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Iowa Farmers to Plant $247,500 to Grow their Local Communities

Monday, September 13, 2010

'America's Farmers Grow Communities' Program to give $2,500 awards in Iowa Counties and benefit local United Way chapters with each sign-up

BOONE, IOWA (Aug. 31, 2010) -- The Monsanto Fund today announced the expansion of the 'America's Farmers Grow Communities' program at the Farm Progress Show, the nation's largest outdoor farm event, in Boone, Iowa. This program gives eligible farmers the opportunity to win $2,500 for their community. 'America's Farmers Grow Communities' program is being offered in more than 1,200 counties across 38 states. Eligible farmers can sign up today through Dec. 31, 2010 at www.growcommunities.com, or by calling 1- 877-267-3332.

"More than 95 percent of the land in the United States is home to a rural community, and farmers work hard to support those communities," said Brett Begemann, Monsanto Fund Chairman. "We created the America's Farmers Grow Communities program to celebrate that hard work. Every rural community has vital needs. It's our goal for every $2,500 award to support rural community needs and cause a ripple effect of benefits along the way."

In Iowa, $247,500 will be invested in rural communities in each of the state's 99 counties. The program is intended to benefit nonprofit community groups such as ag youth organizations, schools and other civic groups important to America's farmers.

"A donation of $2,500 could help a community garden buy thousands of seeds, or help a school buy new computers," Begemann said. "It takes just a few minutes for a farmer to sign up online for a chance to really benefit an organization that's important to them, and more importantly, benefit their friends, family and neighbors as a result of that donation."

Monsanto Fund also will donate $1 to the United Way on behalf of each farmer who signs up for the America's Farmers Grow Communities program. The $1 will be donated to the United Way chapter in the home county of the farmer. This offers yet another way for farmers to invest in the future of their rural community.

Farmers can apply online at www.growcommunities.com or they can call 1-877-267-3332 to apply by phone. Farmers, age 21 and over, who are actively engaged in farming a minimum of 250 acres of corn, soybeans and/or cotton, or 40 acres of open field vegetables, or at least 10 acres of tomatoes, peppers and/or cucumbers grown in protected culture, are eligible. The application period runs September 1 through December 31, 2010.

The program is open to all qualifying farmers, and no purchase is necessary in order to enter or win. One winner will be randomly selected for each of Iowa's 99 participating counties. Monsanto Fund will announce winning farmers and recipient organizations by February 2011.

Visit www.growcommunities.com to sign up and to learn more about the America's Farmers Grow Communities program. The project is part of a broad commitment by Monsanto Fund to invest in farm communities, in order to highlight the important contributions farmers make every day to our society. To view the official rules for this program, visit www.growcommunities.com or send a written request to Jane Winburn, 914 Spruce St., St. Louis, MO 63102.

The Monsanto Fund is the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company. Incorporated in 1964, the Fund's primary objective is to improve the lives of people by bridging the gap between their needs and their resources. Visit the Monsanto Fund at www.monsantofund.org.



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