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Iowa farmers to give $247,500 to grow their communities

By Staff | Oct 1, 2010

BOONE – The Monsanto Fund has announced the expansion of the America’s Farmers Grow Communities program, which gives eligible farmers the opportunity to win $2,500 for their community.

The AFGC program is being offered in more than 1,200 counties across 38 states. Eligible farmers can sign up today through Dec. 31 at www.growcommunities.com or by calling (877) 267-3332.

Winners will designate the nonprofit organization of their choice to receive the $2,500 award.

“More than 95 percent of the land in the United States is home to a rural community, and farmers work hard to support those communities,” said Brett Begemann, Monsanto Fund chairman. “We created the America’s Farmers Grow Communities program to celebrate that hard work. Every rural community has vital needs.

“It’s our goal for every $2,500 award to support rural community needs and cause a ripple effect of benefits along the way.”

In Iowa, $247,500 will be invested in rural communities in 99 counties. The program is intended to benefit nonprofit community groups such as ag youth organizations, schools and other civic groups important to America’s farmers.

“A donation of $2,500 could help a community garden to buy thousands of seeds, or help a school buy new computers,” Begemann said.

“It takes just a few minutes for a farmer to sign up online for a chance to really benefit an organization that’s important to them, and more importantly, benefit their friends, family and neighbors as a result of that donation.”

Monsanto Fund also will donate $1 to the United Way on behalf of each farmer who signs up for the AFGC program.

The $1 will be donated to the United Way chapter in the farmer’s home county. This offers yet another way for farmers to invest in the future of their rural communities.

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 Sept. 1 through Dec. 31.

Qualifying producers in all 33 counties within the Farm News coverage area are eligible.

The program is open to all qualifying farmers and no purchase is necessary in order to enter or win.

One winner will be randomly selected for each of Iowa’s 99 participating counties. Monsanto Fund will announce winning farmers and recipient organizations by February 2011.

Visit www.growcommunities.com to sign up or to learn more about the 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 Iowa’s society.

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