Farmers key to grants

Published 6:25 pm Saturday, April 7, 2012

Through area farmers, agricultural companies are looking to help grow education.

Beaufort County farmers have one more week to nominate Beaufort County Schools for $10,000 in grant funds from Monsanto, the world’s largest seed company.

The philanthropic arm of the company, Monsanto Fund, has reached out to 1,295 counties across 39 states to give away $2.3 million in grants to math and science programs to school districts.

The catch is that those school districts must be nominated by farmers in those districts; and the more times a school district is nominated, the better the chance it will win a grant.

According to area officials, Beaufort County Schools has been nominated and the required paperwork has been filled out, but nominations from more farmers are being sought. The district is applying for a $10,000 grant, which, if awarded, will be used for state-of-the-art equipment for science labs.

The purpose behind the grants is to provide the means for strengthening local communities and education systems in the areas of math and science. In an email, Monsanto Fund President Deborah Patterson wrote, “A strong science and math education helps build a foundation for many careers in agriculture, but also will help our students to be more competitive with those in larger cities and other nations.”

The Monsanto’s America’s Grow Rural Education Advisory Council will select which school districts receive the grants, a process based on merit and need for the grants, but backed up with additional nominations by farmers in those school districts seeking grants.

AgCarolina Financial is another agricultural company issuing an April 15 deadline for application. The company is a farmer-owned financial cooperative headquartered in Raleigh that is awarding more than $25,000 in scholarships to students who will be attending or are currently attending a North Carolina college or university. The 27 scholarships are available to the children or grandchildren of customers or employees of the cooperative.

For more information about how to nominate Beaufort County Schools for grant funds, visit  For more information on how to apply for AgCarolina scholarships, visit, select “careers,” then “scholarships.