Improving Life in Rural Communities

CoBank Matches Arizona G&T Cooperatives’ Contributions
to Improve Life in Rural Communities

Helping Those Who Help Others


For Immediate Release


Geoff Oldfather, (520) 586-5465, C: (520) 444-3473,

J.D. Wallace, (520) 586-5157, C: (520) 235-4203,


BENSON – Arizona G&T Cooperatives has been able to double some of its contributions to local communities with assistance from CoBank, one of its lenders. Together, Arizona G&Ts and CoBank’s Sharing Success program recently provided $3,000 to the Willcox Theater and another $3,000 to the Cochise Education Foundation.

The Willcox Theater provides Matinee My Way for people with challenges such as autism, where movies are shown with lights up and lower sound. “To have you guys as partners is amazing,” said Gary Clement, theater manager. “You have always been there to help us out when we’ve needed it so we can offer this type of program in a rural setting,” he said.

(l-r) Gayle Berry, Willcox Theater executive director; J.D. Wallace, AzGT communications, social media and marketing administrator; and Gary Clement, Willcox Theater general manager gather with two checks for $1500 each from AzGT and CoBank to support Matinee My Way.

The Cochise Education Foundation awarded 21 teachers from public, private and charter schools with $200 each in mini-grants to provide activities that augment their classroom curriculum. An additional teacher received a $500 grant for incorporating gardening into reading. “This is really big,” said Jacqui Clay, superintendent of Cochise County Schools. “It feeds into our primary goal—economic independence for our students and economic success for our community.”

Arizona G&T Cooperatives contributes to a variety of education and community organizations in the service areas of its Member cooperatives. CoBank matches some of the larger donations.

Jacqui Clay, superintendent of Cochise County schools and J.D. Wallace hold two checks for $1500 each from AzGT and CoBank to support Cochise Education Foundation’s mini-grant program to support innovative ideas in local classrooms.

Sherry Johnson, senior manager of corporate social responsibility for CoBank, says that the Sharing Success program has allowed the bank and its customers to donate more than $40 million to charities across the country.

“Donations to the Willcox Theater and CEF are great examples of why Sharing Success works,” Johnson said. “CoBank relies on the local knowledge of our customers to tell us which organizations are really making a difference in their communities. We commend Arizona G&T Cooperatives on your commitment to community and thank you for allowing CoBank to be a part of your efforts.”


About Arizona G&T Cooperatives

Arizona Electric Power Cooperative (AEPCO) and Sierra Southwest (Sierra) together comprise the Arizona G&T Cooperatives ( AEPCO owns and operates the 605-megawatt (combined gross) Apache Generating Station, located at Cochise, east of Benson. AEPCO also owns, operates and maintains 829 miles of electric power transmission line—including line owned in part with other utilities— and 27 substations to provide wholesale electric power from Apache to six member distribution cooperatives in southern Arizona, western New Mexico, northwestern Arizona and California.

Sierra is the vehicle to develop new ways to serve the renewable energy needs of our Member cooperatives and customers, and helps maximize solar and other renewable tax credits that are available. Sierra has initiated two utility scale solar projects; the 20 MW Apache Solar project on AEPCO property adjacent to and northeast of AGS, and SunAnza, the 2 MW solar array adjacent to the Anza EC headquarters in Anza, California.

Combined, the distribution cooperatives that receive AEPCO’s wholesale power serve more than 161,000 meters representing more than 420,000 individual residential, commercial, agricultural, and industrial member/consumers.

The Class A member cooperatives that receive wholesale power from AEPCO include Duncan Valley Electric Cooperative, Duncan; Graham County Electric Cooperative, Pima; Mohave Electric Cooperative, Bullhead City; Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative, Willcox; Trico Electric Cooperative, Marana; and our California member, Anza Electric Cooperative, Anza, California.

These member cooperatives own the AzGT and, by extension, the G&T Cooperatives are owned by their members—the people at the end of the line who use the power.


About CoBank

CoBank is one of the largest private providers of credit to the U.S. rural economy. With more than
$125 billion in assets, the bank delivers loans, leases and other financial services to agribusiness, rural infrastructure and Farm Credit customers in all 50 states.