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Cambridge Public Schools receives $25,000 grant to build greenhouse

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Taking part in the presentation ceremony, from left, are Megan Bode, adviser; Kallie Hilker, FFA member; Shelby Farr, FFA secretary; Joanna Hilker, FFA vice president; Emily Whipple, FFA president; Eric Wasenius, Monsanto representative; Adam Heskitt, Monsanto representative; and Woody Morford, Monsanto representative.
(Courtesy photo)
CAMBRIDGE, Nebraska -- Studying the plants and processes that occur within a greenhouse leads to a deeper understanding of the world and increased curiosity in students, according to the National Gardening Association. Thanks to the support of local farmers and America's Farmers Grow Rural Education℠, Cambridge Public Schools received a $25,000 grant to construct a greenhouse where students can conduct hands-on experiments on plant and soil sciences.

America's Farmers Grow Rural Education, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, gives farmers the opportunity to nominate a public school district in their community to compete for a grant of either $10,000 or $25,000 to enhance education in the areas of math and/or science. More than 1,000 nominated school districts submitted applications. The Monsanto Fund will invest $2.3 million into rural education through this program.

"The greenhouse will be used as a learning laboratory to hone plant and soil science skills, as well as a commercial greenhouse to give students an opportunity to gain important entrepreneurial skills," said Megan Bode, Cambridge agricultural educator and FFA advisor. "The impact of this grant is huge; this gives us another avenue to provide students with a meaningful, dynamic experience that gets them excited about agriscience opening up endless possibilities for their future."

After being nominated by local farmers, school districts completed an online application, and finalists were chosen by math and science teachers from ineligible school districts. The America's Farmers Grow Rural Education Advisory Council, a group of 26 prominent farmers from across the country, then reviewed the finalists' applications and selected the winners.

"The farmers in our school district give and give, just like any other business in a small community," Bode said. "The school is by far the main benefactor of their generosity. I can't say enough about all the ways farmers have supported FFA and the school in the past. By nominating the school for this grant, they are once again responsible for ensuring a quality education for our students."

Cambridge Public Schools was presented with the $25,000 grant during a presentation at halftime of the football game on Oct. 5.

America's Farmers Grow Rural Education started with a successful pilot in Illinois and Minnesota in 2011, in which farmers were given the opportunity to nominate a public school district in 165 eligible counties in those two states. The Monsanto Fund awarded more than $266,000 to local schools in 16 CRDs. Now, the program has expanded to 1,245 eligible counties in 39 states.

America's Farmers Grow Rural Education helps farmers positively impact their communities and supports local rural school districts. This program is part of the Monsanto Fund's overall effort to support rural education and communities. Another program that is part of this effort is America's Farmers Grow Communities, which gives winning farmers the opportunity to direct a $2,500 donation to their favorite community nonprofit organization in their county. Farmers can participate in this program through Nov. 30, 2012 by visiting www.growcommunities.com.

About the Monsanto Fund

The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the farm communities where farmers and Monsanto Company employees live and work. Visit the Monsanto Fund at www.monsantofund.org.


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