As the leaves on trees begin to change and evenings become shorter, farmers throughout Kansas are busy harvesting crops. While they are hard at work in the fields, farmers are also working hard to make a positive impact in their communities by participating in Monsanto Fund’s America’s Farmers Grow CommunitiesSM . This program offers farmers in more than 1,200 counties across 38 states, the unique opportunity to designate a $2,500 donation to their favorite local non-profit organization.
“Every little bit helps in these small towns,” said Chris Pachta, a Belleville, Kan. farmer who won $2,500 for Republic County FFA in the previous America’s Farmers Grow Communities pilot. “There’s only so much money to go around.”
The program benefits non-profit community groups such as agriculture youth organizations, schools and other civic groups in an effort to strengthen rural America. In Kansas, we expect to donate more than $202,000 in 81 counties. Whatever the need, $2,500 could mean saving a school program facing budget cuts or helping a volunteer fire department purchase new safety equipment.
“We created the America’s Farmers Grow Communities program to show the Monsanto Fund’s appreciation for all the American farmer does,” said Deborah Patterson, Monsanto Fund President. “Just one donation can touch the lives of so many people in the community. The positive impact reaches the organization, the farmer and, most importantly, the community as a whole.”
Farmers can apply online at www.growcommunities.com or by calling 1.877.267.3332. Farmers, age 21 and over, who are actively engaged in farming a minimum of 250 acres of corn, soybeans and/or cotton, or 40 acres of open field vegetables, or at least 10 acres of tomatoes, peppers and/or cucumbers grown in protected culture, are eligible. The application period runs August 31 through December 31, 2010.
The program is open to qualifying farmers, and no purchase is necessary in order to enter or win. In Kansas, one winner will be drawn from each of the state’s 81 participating counties. Monsanto Fund will announce winning farmers and recipient organizations in February 2011.
Eligible counties in Kansas include Allen, Anderson, Atchison, Barton, Bourbon, Brown, Butler, Cherokee, Cheyenne, Clay, Cloud, Coffey, Cowley, Crawford, Decatur, Dickinson, Doniphan, Douglas, Edwards, Finney, Ford, Franklin, Gove, Graham, Grant, Gray, Greeley, Greenwood, Harvey, Haskell, Jackson, Jefferson, Jewell, Johnson, Kearny, Kiowa, Labette, Leavenworth, Linn, Logan, Lyon, Marion, Marshall, McPherson, Meade, Miami, Mitchell, Montgomery, Morris, Nemaha, Neosho, Norton, Osage, Ottawa, Pawnee, Phillips, Pottawatomie, Pratt, Rawlins, Reno, Republic, Rice, Riley, Saline, Scott, Sedgwick, Seward, Shawnee, Sheridan, Sherman, Smith, Stafford, Stanton, Stevens, Sumner, Thomas, Wabaunsee, Wallace, Washington, Wichita, and Wilson.
Visit www.growcommunities.com to sign up and to learn more about the America’s Farmers Grow Communities program. The program is part of a broad commitment by Monsanto Fund to invest in farm communities, in order to highlight the important contributions farmers make every day to our society. To obtain a copy of the official rules for this program, visit www.growcommunities.com or send a written request to Eileen Jensen, 914 Spruce St., St. Louis, MO 63102.