Fairfield Ledger
http://fairfield-ia.villagesoup.com/p/915973

Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 28, 2014
AGRICULTURE

Program helps fire departments

Oct 26, 2012

ST. LOUIS — This past year, the Packwood Fire Department was one of 28 fire departments in Iowa to receive $2,500 through the America’s Farmers Grow Communities.

Rural communities have a fire death rate twice the national average, according to the U.S. Fire Administration and National Fire Protection Association, and as October is Fire Prevention Month, it is an opportunity to rally farmer support to nominate local fire departments in the area for a $2,500 donation.

Firefighters in rural communities also are often less likely to have the necessary firefighting equipment and training. To help combat these challenges, the Monsanto Fund is investing in rural fire departments and helping to keep farming communities safer through America’s Farmers Grow Communities.

Grow Communities gives eligible farmers the chance to win a $2,500 donation for their favorite local nonprofit organization. Last year, the largest percentage of Grow Communities funding was directed to local fire departments. The Monsanto Fund invested a total of $612,500 in 245 rural fire departments across the country.

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, farmers can apply online at www.growcommunities.com or call 877-267-3332 to apply by phone. To date, more than $7 million has been invested in rural America through Grow Communities.

New this year, community members can suggest a fire department 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 the community, visit www.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 will 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.

For more information about theprogram and to view the official rules, visit www.growcommunities.com.

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