Tifton Gazette

Local News

February 8, 2013

Philanthropy at work: Local farmer supports Turner County through America’s Farmers Grow Communities

ASHBURN — Turner County Elementary School and the Turner County FFA Chapter will now be able to better serve the community thanks to the support of local farmer Ben Shivers and America’s Farmers Grow Communities. The elementary school and FFA were each presented with a check Thursday afternoon during a ceremony that was held at Turner County Elementary School.

Sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of Monsanto Company, Grow Communities provides farmers in eligible counties the chance to win a $2,500 donation for a local nonprofit organization of their choice. To further support counties declared natural disaster areas by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) due to drought this year, winning farmers in these counties are able to direct double donations, a total of $5,000.

Turner County was declared a disaster area by the USDA, giving Shivers the opportunity to choose two organizations to receive $2,500 donations. Shivers selected Turner County Elementary School and the Turner County FFA Chapter. Turner County Elementary School will put their funding toward purchasing new student books for the media center.

The Turner County FFA Chapter will utilize the $2,500 donation to enable all agricultural students to become members of the FFA, cover costs for attending the Georgia State FFA Convention in April and start a gardening program through the agricultural department.

"I was very surprised to be selected as the Monsanto America's Farmers Grow Communities winner for Turner County,” said Shivers. “I like to help out my community, so I am glad to have this opportunity. I am excited to give my first $2,500 donation to the Turner County Elementary School because one of my grandsons attends kindergarten there. For my second donation, I chose the Turner County FFA Chapter because it is a good organization and I was a four-year member of the FFA when I was in high school.”

This year, the Monsanto Fund will invest nearly $6 million in rural America through Grow Communities, which includes double donations for counties impacted by the historic drought.

In Georgia, $165,000 is being given across 33 counties.

America’s Farmers Grow Communities is sponsored by the Monsanto Fund to partner with farmers in helping them positively impact their communities. This program is part of the Monsanto Fund’s overall effort to strengthen rural America.

For a complete list of Grow Communities winners and more program information, please visit growcommunities.com.

The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the farm communities where farmers and Monsanto Company employees live and work. Visit the Monsanto Fund at www.monsantofund.org.

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