Local farmers nominated the schools, which then had to submit applications. Most were awarded $10,000 grants, though one school per state landed $25,000. The funds are aimed at improving math and science classes in rural schools, though most of the applications have an agricultural focus.
For example, Northeastern Local in Defiance plans to use its $10,000 to buy 22 acres of farmland to create an “educational land lab designed to bring real-world, hands-on agricultural opportunities” to students. Garaway Local in Tuscarawas County will use its scholarship funds to build a greenhouse to grow fruits and vegetables that will then be served during lunch.
And Crestview Local Schools in Ashland is proposing a high-tech approach by using “GPS, mobile iPad applications and devices and computer programs” to collect data and monitor test plots for farmers. It will then share the data with farmers and agronomists with the aim of making farming more efficient.
Westfall Local in Pickaway was Ohio’s $25,000 grant recipient. It plans to implement the Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education and buy some new equipment for students.
“School districts were innovative and creative in their applications,” Monsanto Fund President Deborah Patterson told the St. Louis Business Journal last week. “We are really looking forward to seeing the proposals come to fruition and learning how the students benefit from them.”
The Monsanto Fund gave away a total of $2.3 million to improve math and science programs in rural schools in 39 states this round.
This is the program’s second year, following a pilot in Illinois and Minnesota.
You can check out a full list of winners and what they hope to use their funds for here.