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Geneseo Republic - Geneseo, IL
The University of Illinois Tri-County Extension office
Blog: Farmers give almost $1 million back to communities
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By Farm and Extension News
The University of Illinois Tri-County Extension office covering Livingston, Woodford and McLean counties.
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By Emily Hereford, Monsanto Fund
Dec. 24, 2013 2 p.m.

Thanks to famers across Illinois, $972,500 has been invested in rural communities throughout the state.

Back for the fourth consecutive year, America's Farmers Grow Communities, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, will be giving farmers the opportunity to win a $2,500 donation for their favorite, local nonprofit organization. Since the program was piloted in 2010, America's Farmers Grow Communities has helped more than 389 nonprofit organizations.

Nonprofit organizations continue to search for funding opportunities that will better enhance their programs. Through the America's Farmers Grow Communities℠ program, farmers have been able to support a variety of nonprofit organizations in Illinois.

· FFA chapters across the state have received a total of $155,000 in Grow Communities donations.

· Farmers helped put out fires by donating $160,000 to fire- and health-related organizations.

· Service organizations, like food pantries, have received $250,000.

· Grow Communities has donated $230,000 to education organizations.

· Community improvement organizations have received $87,500 through Grow Communities.

· Many farmers chose to give back to their local 4-H clubs. A total of $80,000 has been donated to 4-H clubs across the state.

America's Farmers Grow Communities launched nationally in 2011 and has grown to include 1,289 eligible counties in 39 states. Farmers and rural community members can now visit GrowCommunities.com or call 1-877-267-3332 and register to win or submit an idea for a nonprofit in need of funding. This program is part of the Monsanto Fund's overall effort to support rural communities.

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