Illinois Farmers’ Last Chance to Nominate Rural School Districts to Apply for Grants

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

?     ST. LOUIS (June 6, 2011) – The deadline is rapidly approaching for Illinois farmers to help their local school districts.  By nominating a school district to compete for grants through the America’s Farmers Grow Rural EducationSM program, farmers have the opportunity to strengthen the education system in rural America, providing a solid foundation and brighter future for students.  Farmers have until June 30, 2011 to submit a school district nomination form.

The America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, allows farmers in 165 counties in Illinois and Minnesota the opportunity to nominate public school districts in their USDA Crop Reporting Districts (CRD) for the chance to receive a grant of up to $25,000.  ?? 

“Our hope is for this program to give rural public school districts the opportunity to improve their math and science programs that they wouldn’t have had the resources to do otherwise,” said Deborah Patterson, president of the Monsanto Fund. “The Monsanto Fund is dedicated to supporting rural America and is proud to extend our education efforts.” ??   

In Illinois there are 96 eligible counties in nine CRDs, and one grant will be awarded to a school district in each CRD based on need, community support and merit criteria determined by the Monsanto Fund.  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 to support farming communities.  Eligible farmers can fill out a nomination form by June 30, 2011 at www.GrowRuralEducation.com or call 1-877-267-3332.  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.

About the Monsanto Fund?

The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to strengthening the farm communities where farmers and Monsanto Company employees live and work. Visit the Monsanto Fund at www.monsantofund.org. ?