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Program helps grow rural communities through nonprofits


Texas farmers and ranchers have the opportunity to win a $2,500 donation for a nonprofit of their choice through America’s Farmers Grow Communities program.

The program, which began in 2010 under Monsanto Company, awards nonprofits with a focus on community growth and development by investing in their missions. The Bayer Fund is now the sponsor of the program.

Farmers recognize the importance that youth, school and public organizations play in their community, and this program rewards those groups, Bayer Community Outreach Manager Angie Allen said.

“The Bayer Fund focuses on strengthening communities where farmers and employees live and work,” Allen said. “Rural communities are the basis of our business, so it’s important that we support farmers and their communities.”

In total, more than $33 million has been donated to thousands of organizations across rural America. Of that, more than $1.8 million have been directed to nonprofits across the Lone Star State, Allen said.

Several Texas communities have benefitted from the Grow Communities program.

Borden County 4-H, Denver City FFA, Calhoun County’s Harvest Kitchen and the Turkey Volunteer Fire Department are just a few of the nonprofits who have received awards from the program.

Interested farmers have until Nov. 1 to nominate a nonprofit for the program. Officials will then select 1,000 farmers at random and begin contacting them to verify their eligibility.

Farmers must be 21-years-old or older and actively engage in farming at least 250 acres of any crop.

Nominated organizations must be either 504(c)3 or 170(c) status. While there are stipulations to which nonprofits can receiving awards, those statuses encompass most organizations, Allen said.

“There’s rarely an organization that we can’t fund,” she said.

Examples of nonprofit organizations that are eligible include food banks, emergency response organizations, community enrichment and youth agricultural programs, among many others.

Eligible farmers can enroll in the program online at www.americasfarmers.com/grow-communities or by calling 877.267.3332.

Winners will be announced in January 2020.

“Farmers truly understand the needs of their communities, which is why we partner with them to help identify the local eligible nonprofits that make a difference,” said Al Mitchell, Bayer Fund president. “Since Grow Communities began, we have heard countless stories about how the $2,500 donations have made a positive impact on the nonprofits and the people they serve, and we are excited to team with farmers once again this year.”

Grow Communities is part of a larger initiative called America’s Farmers. The America’s Farmers campaign highlights the importance of modern U.S. agriculture through communications and community outreach programs that partner with farmers to impact rural America.

Grow Communities is one of three programs America’s Farmers provides to grow rural America.

Grow Rural Education works with farmers and ranchers to nominate rural public school districts to compete for STEM grants. These grants support math and science education by funding projects like technology upgrades, greenhouses and laboratory equipment.

Grow Ag Leaders encourages rural youth to remain in agriculture and provides $1,500 scholarships to support their education in agricultural-related fields of study.

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