BOONE, Iowa, Aug. 28, 2012 – Monsanto announced at the Farm Progress Show on Tuesday that its education program chose 176 school districts in 35 states to receive grants of up to $25,000. The America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, will invest $2.3 million in rural schools across the United States during the 2012-2013 school year.
“School districts were innovative and creative in their applications,” said Deborah Patterson, Monsanto Fund President. “We are really looking forward to seeing the proposals come to fruition and learning how the students benefit from them.”
After being nominated by local farmers, school districts completed an online application and math and science teachers from ineligible school districts chose the finalists. The America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education Advisory Council, a group of 26 farmers, then reviewed the finalists’ applications and selected the winners.
“Who better to judge the practical content and quality of these applications from rural school districts than experienced, working farmers?” said Jim Andrew of Jefferson, IA, America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education Farmer Advisory Council Member. “We devoted many hours at home evaluating and scoring the applications and then met as a group in St. Louis for two days to discuss and select the schools we recommended to the Monsanto Fund for grants.”
There were 176 school districts in 35 states that received grants of up to $25,000. Winners are posted at www.growruraleducation.com. America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education started with a successful pilot in Illinois and Minnesota in 2011, in which farmers were given the opportunity to nominate public school districts in 165 eligible counties in those two states. The Monsanto Fund awarded more than $266,000 to local schools in sixteen Crop Reporting Districts. Now, the program has expanded to 1,245 eligible counties in 39 states.
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