North Coast client receives grant to help kids learn about animals

Officials with AgStar Financial Services present a check for $7,000 to CEO Dawn Mackety of the Lake Superior Zoo. The grant will enhance the barnyard exhibit at the Duluth zoo.

A $7,000 grant will help the Lake Superior Zoo build an educational kiosk and buy animal-care tools to help children and their families learn about farm animals in the zoo’s barnyard exhibit.

The gift from AgStar Financial Services will allow the zoo to install the kiosk and purchase the equipment, including brushes, rakes and shovels, enabling children to groom the animals and learn how to maintain the habitat at the exhibit, one of the most popular features at the zoo.

“Some of our best moments with children and their families come at this exhibit when kids are able to see the animals up close,” said zoo CEO Dawn Mackety. “This gift will make our exhibit even more interactive and educational, with additional information as well as the opportunity for children to help care for the animals under the direction of our zoo team.”

The kiosk will enable children and their families to better understand how their lives are affected by farm animals and agriculture.

“AgStar has roots in agriculture and is committed to helping our communities,” said AgStar Senior Vice President John Monson, who chairs the AgStar Fund for Rural America, the firm’s charitable program. “This gift is one way we can enhance the connection and help children and their families learn about agriculture in a fun way when they visit the zoo.”

Construction will begin on the kiosk soon, and the zoo hopes to have the enhanced display in place by late May, in time for the zoo’s busy summer season, when it is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

The Lake Superior Zoo, 7210 Fremont St. in Duluth, is open year-round and is the only zoo in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin. With many animal exhibits and opportunities for visitors to see animals up close, it inspires connections to wildlife and action toward conservation in our region and around the world.

AgStar Financial Services, headquartered in Mankato, Minn., is a financial services cooperative that is part of the national Farm Credit System and serves 69 counties in Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin. The company has expertise in the corn, soybean, swine, dairy and bio-energy industries. AgStar offers programs in loans, leases, crop insurance, consulting and rural home mortgages. Visit for more information.


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