Farmers have said that the most important thing we, as a nation, can grow is the next generation. Tuesday, the Monsanto Fund announced the winners of America's Farmers Grow Rural Education, a pilot program that gives farmers the opportunity to nominate their school districts to compete for grants up to $25,000. All grants are focused on enhancing education in the areas of math and/or science.
Sixteen winning school districts in Illinois and Minnesota, and the farmers who nominated the winning school districts, were among the crowd during a special presentation and reception at the Farm Progress Show on Tuesday, Aug. 30.
"America's Farmers Grow Rural Education is a way to help rural school districts with some of their unmet needs. Farmers have shared those needs with us along with their desire to improve education in their communities ," said Deborah Patterson, Monsanto Fund president. "We are proud to support our educational system and help farmers grow the next generation."
This year, America's Farmers Grow Rural Education operated as a pilot in Illinois and Minnesota with more than 11,000 participating farmers. In Illinois, 156 schools in nine Crop Reporting Districts applied for grant funding and more than 6,357 Illinois farmers nominated their school district. In Minnesota, 4,806 Minnesota farmers nominated their school district, and 81 school districts in seven Crop Reporting Districts applied for grant funding. Overall, the Monsanto Fund donated more than $266,000 to school districts in these communities.
"Many times creative programs need a boost to really get them going, and America's Farmers Grow Rural Education has that potential," said Lin Warfel, Tolono, Illinois farmer.
The Monsanto Fund hopes to expand the program next year. Attached is the list of winning school districts. For more information on the winning schools and their community, visit www.GrowRuralEducation.com.