America's Farmers Grow Rural Education called on local farmers to help nominate rural schools to receive nearly $2.3 million in grants to enhance their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs. Local farmers,Eric Ellenberger & Jeff Uhland, answered the call, and the Grow Rural Education program, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, a philanthropic arm of Bayer, has recognized Kiowa County School District RE-1 in Kiowa County, Colorado with a $25,000 grant.
Kiowa County School District RE-1 is just one of the many success stories of the Grow Rural Education program. For each winning school, teachers, students and, oftentimes, community members work together to make STEM programs more engaging. Kiowa County School District 1 RE-1 will use the Grow Rural Education program funds to utilize technology to enhance students' learning and engagement in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects for pre-kindergarten (Pre-K) through high school students.
"Bayer is proud to support programs like America's Farmers Grow Rural Education, which has made such a tremendous impact in rural communities across the United States," said Lisa Safarian, Bayer Crop Science North America. "These grants help drive awareness of career opportunities in agriculture and enhance STEM education for the students who are the next generation of our industry."
To qualify for a Grow Rural Education grant, farmers nominated a public school district to compete for a merit-based grant of either $10,000 or $25,000. Nominated school districts then submitted a grant application that outlined how they would use the funds to enhance their students' STEM education. A panel of qualified teachers review the applications and narrow it down to the finalists. The program's Farmer Advisory Council, consisting of approximately 30 farmer leaders from across the country, then select the winning school districts, including Kiowa County School District RE-1.
"America's Farmers Grow Rural Education is a special program because farmers play a key role in nominating local schools and evaluating and selecting the grant winners," said Al Mitchell, Monsanto Fund president. "Each year, countless school winners tell us that the Grow Rural Education grants make a positive impact in their classrooms. For some, the results are evident in student test scores, and many educators say their students are more excited about STEM courses."
Since Grow Rural Education began in 2011, it has awarded more than $16 million to more than 900 school districts in rural communities across the United States. To view a complete list of winners or to learn more about the America's Farmers Grow Rural Education program, visit GrowRuralEducation.comor follow along on Facebook at facebook.com/AmericasFarmers.