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The Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) Agriculture Department has been awarded a $2,500 grant following a nomination by county farmer Steve Grimes. The grant is part of the America’s Farmers Grow Communities program, which is sponsored by the Monsanto Fund. Grimes, who also serves as the director of the NEO Physical Plant, noted that he nominated the NEO Agriculture Program because it has a history of making a positive impact in the community. “I’ve personally witnessed the outcomes of the NEO Ag Program for over 30 years,” he said. “I might be biased, but NEO Ag is my favorite agriculture education program and I know that this grant will make a difference in students’ lives.”

Since the Grow Communities program began in 2010, it has partnered with farmers to support nonprofit organizations important to them in their local communities. The program has given more than $29 million to farming communities since its inception, including more than $3 million in 2018. Each year, farmers enter for a chance to direct a $2,500 donation to a community nonprofit they care about. The organizations reflect the makeup and character of rural America, including emergency response organizations, schools, youth agriculture programs, food banks, and many others. Department Chair McKenzie Conner shared that she was grateful to Grimes for the nomination and that funds from the grant will be used for student scholarships and to continue the expansion of the budding NEO crop research initiative.

Most recently, NEO aggies harvested their first ever crop of winter wheat, which profited the department nearly $10,000, which will also support student scholarships. The America’s Farmers campaign highlights the importance of modern U.S. Agriculture through communications and community outreach programs that partner with farmers to impact rural America. The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of Monsanto Company, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the communities where farmers and Monsanto Company employees live and work. For more information about the NEO Agriculture Program, contact Gentry Hutchison at gentrsh@neo.edu.

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