2001 Cooperative Hall of Fame
Otis & Mary Lee Molz

The Cooperative Hall of Fame honors those distinguished individuals whose contributions to cooperative business have been genuinely heroic.  The names and deeds of these cooperative leaders are permanently commemorated in the Cooperative Hall of Fame in Washington, D.C.  The Cooperative Hall of Fame was established by the National Cooperative Business Association.

Presented to Farmland Industries, Inc.
In honor of Otis and Mary Lee Molz
Inducted 2001

Otis and Mary Lee Molz have dedicated themselves to organizing and strengthening cooperatives for more than 45 years.  They have given generously of their time and finances to support cooperative development, always demonstrating strong leadership and incredible devotion to the cooperative way of meeting the needs of people.  Their record of support and advocacy for cooperative is nothing short of remarkable.

Otis and Mary Lee's leadership within the U.S. agricultural community and Farm Credit System is legendary.  Otis played a key role in the creation of CoBank, and has served for many years on numerous boards of directors, including Garden City Co-op, Farmland, NCBA, and CoBank.  Through these positions and others, both have served as untiring ambassadors for the cooperative movement.

Their co-op advocacy was not limited to rural America.  Together, Otis and Mary Lee helped establish cooperatives in Latin America, utilizing their personal funds to travel there and train co-op members in best business practices.  They also used their considerable influence to help build lasting relationships between these new co-ops and cooperatives in the United States. (plaque inscription).

The Molz's have dedicated their lives to promoting cooperatives around the world.  They promoted cooperatives in the former Soviet Union, El Salvador, Honduras, China, and Jamaica.  They led four "cooperative to cooperative" missions in El Salvador where they taught classes in business, education and nutrition.  Otis served on the Board of the Garden City Co-op for many years and has served as Chairman of the Board for CoBank since 1985.  He also served on the Boards of Farmland Industries, The Farm Credit Bank of Wichita, the Farm Credit Council, the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers, the National Cooperative Business Association and the Kearny County Farmers Irrigation Association.  The Molz's were presented a plaque for their commitment to the betterment of cooperatives.