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Farmers Grow Communities Making Positive Impact
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Farmers Can Nominate Community Organizations for a Chance to Receive $2,500 through Nov. 30


America’s Farmers Grow Communities Making Positive Impact Across Rural America

 

Since its inception in 2010, the America’s Farmers Grow Communities program has awarded over $19 million to more than 7,000 community nonprofit organizations throughout rural America. Numbers alone, however, don’t tell the real story of how these $2,500 donations are making a significant difference for recipient organizations and members of the communities they serve.

The purpose of America’s Farmers Grow Communities is to make a positive impact in communities throughout the country by partnering with farmers to support the causes that are most important to them. Sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, the program offers farmers the chance to direct $2,500 to any eligible local nonprofit organization of their choosing.

In its first five years, America’s Farmers Grow Communities has helped fund a broad cross-section of organizations, now spanning 40 states, which reflect the makeup and character of rural America.  Examples of how the donations are being used include:

  • Essential equipment for community fire departments and emergency management organizations, including safety gear, portable lighting, communications equipment, fire trucks and funding for new or upgraded firehouses.
  • Donations to FFA and 4-H groups to support agricultural education and various member activities, such as participation in contests and conventions, community service projects, greenhouse supplies, ag curriculum expansion, supplies and equipment.
  • Food and supplies purchased for food pantries and shelters to assist community members in need.  It can be projected that each $2,500 grant from America’s Farmers Grow Communities can provide 25,000 meals, enough to feed 10 families for seven months, based on national data from the Feeding America network of food banks, which distributes 10 meals for every $1 donated.
  • Broad support for local education, including school library books and reading programs, classroom field trips, STEM  (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) curriculum resources, and technology enhancements, such as computer tablets and interactive whiteboards and science technology, as well as other classroom equipment. 

Other beneficiaries of the program have included health care organizations, youth and community centers, state parks and economic development programs, among many others.  One of the most unique donations went towards a project to develop a baseball field for persons of all ages with disabilities.  Features include synthetic grass that looks like a typical ball field, but allows wheelchairs to roll down the baselines.

“Farmers who participate in this program care deeply about supporting their communities,” said Angela Allen, Monsanto Customer Advocacy Manager “Because of their commitment to this program, thousands of nonprofit organizations have been able to enhance the many important programs and services they provide, and that number is continuing to grow every year.”

America’s Farmers Grow Communities farmer enrollment begins Aug. 1 and runs through Nov. 30, 2015. Winners are announced in January. Farmers can direct donations to any local nonprofit organization that is a registered 501(c)(3) or 170(c)(1). 

Eligible farmers must live or farm in an eligible county, be 21 years or older, and be actively engaged in farming specified amounts of corn, cotton, soybean and/or vegetable acreage. Farmers who have previously applied or won are eligible to enroll again. Eligible counties are determined by USDA data, and must have a total of 30,000 acres of corn, soybeans, cotton and/or vegetables.

To enroll, or for a complete list of program rules and information, visit www.GrowCommunities.com or call 877-267-3332 toll-free.