggeman Co. are, from left: Dick Nesvold, SMFCU; Dana Hofmann-Geye, Minnesota CU Network; Mick Schmid, SMFCU; Pedro Loblein and Ramona Rios Medina of CENCOPAN; Victor Miguel Corro, World Council of CUs; Modesto Segovia Boltes and Francisco Barcelo Garcia of CENCOPAN; and Mark Bruggeman, Bruggeman Co. and SMFCU.
"I was impressed with the good relationship
the credit union had with the dealership,
allowing farmers to have better equipment," said
Modesto Segovia Boltes of CENCOPAN.
CENCOPAN and its member credit unions are
involved in agriculture, as the credit unions in
Paraguay fall under the umbrella of the
Department of Agriculture. The main goal was to
explain to the Paraguayans the process of
Minnesota credit unions' agricultural lending
programs and develop an understanding of our
"Credit unions in Minnesota finance fixed assets,
like tractors, which is something we do not do in
Paraguay," said Francisco Barceló García of
CENCOPAN. "We mainly finance feed and fertilizer,
but not large equipment." García said that such a
key difference "opened his eyes" to additional
services that credit unions may be able to offer
to production cooperatives in their country.
Following the dealership visit, staff from
did various presentations on products and
services, security systems, home banking and
online check images.
"It was very interesting to see the
overall, we all have the same issues but are
just in different places," said Dick Nesvold,
president & CEO of SMFCU. "We all do what we do
for the betterment of our membership and the
improvement of our communities, which is a
predominant theme within Minnesota as well as
other countries. It's very refreshing to
On Wednesday morning the group visited Mid-
Corporate Federal Credit Union's Eagan, Minn.,
office. CENCOPAN, which is a both a trade
association and a corporate credit union, learned
about the U.S. corporate structure, investments
"I am most impressed by the technology that
shown that allows instant and constant
communications among the Network, Mid-States
Corporate and the credit unions themselves," said
Pedro Loblein of CENCOPAN.
World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.
World Council has implemented more than 290 technical assistance programs in 71 countries. Worldwide, 57,000 credit unions in 103 countries serve 208 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.
Contact: Kristina Wright
Organization: Minnesota Credit Union Network
Phone: (651) 288-5170, (800) 477