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Rural school districts receive grants

Rural schools help grow the next generation by planting seeds of knowledge, passion and imagination in the youth of rural America. Now, local farmers and America's Farmers Grow Rural Education are helping to prepare the next generation of industry leaders to meet the challenges that come with feeding an ever increasing population.

America's Farmers Grow Rural Education, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, gives farmers the opportunity to nominate a public school district in their community to compete for a merit based grant of either $10,000 or $25,000 to enhance education in the areas of math and/or science. More than 1,000 nominated school districts submitted applications. The Monsanto Fund will invest $2.3 million in 176 rural schools through this program.

"School districts were innovative and creative in their applications," said Deborah Patterson, the 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 finalists were chosen by math and science teachers from ineligible school districts. The America's Farmers Grow Rural Education Advisory Council, a group of 26 prominent farmers from across the country, then reviewed the finalists' applications and selected the winners.

There were 176 school districts in 35 states that received grants of up to $25,000. Winners are posted at www.growruraleducation.com and below. 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 communities. Now, the program has expanded to 1,245 eligible counties in 39 states.

America's Farmers Grow Rural Education is sponsored by the Monsanto Fund to help farmers positively impact their communities and support local rural school districts. This program is part of the Monsanto Fund's overall effort to support rural education and communities. Another program that is part of this effort is America's Farmers Grow Communities, which gives farmers the opportunity to direct a $2,500 donation to their favorite community nonprofit organization in their county. Farmers can participate in this program through Nov. 30 by visiting growcommunities.com.

School districts in the High Plains Journal and Midwest Ag Journal coverage area include the following:

Arkansas--Des Arc School District, Estem Elementary Charter, Monticello School District, Southside High School, Texarkana School District, Valley View School District

Colorado--Frenchman School District Re-3, Limon School District, No. Re 4J, Re-1 Valley School District, Walsh School District No. Re-1

Iowa--George Little Rock Community Schools, Hampton-Dumont Community School District, Lamoni Community School District, Logan-Magnolia School District, Mormon Trail Community School District, New Hampton, New London Community School District, North Tama County Community School District, Northeast Community School District, Riceville Community School District, Schleswig Community School District, Sidney Community School District

Kansas--Bucklin, Girard USD 248, Hoxie Community Schools USD 412, Royal Valley, Scott County Schools, Sedgwick Public Schools, Sterling USD376, Wamego, Washington County Schools, Wellsville-USD 289

Minnesota--Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa Schools, Farmington Area Public Schools, Glacial Hills Elementary, Greenbush-Middle River School District, Lakeview Public Schools, Lancaster Public School District, N.R.H.E.G. School District, United South Central Independent School District 2134

Missouri--Community R-VI School District, Johnson Co. R-VII, Liberal R-II, Lone Jack C-6, Miami R-I School District, Monroe City R-I, Northeast Nodaway Co. R-V, Oak Ridge R-VI, Orrick, Pleasant View R-VI, Strain-Japan R-XVI

Nebraska--Cambridge Public Schools, Falls City Public Schools, Hayes Center Public Schools, Lyons-Decatur Northeast Schools, Mitchell Public Schools, Northwest Public Schools, Osceola Public Schools, Rock County Public Schools, Thayer Central Community Schools

Oklahoma--Garber Public School , Navajo Public School

South Dakota--Dell Rapids School District 49-3, Milbank High School-01, Parker School District, Wolsey-Wessington School District 20-6

Texas--Brownsville ISD, Dalhart ISD, Edna ISD, Hillsboro ISD, Ira ISD, Levelland ISD, Memphis ISD, Southland ISD, Wall ISD

Date: 9/17/2012



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