The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

November 4, 2013

Grant awarded to Medina FFA

STAFF REPORTS
Medina Journal-Register

Medina Journal-Register — Medina Central School District was presented with a $25,000 grant during a special school board meeting last week.

The grant from America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, offers farmers the chance to nominate a local public school district, which can then compete for a grant of up to $25,000 to enhance math and/or science education.

More than 1,150 nominated school districts submitted applications. The Monsanto Fund is investing $2.3 million in the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program this year.

“We’ve seen how our neighboring district, Albion Central School, a 2012 Grow Rural Education grant winner, used the funds to positively impact local farmers as well as the students,” said Sharon Zacher, business administrator for Medina schools. “That involvement and interaction is crucial for both parties. Without the support of our nominating farmers and their belief in agriculture education, this project would not be possible.”

According to the National FFA organization, more than 800,000 students nationwide participate in agricultural education at school.

Medina will soon look to create an FFA Ag Science Research Center, which will house and support multiple species of livestock and small animals on campus. The center will feature a color, infrared wireless barn camera, a web-cam system, a hydroponic fodder system and a compost research training center.

Nominated school districts across the country submitted grant applications in the spring. During the summer, a panel of educators from ineligible districts reviewed and evaluated applications based on merit, need and community involvement. The strongest submissions were then sent to the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education Advisory Council, a panel of farmer-leaders, which selected the winners.

“A record number of America’s farmers stepped up this year to improve math and science education in farming communities across the country,” said Deborah Patterson, Monsanto Fund president. “By nominating their local school districts to compete for this grant opportunity, these framers demonstrated their dedication to growing the next generation.”

Since its inception in 2012, America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education has invested more than $4.8 million in rural school districts across the United States. The program has grown to include 1,271 eligible counties in 39 states. For more information, visit americasfarmers.com.

The program also offers winning farmers the chance to direct a $2,500 donation to a nonprofit organization in their county. Enrollment for 2014 Grow Communities is currently under way. Visit GrowCommunities.com to enter to win $2,500 for an Orleans County nonprofit organization.