ST. LOUIS (Oct. 12, 2012) – 4-H members are two to three times more likely to plan to go to college, live healthy lifestyles and make positive contributions in their communities, according to the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development. In light of National 4-H Week, it is important to recognize the significant lessons that can be learned at a young age through an organization that teaches the four values that members work on through fun and engaging programs: head, heart, hands and health. The Monsanto Fund recognizes the vital role 4-H plays in the lives of today’s young people and is investing in 4-H clubs across the country through America’s Farmers Grow CommunitiesSM. Grow Communities gives eligible farmers the chance to win a $2,500 donation for their favorite local nonprofit organization. Last year, a total of $380,000 was invested in 152 rural 4-H clubs across 31 states.
Missouri received $22,500 for nine 4-H chapters:
· Audrain County 4-H
· Barton County 4-H
· Leopold 4-H Club
· Clay County 4-H
· Johnson County 4-H Council
· Big Spring Busy Beavers 4-H club
· Pike County 4-H
· Saint Charles 4-H Council
· Ste. Genevieve County 4-H Beef Club
Mary Otte, the Beef Club 4-H leader in Ste. Genevieve County, Mo. knows firsthand how impactful the $2,500 donation can be. “We were very excited to be chosen to receive this donation,” Otte said. “Without this money, we would never be able to make such vital improvements to our barn or provide important educational material about our organization.” For the third consecutive year, Grow Communities is gearing up to distribute $2,500 donations in 1,271 eligible counties across the country. Now through Nov. 30, 2012, farmers can apply online at www.growcommunities.com or call 1-877-267-3332 to apply by phone. To date, more than $7 million has been invested in rural America through Grow Communities. “The primary purpose of sponsoring America’s Farmers Grow Communities is to invest in rural America,” said Deborah Patterson, Monsanto Fund president. “One way we do that is by supporting the ag leaders of tomorrow. 4-H is a leader in creating well-rounded, successful rural community members and advocates of agriculture. I am always excited to see our farmers directing funding to 4-H chapters.” New this year, community members can suggest a 4-H club or other nonprofit organization that is in need of funding on the Grow Communities website. Farmers can review “planted ideas” and consider them in their application. To submit a nonprofit project idea that needs funding in your community, visit GrowCommunities.com by Nov. 30. As a result of the worst drought in 50 years, more than 700 of the 1,271 Grow Communities counties have been declared natural disaster areas by the USDA. Winning farmers from these counties have the opportunity to direct an additional $2,500 donation to a second nonprofit of their choosing to assist with community needs that have surfaced due to the drought. The Monsanto Fund will select one winner at random from each of the eligible counties and announce winning farmers and recipient nonprofits in January 2013. America’s Farmers Grow Communities highlights the important contributions farmers make every day to our society and helps them positively impact their communities. This program is part of the Monsanto Fund’s overall effort to support rural America. For more information about this program and to view the official rules, visit www.growcommunities.com.