ST. LOUIS For the second consecutive year, America's Farmers Grow Rural Education SM, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, will give Iowa 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 Iowa school districts received a total of $165,000 to enhance math and science curriculums:
George Little Rock Community Schools, $10,000
Hampton-Dumont Community School District, $10,000
Lamoni Community School District, $10,000
Logan-Magnolia School District, $10,000
Marmon Trail Community School District, $25,000
New Hampton School District, $25,000
New London Community School District, $10,000
North Tama County Community School District, $10,000
Northeast Community School District, $10,000
Riceville Community School District, $10,000
Schleswig Community School District, $25,000
Sidney Community School District, $10,000
Thanks to the support of local farmers and the grant from America's Farmers Grow Rural Education, Lamoni School District received a $10,000 grant to purchase modern scientific tools to expand student understanding.
"Using the funds from the America's Farmers Grow Rural Education grant, we purchased new lab equipment so our students can apply science to real life," said Shirley Kessel, 2012 grant application writer for Lamoni Schools. "Schools are at the heart of smaller communities and we greatly appreciate the support of our local nominating farmers."
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.
For more information about the America's Farmers Grow Rural Education program and to view the official rules, visit www.GrowRuralEducation.com.