Promote math and science through America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education

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Farm Forum

ST. LOUIS – Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education continues to be a priority for U.S. school districts. Investing now is vitally important, as the fastest-growing occupations require STEM proficiency. However, securing financial support to expand curricula and provide hands-on learning opportunities can be challenging, especially in rural areas. Public school districts in rural communities can help prepare their students for future academic and career success by applying for $2.3 million in math or science grants from America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund.

It all starts with the farmers in those communities. Between now and April 1, 2015, farmers can nominate a public school district in their community to apply for a $10,000 or $25,000 grant. Nominated school districts can then submit grant applications, through April 15, 2015, to compete for the funds to enhance their math or science programs.

“Grow Rural Education is our way to partner with farmers across rural America to provide top-quality education to students in their local communities,” said Michelle Insco, Monsanto Fund program officer. “Helping students acquire proficiency in math and science will assist in creating the next generation of problem solvers.”

America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education launched nationally in 2012 after a successful pilot. Since that time, it has awarded over $7 million to more than 500 school districts, leading to innovations and improvements in math and science education across rural America. School districts in the Dakotas have received $490,000 in grants from the program over the past three years.

School districts that apply for a $10,000 grant compete against other school districts in the same USDA-appointed Crop Reporting District (CRD). School districts that apply for a $25,000 grant compete against schools that are located in the same state or designated region. All applications will be evaluated based on merit, need and community support. The America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education Advisory Council, a group of farmer leaders from across the country, will select the winning grant applications that will be announced in August.

America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education is part of the America’s Farmers initiative. Since 2010, the America’s Farmers campaign and programs have advocated on behalf of farmers and their efforts to meet society’s needs through agriculture. Today, consumers are more interested than ever in agriculture and how food is grown. Consider joining the conversation and helping to raise awareness about agriculture. Learn more at FoodDialogues.com.

For more information about the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program and to view the official rules, a list of eligible states, counties and CRDs, visit www.GrowRuralEducation.com.