MANHEIM, Pa. – According to The National FFA Organization, more than 10,000 agriculture teachers deliver an innovative, cutting-edge and integrated curriculum to students, and Manheim Central School District is no exception. Thanks to the support of local farmers and America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education, Manheim Central School District received a $10,000 grant to purchase laptop computers, a multipurpose arc welder and materials to build a green roof.
America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, gives farmers the opportunity to nominate a public school district in their community to compete for a grant of either $10,000 or $25,000 to enhance education in the areas of math and/or science. More than 1,000 nominated school districts submitted applications. The Monsanto Fund will invest $2.3 million into rural education through this program.
“The America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education grant is a significant financial boost to our Manheim Central Agriculture program and more importantly, our vocational agriculture students,” said Deb Siebert, Manheim Central High School’s lead agriculture education program teacher. “The FFA motto says ‘Learning to Do, Doing to Learn.’ Purchasing computers, a green roof and a welder to be used by the rural youth enrolled in our Manheim Central Agriculture Education program will help us do just that.”
After being nominated by local farmers, school districts completed an online application, and finalists were chosen by math and science teachers from ineligible school districts. The America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education Advisory Council, a group of 26 prominent farmers from across the country, then reviewed the finalists’ applications and selected the winners.
“My husband and I have the highest regard for Manheim Central School District and its excellent Agriculture department reputation,” said Doreen Shearer, a nominating farmer. “We have three children that graduated from Manheim Central who still work in agriculture. With the many budget cuts, this grant is a tremendous help in purchasing equipment and tools for ag classes.”
Manheim Central School District was presented with the $10,000 grant during a presentation at the 59th Annual Manheim Community Farm Show opening ceremony on Oct. 8.
America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education started with a successful pilot in Illinois and Minnesota in 2011, 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 helps farmers positively impact their communities and supports 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, which gives winning farmers the opportunity to direct a $2,500 donation to their favorite community nonprofit organization in their county. Farmers can participate in this program through Nov. 30, 2012 by visiting www.growcommunities.com.
About the Monsanto Fund
The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the farm communities where farmers and Monsanto Company employees live and work. Visit the Monsanto Fund at www.monsantofund.org.