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America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education

March 19, 2013
Jane Whitmore , Emmetsburg News

Farmers in 1,271 counties across 39 states have the opportunity to grow the next generation by nominating a rural, public school district to apply for a grant of up to $25,000. The program is called "Grow the Next Generation."

One of our faithful readers brought us information about this grant program. They had nominated Emmetsburg Community School District in this program and encourage other farmers in the school district to do the same.

We went to the website to learn more about the program. This is the second year that the Monsanto Fund is investing $2.3 million to strengthen math and science education in rural communities through America's Farmers Grow Rural EducationSM.

Farmers can nominate the school district through April 15. Administrators of the nominated schools can submit grant applications through April 30 to enhance their math and/or science programs.

Grants will be awarded based on merit, need and community support. The more farmers who nominate a school district, the more it demonstrates community support and strengthens the school district's application.

Here's the important guideline: Entrants (those who make nominations) must be 21 years or older and actively engaged in farming a minimum of 250 acres of corn, soybeans and/or cotton, and/or 40 acres of open field vegetables, or at least 10 acres of vegetables grown in protected culture. Entrants must reside in eligible counties where a minimum of 30,000 acres of corn and/or soybeans and/or cotton and/or vegetables are planted each year.

Our reader who nominated Emmetsburg Public School received communication from America's Farmers Grow Rural Education"

"Thank you for nominating your public school district to compete for a grant through America's Farmers Grow Rural Education. We appreciate your commitment to help grow the next generation. The school district you chose will be notified of your nomination and winners will be chosen in August. Grants will be awarded based o merit, need and community support. The more farmers to nominate a school district, the more it demonstrates community support and strengthens the school district's application. Share this exciting opportunity with other local farmers in your area."

Go to this website to place your nomination

Last year's Iowa winners had a variety of projects, including:

purchase technology, equipment, materials and supplies for hands on science activities

construction of a greenhouse to benefit agriculture biology and business students; and also help supply the school lunch program

purchase GPS equipment for ag students, allowing them to learn how to use the units

purchase iPads to aid in math instruction and help students apply math concepts to real world situations

construct a renewable energy powered greenhouse

purchase microscopes and Vernier Lab equipment

purchase math textbooks, web-based textbooks and iPad apps

and, a school with an outdoor classroom area planted in native grasses put in a hard surfaced trail through the area

Why is the Monsanto Fund sponsoring this program?

"We believe in rural America and are committed to helping farmers strengthen their communities. We know the importance of education, and that it's the cornerstone of any successful community. But most importantly, farmers have told us nothing is more vital than the next generation. That's why we introduced America's Farmers Grow Rural Education last year and are bringing it back again in 2013. This program gives us the opportunity to help improve education in rural America, therefore helping to grow the next generation."

Now it's up to you to get online and nominate Emmetsburg Community School.



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