Farmers can help grow rural education

Farmers can help grow rural education

Iowa farmers are encouraged to nominate their school districts to receive grants of up to $25,000.

Science, technology, engineering and math education continues to be a priority for school districts throughout the U.S. Investing in these education programs now is vitally important, as the fastest-growing occupations require STEM proficiency.

However, securing financial support to expand curricula and provide hands-on learning opportunities can be challenging, especially in rural areas. Public school districts in rural communities can help prepare their students for future academic and career success by applying for $2.3 million in math or science grants from America's Farmers Grow Rural Education, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund.

NOMINATE YOUR SCHOOL: America's Farmers Grow Rural Education program helps enhance and improve math and science education in rural school districts. Deadline is April 1 to nominate your school district for $10,000 and $25,000 grants.

Grants help provide quality education in rural communities
It all starts with farmers in those communities. Between now and April 1 farmers can nominate a public school district in their community to apply for a $10,000 or $25,000 grant. Nominated school districts can then submit grant applications, through April 15 to compete for the funds to enhance math or science programs.

"Grow Rural Education is our way to partner with farmers across rural America to provide top-quality education to students in their local communities," says Michelle Insco, Monsanto Fund program officer. "Helping students acquire proficiency in math and science will assist in creating the next generation of problem solvers."

America's Farmers Grow Rural Education was launched nationally in 2012 after a successful pilot. Since then it has awarded over $7 million to more than 500 school districts, leading to innovations and improvements in math and science education across rural America. Iowa school districts have received $470,000 in grants from the program over the past three years.

The purpose is to enhance science and math education
School districts applying for a $10,000 grant compete against other school districts in the same USDA-appointed crop reporting district. School districts that apply for a $25,000 grant compete against schools that are located in the same state or designated region. All applications are evaluated based on merit, need and community support. The America's Farmers Grow Rural Education Advisory Council, a group of farmer leaders from across the country, will select the winning grant applications that will be announced in August.

America's Farmers Grow Rural Education is part of the America's Farmers initiative. Since 2010, this program has advocated on behalf of farmers and their efforts to meet society's needs through agriculture. Today, consumers are more interested than ever in agriculture and how food is grown. Consider joining the conversation and helping to raise awareness about agriculture. Learn more at fooddialogues.com/.

Farmers have opportunity to nominate local school districts
For more information about the America's Farmers Grow Rural Education program and to view the official rules, a list of eligible states, counties and crop reporting districts, visit GrowRuralEducation.com. The Monsanto Fund is the philanthropic arm of Monsanto Company. The fund is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening farm communities where farmers and Monsanto employees live and work. Visit monsantofund.org.

TAGS: USDA
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