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Ray farmer can designate non-profit for $2,500 Monsanto grant

During the season of giving, a Ray County farmer can get into the holiday spirit by signing up to win $2,500 for his or her favorite local nonprofit organizations through America’s Farmers Grow Communities, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund. One farmer in each of Missouri’s 71 participating counties will win.
Those farmers can share their holiday cheer with food pantries, fire departments, students at local schools and others by signing up and designating an organization in their community.
Earlier this year, Sally and Ritchie Vick of Orrick were chosen Ray County’s recipients for 2010. The Vicks directed that the $2,500 be donated to the Orrick Community Center.
Two years ago, Norborne-area farmer Cody Brock chose the Stet Rural Protection Fire District as his recipient.
Although FFA, 4-H and schools have recently been popular recipients in Missouri, the grants have also been directed to a city park, libraries, a soccer club, fire protection districts and a historical society and other organizations.
With the country mired in a recession, feeding families can become a priority. And while food pantries give food to the hungry all year round, the need for it can be magnified around the holidays.
“We are committed to helping those in our rural community attain a higher nutritional standard than they could without some assistance,” said Eugene Keats, president of the Living Hope Food Pantry board. “No community is immune to hunger, and Living Hope saves struggling families from having to choose between buying food and providing other necessities for their family. This donation will be a major boost in helping to nourish DeKalb County’s families, children, and seniors toward a better life and strengthening our community.”
In Ray County, the Salvation Army, Harvester’s and several churches provide food for the needy.
This year, the Monsanto program has expanded to include a total of 1,245 counties nationally. The addition of 41 new counties will result in an additional $102,500 in donations. In Missouri, the Monsanto Fund will invest a total of $177,500 toward nonprofit organizations in rural communities.
Now through Nov. 30, farmers can apply online at www.growcommunities.com, or call 1-877-267-3332 to apply by phone. To further enhance the investment in rural communities, a $1 donation will be made to local United Way chapters for each farmer who signs up. Farmers who meet program eligibility requirements may enter regardless of involvement with previous Grow Communities programs. One winner will be selected at random from each of the 1,245 eligible counties, and the Monsanto Fund will announce winning farmers and recipient nonprofits in January 2012.
Eligible counties in Missouri include Adair, Andrew, Atchison, Audrain, Barton, Bates, Benton, Bollinger, Boone, Buchanan, Butler, Caldwell, Callaway, Cape Girardeau, Carroll, Cass, Chariton, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Cooper, Dade, Daviess, De Kalb, Dunklin, Franklin, Gentry, Grundy, Harrison, Henry, Holt, Howard, Jackson, Jasper, Johnson, Knox, Lafayette, Lewis, Lincoln, Linn, Livingston, Macon, Marion, Mercer, Mississippi, Moniteau, Monroe, Montgomery, New Madrid, Nodaway, Pemiscot, Perry, Pettis, Pike, Platte, Putnam, Ralls, Randolph, Ray, Saline, Scotland, Scott, Shelby, St. Charles, St. Clair, Ste. Genevieve, Stoddard, Sullivan, Vernon, Warren and Worth.
Visit www.growcommunities.com to sign up and to learn more about America’s Farmers Grow Communities. This program is part of a broad commitment by Monsanto Fund to invest in farm communities, in order to highlight the important contributions farmers make every day to our society.

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