ST. LOUIS (April 4, 2010) – Farmers in Minnesota now have the opportunity to help their school districts build a better foundation for education, keeping their kids on the right track for a better future. The America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, is a new pilot project that will give farmers in Minnesota and Illinois the opportunity to nominate their school districts to compete for grants up to $25,000, to enhance education in the areas of math and/or science.
“Farmers told us loud and clear that the most important thing we can grow is the next generation,” said Deborah Patterson, president of the Monsanto Fund. “We’re proud to be able to partner with them in this endeavor through the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program.”
In the 69 eligible counties in Minnesota, there are seven eligible Crop Reporting Districts (CRD), and one grant will be awarded to each CRD. Visit www.GrowRuralEducation.com for a complete listing of school districts, counties and more information about America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education.
The Grow Rural Education program is part of a broad commitment by the Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of Monsanto Company, to support farming communities.
“Grants will be awarded based on merit criteria determined by the Monsanto Fund, need and community support,” Patterson said. “The more farmers to nominate a school district, the more it demonstrates community support and strengthens the district’s application. So please share this opportunity with other local farmers.”
The nomination process is simple. Eligible farmers can fill out a nomination form at www.GrowRuralEducation.com or call 1-877-267-3332. Farmers can nominate their school districts through June 30, 2011. The Monsanto Fund will begin the evaluation process in July and award the grants in September. Farmers, age 21 and over, who are actively engaged in farming a minimum of 250 acres of corn, soybeans and/or cotton, or 40 acres of open field vegetables, or at least 10 acres of tomatoes, peppers and/or cucumbers grown in protected culture, are eligible. The program is open to all qualifying farmers, and no purchase is necessary.