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Farmers can nominate schools for STEM grants


Demand for jobs that require science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills are expected to continue growing. Developing these skills can lead to a successful career in agriculture and other industries.

To help educators enhance their STEM curriculum and excite their students about these subjects, America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education is partnering with farmers across the country.

The Grow Rural Education program seeks to help strengthen rural public school districts through $15,000 STEM grants.

Since 2010, America’s Farmers have awarded more than $53 million to worthy causes, students and public schools across the country.

Because farmers know the needs of their communities, the America’s Farmers programs rely on them to help identify the most worthy causes.

For the Grow Rural Education program, farmers nominate a local public school to apply for one of the grants by visiting AmericasFarmers.com.

The process takes less than five minutes and has strengthened schools by bringing together students, teachers, farmers and community members to make STEM programs more engaging.

Nominations must be submitted by April 1.

After the school district receives a nomination, they will be notified and teachers are encouraged to submit a grant application describing their desired STEM project by April 15.

A panel of qualified math and science teachers will review the applications and select the finalists.

The program’s Farmer Advisory Council, consisting of about 30 farming leaders from across the country, will then select the winning school districts.

The types of projects that have received funding in previous years include greenhouses, purchasing or updating laboratory equipment, drones, printers and other technology in the classroom.

Welding equipment has also been funded as more students purse trade-focused careers.

“Whether a student plans to begin a career immediately after high school or enroll in a college or trade school, it has become increasingly important for them to have a solid STEM foundation,” Al Mitchell, Bayer Fund president, said. “Grow Rural Education is unique because we partner with farmers throughout the duration of the program, from the nomination process to selecting grant-winning schools. Through this partnership, we’re inspiring students, transforming classrooms and strengthening rural school districts with STEM grants.”

In the fall, farmers can enroll in the Grow Communities program for the chance to direct a $2,500 donation to a local eligible nonprofit organization, and the Grow Ag Leaders program will begin accepting applications for $1,500 scholarships for students pursuing an education in agriculture-related fields.

Since its inception in 2011, the Grow Rural Education program has awarded more than $18 million in grants to over 1,000 schools nationwide.

“Farmers saw a need in their rural communities to provide these enhanced resources in classrooms, because we see more and more today that technology is ever-changing,” Erin Glarner, community outreach manager for Bayer, said. “In agriculture, we also see more advances in technology, so we need to provide resources in classrooms to equip students for careers in ag-related fields.”

In Texas alone, more than $975,000 has been awarded to local public schools.

Last year, nine Texas school districts received funds through the program.

To learn more about the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program, visit AmericasFarmers.com.

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