Louisiana farmers support rural organizations through third-annual America’s Farmers Grow Communities

Drought disaster areas receive additional funding

ST. LOUIS (August 8, 2012) – Farmers across the country work hard to build their businesses that help fuel their rural communities. For the third consecutive year, America’s Farmers Grow Communities SM, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, will give farmers the opportunity to win a $2,500 donation for their favorite local nonprofit organization. This year, the program expands to 26 new counties and will provide an online platform to aid community involvement.

David Watson, Grow Communities winner from Madison Parish, La., understands firsthand how $2,500 can impact a nonprofit organization.

“Volunteer rural fire service is under-appreciated,” Watson said. “They put their lives on the line while taking care of everyone, and are truly deserving of this donation.”

With more than 90 percent of the U.S. corn and soy production currently impacted by the drought, a farmer’s ability to invest in his or her community is affected. To help, the Monsanto Fund will provide additional financial support. Winning farmers from counties that have been declared natural disaster areas by the USDA will have an opportunity to direct an additional $2,500 donation to a local non-profit to address community needs that have surfaced due to the drought. To date, nearly 700 counties have been declared disasters areas within the 1,271 eligible Grow Communities counties.

“We are committed to supporting farmers and the rural communities in which they live and work,” said Deborah Patterson, Monsanto Fund president. “Through Grow Communities and the additional disaster relief funding, we hope to positively impact the people and places that are affected by this devastating drought.”

Communities Can Plant Their Ideas with Farmers

Since the inception of America’s Farmers Grow Communities, thousands of farmers have nominated their favorite local nonprofit groups, such as FFA chapters, schools, fire departments, local food pantries or other civic groups. This year, rural community members can suggest an idea or initiative that needs funding in their local community. Eligible farmers may review the ideas and consider them in their application. Community members who wish to plant an idea and encourage farmers to support their cause can do so at www.growcommunities.com.

Now through November 30, 2012, eligible farmers can apply online, and rural community members can submit their ideas at www.growcommunities.com or by calling 1-877-267-3332. The Monsanto Fund will select one winner at random from each of the eligible counties and announce winning farmers and recipient nonprofits in January 2013.

Eligible parishes in Louisiana include: Acadia, Avoyelles, Caddo, Catahoula, Concordia, East Carroll, Franklin, Madison, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Pointe Coupee, Rapides, Richland, Saint Landry, Tensas and West Carroll.

America’s Farmers Grow Communities is sponsored by the Monsanto Fund to highlight the important contributions farmers make everyday to our society and to help them positively impact their communities. This program is part of the Monsanto Fund’s overall effort to support rural America. Another program that is part of this effort is America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education, giving farmers the opportunity to nominate their local public school district to apply for a grant up to $25,000. Winners of the first annual Grow Rural Education program will be announced on August 28.

For more information about these programs and to view the official rules, visit www.americasfarmers.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.

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