America's Farmers Grow Rural EducationSM

“The America's Farmers Grow Rural Education program is a way to help school districts with some of their unmet needs. We are proud to support our educational system and help grow the next generation.”

— Deborah Patterson
Monsanto Fund president

In the U.S., every 26 seconds a student drops out of high school.

Sixty-eight percent of 8th graders can’t read at grade level.

American students ranked 25th in math and 21st in science, compared to 30 industrialized nations.

Rural communities face these challenges as much as the nation’s cities, but with even fewer resources than the urban areas. And more than 150,000 farm families call rural America home. That’s why America’s Farmers Grow Rural EducationSM is giving farmers across the U.S. the opportunity to help support 14 million students in rural America.


Hear the Winners’ Stories

In 2011,the Monsanto Fund piloted this program in Illinois and Minnesota. Eleven thousand farmers nominated their area schools, and 16 school districts were awarded more than $266,000.

Other recipients of America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education grants have also seen impacts in their schools.

“The America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program is a way to help school districts with some of their unmet needs,” said Deborah Patterson, Monsanto Fund president. “We are proud to support our educational system and help grow the next generation.”

  • Nicole Jones knew her students could gain more knowledge if given access to hands-on learning in her earth science class. Jones’ grant writing efforts, along with the help of others, helped Valmeyer High School in Illinois receive a $9,962 grant. “I got excited at the prospect of getting these students involved in real science application that could only help to grow their overall interest in science-related fields. I appreciate America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education for investing in our community and other rural communities in our state,” said Jones.
  • Goodhue School District in Minnesota desperately needed new lab equipment, but did not have the funds to do so – until they received a $10,000 grant through America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education. Lee Thompson, Goodhue Public Schools superintendent, said they are extremely grateful for all the support shown by local farmers. “This grant is going to provide a much better learning environment for our students. We wouldn’t have been able to purchase the lab equipment needed to implement our new curriculum without these funds.”

Education is the cornerstone of any successful community, and nothing is more important than helping to educate the next generation.


How the Program Works

Through the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program, the Monsanto Fund is going to invest $2.3 million in rural public school districts for projects focused on science and/or math. Farmers can nominate a school district to compete for a grant of either $10,000 or $25,000. The more farmers that nominate a district, the more it demonstrates community support and strengthens the district’s application. Grants are awarded based on merit, need and community support.

Learn more about the program »

See the winning school districts »