Ohio farmers can support local schools through America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education

For the second consecutive year, America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, will give Ohio farmers the opportunity to enhance math and science programs in their communities. Now until April 15, 2013, farmers can nominate a local public school district to compete for a merit-based grant of up to $25,000. Administrators of nominated school districts may then submit grant applications through April 30, 2013. This year, the program expands to 26 new counties, for a total of 1,271 eligible counties across 39 states.

The America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program is part of a broad commitment by the Monsanto Fund to highlight the important contributions farmers make every day to society.  Following a successful pilot in Minnesota and Illinois, America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education debuted nationally last year, awarding $2.3 million to school districts coast to coast.

“We believe engaging rural youth in their math and science studies lays the foundation for a bright future,” said Deborah Patterson, Monsanto Fund president. “This generation is the future of agriculture, and funding from the Grow Rural Education program helps ensure they are ready to be the next great leaders.”

Eligible farmers can nominate their favorite public school district by visiting www.GrowRuralEducation.com and following the “Nominate Now” link on the top, left-hand corner of the page. Farmers may also nominate a school district by calling 1-877-267-3332.

In 2012, the following Ohio school districts received a total of $95,000 to enhance math and science curriculums:

Crestview Local, $10,000
Clinton-Massie, $10,000
Eastern Local, $10,000
Garaway Local, $10,000
Northeastern Local, $10,000
Ridgedale, $10,000
West Liberty-Salem Local, $10,000
Westfall Local, $25,000
Each school district used the money for different programs, equipment or materials.

“This grant allowed us to secure lab equipment that delivers a more challenging agricultural science-based curriculum,” said Tim Lamb, Agricultural Education Instructor in West Liberty-Salem School District. “Having the correct equipment is vital to ensuring that our students learn a scientific approach to agriculture; an approach that the industry relies heavily upon.”

Grants will be awarded by the Monsanto Fund based on merit, need and community support. The America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education Advisory Council, a group of 30 farmer leaders from across the country, will select the winning grant applications.  Advisory Council members were selected based on their passion for agriculture and education, as well as experience in rural school districts.

America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education is part of the Monsanto Fund’s overall effort to strengthen America’s farming communities. Another program that is part of this effort is America’s Farmers Grow Communities, which gives winning farmers the opportunity to direct a $2,500 donation to a community nonprofit organization in their county.

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