James Andrew of Jefferson, Iowa, has been selected to represent Iowa on the America's Farmers Grow Rural Education Advisory Council, a board of 26 farmer leaders that determines the rural school district recipients of the America's Farmers Grow Rural Education grants. This two-year assignment allows farmers on the council to help select which school districts are most deserving of $10,000 or $25,000 grants.
"America's farmers have told us that nothing is more important than growing the next generation, so the Monsanto Fund created America's Farmers Grow Rural Education as a way to help farmers improve school districts in their rural communities," says Linda Arnold, Monsanto customer advocacy lead. "We asked these 26 farmer leaders to represent the farmers in their state in the decision of how best to award the grant money."
Advisory council to help distribute more than $2.3 million to rural school districts
The America's Farmers Grow Rural Education Advisory Council is made up of farmer leaders from across the country, who are actively engaged in their local communities through various leadership positions, such as a member of the local School Board, an active Farm Bureau leader or a member of an educational organization or committee within various organizations. The council is responsible for reviewing the top grant applications to select the winning school district in each USDA-appointed Crop Reporting District (CRD). These individuals are passionate about both agriculture and education, which is essential when choosing the best grant for each CRD.
"The farmers on the Advisory Council are leaders in their rural communities," says Arnold. "Their passion for both agriculture and education make them well-suited to help us review the grant applications."
Andrew was chosen for his exemplary experience with state and national farm commodity groups including Iowa Corn Growers, Iowa Soybean Association, American Soybean Association and U.S. Grains Council. He cares deeply about the quality of education in his community and is dedicated to helping grow and develop local students. One way to do this is through increasing learning opportunities through additional funding and education projects. Andrew hopes to make a difference for not only local students, but schools across the state through the advisory council.
"I believe in America's Farmers Grow Rural Education," Andrew says. "My work in the soybean and biotech arena has convinced me of the future need for continuing science and math research by our high school graduates in the genetics and products is needed to keep America in the lead to feed an ever-growing and hungry world."
America's Farmers Grow Rural Education, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, is a new program that gives farmers the opportunity to nominate a public school district in their rural community to compete for a grant of either $10,000 or $25,000. The Monsanto Fund will award 199 grants this year. There will be 177 $10,000 grants and 22 grants of $25,000 awarded. Visit www.growruraleducation.com to see a complete list of eligible states and regions. Grants will be awarded based on merit, need and community support. Overall, the Monsanto Fund will donate more than $2.3 million to school districts in 39 states through this program.
The program was piloted in 165 eligible counties in Minnesota and Illinois, in which more than 11,000 farmers nominated their schools. The Monsanto Fund donated more than $266,000 in total to local school districts in nine CRDs in Illinois and seven CRDs in Minnesota in 2011.
America's Farmers Grow Rural Education is part of a broad commitment by the Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of Monsanto Company, to support farming communities. Visit growruraleducation.com for a complete listing of school districts, counties and more information about America's Farmers Grow Rural Education.
About Monsanto Fund The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the farm communities where farmers and Monsanto Company employees live and work. Visit the Monsanto Fund at www.monsantofund.org.