Fleetwood and Oley finalists for $25,000 grant

Winning a grant of $10,000 or $25,000 can enhance educational opportunities for a school district in a rural community.

Fleetwood Area School District and Oley Valley School District were recently named as finalists to receive consideration for an America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education grant. These school districts are two of 19 finalists in Pennsylvania.

“We received so many outstanding applications from rural school districts across the county,” said Deborah Patterson, President, Monsanto Fund. “The finalists truly went above and beyond what was expected and stand out as top tier choices.”

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More than 61,000 farmers shared their passion for rural education by nominating more than half the eligible school districts. Finalist schools were chosen for their program ideas and funding needs. These school districts also benefited from community support through numerous farmer nominations which strengthened the district’s application.

The grant review process includes an online application scoring system based on merit, need and community support; a review by science and math teachers from ineligible school districts; and a farmer advisory council.

Now that the finalists have been chosen, the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education Advisory Council, a group of 26 farmer leaders from across the country, will select the winning grant applications. In 2012, the Monsanto Fund plans to award nearly $2.3 million to eligible school districts across the country.

To see the full list of finalists visit GrowRuralEducation.com.

America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education started with a successful pilot in Illinois and Minnesota, in which farmers were given the opportunity to nominate a public school district in 165 eligible counties in those two states. The Monsanto Fund awarded more than $266,000 to local schools in 16 CRDs. Now, the program has expanded to 1,245 eligible counties in 39 states.

America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education is sponsored by the Monsanto Fund to help farmers positively impact their communities and support local rural school districts. This program is part of the Monsanto Fund’s overall effort to support rural education and communities. Another program that is part of this effort is America’s Farmers Grow Communities, giving farmers the opportunity to enter to win $2,500 to donate to their favorite community nonprofit organization in their county. Participate in this program between Aug. 1 and Nov. 30 by visiting growcommunities.com.