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Farmers invited to help math, science programs in schools

For the second consecutive year, America's Farmers Grow Rural Education, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, will give Minnesota farmers the opportunity to enhance math and science programs in their communities.

Now until April 15, 2013, farmers can nominate a local public school district to compete for a merit-based grant of up to $25,000. Administrators of nominated school districts may then submit grant applications through April 30, 2013. This year, the program expands to 26 new counties, for a total of 1,271 eligible counties across 39 states.

The America's Farmers Grow Rural Education program is part of a broad commitment by the Monsanto Fund to highlight the important contributions farmers make every day to society. Following a successful pilot in Minnesota and Illinois, America's Farmers Grow Rural Education debuted nationally last year, awarding $2.3 million to school districts coast to coast.

"We believe engaging rural youth in their math and science studies lays the foundation for a bright future," said Deborah Patterson, Monsanto Fund president. "This generation is the future of agriculture, and funding from the Grow Rural Education program helps ensure they are ready to be the next great leaders."

Eligible farmers can nominate their favorite public school district by visiting www.GrowRuralEducation.com and following the "Nominate Now" link on the top, left-hand corner of the page. Farmers may also nominate a school district by calling 1-877-267-3332.

In 2012, the following Minnesota school districts received a total of $110,000 to enhance math and science curriculums:

--N.R.H.E.G School District receiving $25,000

--United South Central Independent School District, $10,000

--Lancaster Public School District, $10,000

--Farmington Area Public Schools, $10,000

--Glacial Hills Elementary, $10,000

--Lakeview Public Schools, $10,000

--Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa Schools, $10,000

"We definitely want to thank our farmers for their help and dedication to their schools," said Caleb Drexler-Booth, Farmington teaching and learning coordinator. "We see ourselves as being in partnership with our community. Receiving this grant is another example of that partnership in action."

Grants will be awarded by the Monsanto Fund based on merit, need and community support. The America's Farmers Grow Rural Education Advisory Council, a group of 30 farmer leaders from across the country, will select the winning grant applications. Advisory Council members were selected based on their passion for agriculture and education, as well as experience in rural school districts.

America's Farmers Grow Rural Education is part of the Monsanto Fund's overall effort to strengthen America's farming communities. Another program that is part of this effort is America's Farmers Grow Communities, which gives winning farmers the opportunity to direct a $2,500 donation to a community nonprofit organization in their county.

For more information about the America's Farmers Grow Rural Education program and to view the official rules, visit www.GrowRuralEducation.com. To read more about the 2013 Grow Rural Education launch, and to view the 2013 launch video, visit http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/1/prweb10308518.htm.

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