Todd Hays, shown far right, presents nominating farmers, school administration, and staff with a $10,000 check.
The America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education Program awarded $10,000 to Audrain County R-VI FFA during the chapter’s Degree Night ceremony held October 10 at Community R-VI high school.
Through the Monsanto Fund, The Audrain County FFA received a Growing Educational Plant Science Opportunities grant. The money will be used to buy plant science equipment — such as probes, carts and sensors — for use in advanced science coursework. The FFA chapter was nominated by 71 area farmers before applying for the grant.
“We wanted to pick out the schools that we felt that demonstrate the best ability to increase math and science curriculum, enhance student learning, get the kids involved, get a lot of teacher involvement in this, and something that was sustainable for long term,” said Todd Hays, a Monroe City farmer and Missouri representative for the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program. “We really wanted to impact a lot of students with this.”
The America’s Farmer Grow Rural Education program launched in January in 1,245 counties and 39 states. The program awards grants of up to $25,000.
Farmers can nominate rural school districts serving within their USDA-appointed crop reporting district (CRD). CRD maps and additional information are available at www.growruraleducation.com.
Once nominated by eligible farmers, the school district is able to fill out an online application for grant funding.
School districts applying for one of the 199 available $10,000 grants compete against other schools within their USDA-appointed CRD. Schools applying for one of the 22 available $25,000 grants compete against other schools in each state or designated region.
As of August, more than $2.3 million was awarded to school districts in 39 states.
After nominating farmers, and school administration and staff received their $10,000 check, Audrain County R-VI FFA Chapter Officers proceeded with their Degree Night ceremonies including announcing Greenhand Degree recipients, installing the Greenhand Officer staff, and awarding FFA’s highest degree honors, the Chapter Degree.
Recipients of Greenhand Degrees are Travin Acton, Courtney Bertels, Danielle Brooks, Mikyla Clubb, Takoda Cochran, Lexa Cope, Lee Couch, Gatlin Curtis, Collin Dungan, Anthony Fairchild, Gage Graves, Karissa Graves, Kaleb Harris, Rebecca Hagan, Jamie Householder, Racheal Levings, Zane Meador, Sam Polacek, Stephanie Smith, Gavin Spoor, Ashley Steele, Cordell Wieberg, and Courtney Weiberg.
Greenhand Officer inductees are Anthony Fairchild, president; Gatlin Curtis, vice president; Karissa Graves, secretary; Danielle Brooks, treasurer; Collin Dungan, reporter; Kaleb Harris, sentinel; and Courtney Bertels, junior advisor.
Chapter Degree recipients are Bryan Allen, Josie Allen, Brandon Arens, Conner Brooks, Kyle Curtis, Lakin Davenport, Doug Davenport, Kelsey Hilderman Courtney Hoyt, Nick Hoyt, Trever Hoyt, Samantha Jackson, Amelia Knipfel, Treyton Kobush. Olivia Mosley, Dana Schulte, Zachary Taylor, Clay Thebeau, Lane Thebeau.