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Nebraska farmers give back to their community PDF Print E-mail

Thanks to Nebraska farmers, $2,500 donations are available for local eligible charities through America’s Farmers Grow CommunitiesSM program

The first Thanksgiving, celebrated in Plymouth, Mass., marks an important milestone for American agriculture. It was a time when people gathered together to share the bounty of the land and to celebrate their new-found sense of community and life in America.

While much has changed since that first Thanksgiving, the sense of community and appreciation for agricultural production are still integral components of the holiday. And because of farmers, both of those ideals are still upheld.

The America’s Farmers Grow CommunitiesSM program–an initiative made possible by the Monsanto Fund –celebrates Nebraska farmers that feed, clothe and grow their communities everyday.

This program allows farmers to give back to those organizations that they value most with the opportunity to direct $2,500 to their favorite local nonprofit organization, like the local FFA chapter, library, fire department or elementary school.

Now, with the expansion of Grow Communities, Nebraska farmers in 76 counties have until Dec. 31, to enroll and potentially impact their hometowns in a monumental way.

Nearly $1.2 million dollars already has been donated in 10 states through two pilot programs, impacting a variety of rural community programs like a small town food pantry in Harlan County, Neb.

“We plan to use the Monsanto Fund award to buy food as the opportunity presents itself and keep a variety of nutrition available,” said Shirley Daire, Vice President of the Harlan County Caring Cupboard, Inc. “It is exciting to know how much value your gift will add to the health and well-being of our families in Harlan County.”

Youth agricultural programs like 4-H and FFA also were common recipients and received more than $432,000 in donations. And, another roughly $430,000 was contributed to much needed improvements in community emergency services, community groups and health care initiatives.

Aside from the local organization selected to win the $2,500 benefitting, the local United Way chapters will receive a $1 donation from the Monsanto Fund with each farmer sign up, which provides yet another opportunity for farmers to make a difference in their communities, just by signing up.

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 program is open to qualifying farmers, and no purchase is necessary in order to enter or win. In Nebraska, one winner will be drawn from each of the state’s 76 participating counties. Monsanto Fund will announce winning farmers and recipient organizations in February 2011.

Eligible counties in Nebraska include Adams, Antelope, Boone, Box Butte, Boyd, Brown, Buffalo, Burt, Butler, Cass, Cedar, Chase, Cheyenne, Clay, Colfax, Cuming, Custer, Dakota, Dawson, Dixon, Dodge, Douglas, Dundy, Fillmore, Franklin, Frontier, Furnas, Gage, Gosper, Greeley, Hall, Hamilton, Harlan, Hayes, Hitchcock, Holt, Howard, Jefferson, Johnson, Kearney, Keith, Knox, Lancaster, Lincoln, Madison, Merrick, Morrill, Nance, Nemaha, Nuckolls, Otoe, Pawnee, Perkins, Phelps, Pierce, Platte, Polk, Red Willow, Richardson, Rock, Saline, Sarpy, Saunders, Scotts Bluff, Seward, Sheridan, Sherman, Stanton, Thayer, Thurston, Valley, Washington, Wayne, Webster, Wheeler and York.

Visit www.growcommunities.com to sign up and to learn more about the America’s Farmers Grow Communities program.

The project 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 view 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.