What is America’s Farmers Grow Rural EducationSM?
America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, helps farmers positively impact their communities by supporting rural school districts. This program gives eligible 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.
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.
Is this a new program?
This is the second annual America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education after a successful pilot in 2011 and launch to 1,245 counties in 2012. More than 61,000 farmers demonstrated their support for education by nominating 3,842 school districts. The number of eligible counties for 2013 has expanded to 1,271. Grants worth $2.3 million were awarded to 176 grant recipients.
How does a farmer nominate a public school district?
The nomination process is simple. Eligible farmers can fill out a short nomination form at GrowRuralEducation.com or call 1-877-267-3332. A printed copy of the entry form and rules are available on this website or by calling the number. Completed entries can be mailed to America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education, 914 Spruce Street, St. Louis, MO 63102. The nomination period is open Jan. 7, 2013, through April 15, 2013. Once nominated, schools have until April 30, 2013, to submit their grant application.
Who can nominate a school district?
Farmers who live or farm in an eligible county can nominate a school district. Visit GrowRuralEducation.com for a list of eligible counties. No purchase is necessary to nominate a school district, and the farmer does not have to be a Monsanto Company customer. Farmers must be 21 years old or older and be 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 tomatoes, peppers and/or cucumbers grown in protected culture.
Which school districts can farmers nominate?
Eligible farmers can nominate rural public school districts that serve the communities in their USDA appointed Crop Reporting District (CRD). CRD maps are available at GrowRuralEducation.com. Farmers will be able to select their school district from a list of eligible districts.
What happens after a farmer nominates the public school district?
Once a farmer nominates a school district, the school district is notified by the Monsanto Fund that it is eligible to compete for a grant through this program and encouraged to submit an application. Farmers also can contact the administrator to inform the school district it has been nominated and encourage them to submit an application. 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 district’s application. Farmers should encourage other farmers to nominate their school district, too.
How does a school apply for a grant?
Once nominated by a local farmer, school district administrators are eligible to submit an online application for either a $10,000 or $25,000 grant to enhance the school district’s math and/or science curriculum. The application must be received by April 30, 2013.
How many grants will be awarded?
The Monsanto Fund will award one $10,000 grant in each of the eligible CRDs. An additional 22 grants of $25,000 will be awarded to one eligible school district in each state or designated region, as described in Section 14 of the contest’s official rules. Visit GrowRuralEducation.com for a list of states and regions.
How will the school districts’ applications be evaluated?
School districts that submit an application for a $10,000 grant will compete against other school districts that are located in its CRD. CRDs with fewer than five eligible school districts will compete against each other. School districts that submit an application for a $25,000 grant will compete against schools that are located in its state or designated region. Each CRD could have one school that receives a $10,000 grant, and it is possible that another school in the same CRD may be awarded a $25,000 grant. Grants will be awarded based on merit, need and community support. The America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education Advisory Council, a group of 30 farmers from across the country, will select the winning grant applications.
When will the awards be made?
The Monsanto Fund will announce grant recipients by the end of August 2013. Overall, the program will donate $2.3 million to school districts in 39 states.
Why did you choose only these counties?
Public school districts in every rural county deserve this type of support. These counties were selected based on crop parameters from the January 2012 USDA report. Farmers must reside in eligible counties where a minimum of 30,000 acres of corn and/or soybeans and/or cotton and/or open field vegetables are planted each year.
Can a school district win more than once?
Yes. Eligible farmers are able to sign up again, and previous winning school districts are eligible to apply for another grant as well.
Is this program a replacement for America’s Farmers Grow Communities?
No. America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education is a separate program from America’s Farmers Grow Communities. America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education focuses solely on supporting rural school districts. America’s Farmers Grow Communities allows eligible farmers to register for a chance to win $2,500 to donate to their favorite community nonprofit organization. Visit GrowCommunities.com for additional information on America’s Farmers Grow Communities and for a full list of eligible counties, school districts and Crop Reporting Districts.
Visit GrowRuralEducation.com for a full list of eligible counties, school districts and Crop Reporting Districts.