Students can learn harvesting techniques and agricultural sustainability through greenhouses. These hands-on opportunities mold students into agriculture industry leaders who will help meet the challenges of our growing population. Thanks to the support of local farmers and America's Farmers Grow Rural Education?, North Tama County Community School District received a $10,000 grant to fund a renewable energy-powered greenhouse, which will serve as an instructional tool for all junior high math and science classes.
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.
"Grow Rural Education is developing students' math and science skills, which will ultimately help them become leaders of their generation," said Paul Rea, North Tama County High School principal. "The greenhouse will provide an opportunity for students to have hands-on experiences to create a deeper understanding of agricultural concepts."
Above, North Tama officials and Monsanto representatives pose with the check during halftime of Friday’s football game. For more information on the grant and the greenhouse the funds will help repair, see the story below — and be sure to check out page 5 of this issue for a story on the greenhouse and the FFA written by Caitlin Whitmore of North Tama’s Walnut Street Journal!
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.
"The 39 farmer nominations show just how closely the agriculture sector of our community is tied to the school," Rea said. "Our farmers' continued support is vital to our students' future success, both in school and life."
North Tama County Community School District was presented with the $10,000 grant at halftime of its home football game on Friday, Oct. 12.
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.