Cullen Bryant To Represent State On America’s Farmer Grow Rural Education Advisory Council

Cullen Bryant of Dillon was selected to represent South Carolina on the America’s Farmer Grow Rural Education Advisory Council, a board to determine the rural school district recipients of the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education grants. This two-year assignment allows farmers on the council to help decide which school districts are most deserving of the grants of up to $25,000.
“The America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program is a way to grow school districts in rural communities through farmers with the America’s Farmer Grow Rural Education Advisory Council,” said John Raines, vice president of Monsanto customer advocacy. “Farmers from these rural communities will help decide how to distribute the funds to the most deserving projects submitted by school districts across the country.”
Bryant was chosen for his exemplary experience as president of the Dillon County Farm Bureau and his service as a state director for Farm Bureau, as well as being a member of the Dillon County Extension Advisory Committee and South Carolina Soybean Board. Bryant has also been recognized as the Dillon County Farmer of the Year, won the Friends of Extension Award for Dillon County and was the Dillon County Outstanding Conservation Farmer. He cares deeply about the quality of education in his community and is dedicated to helping grow and develop local students. One way to do this is through increasing learning opportunities through additional funding and education projects. Bryant hopes to make a difference for not only local students, but schools across the state through the advisory council.
“I strongly support this program because of its focus on education in rural areas,” Bryant said. “Rural schools are historically underfunded and yet are the areas that need the most support. My area has been highlighted by President Obama as the ‘corridor of shame’ because of the education system, and I have sought ways to address this problem. America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education is a program that I feel works to meet my personal goal.”
The America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, is a new project that was piloted in Minnesota and Illinois to give farmers the opportunity to nominate their school districts to compete for grants up to $25,000.
The grants required school districts to be creative and develop unique ideas and projects to enhance education in the areas of math and/or science in their school.
Through the pilot, there are 165 eligible counties in Illinois and Minnesota. The Monsanto Fund expects to donate more than $225,000 in total to local school districts in nine Crop Reporting Districts (CRD) in Illinois and seven CRDs in Minnesota in 2011.
The America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education Advisory Council, made up of 26 farmers, will be responsible for reviewing the top grant applications in each of the targeted CRDs and will select the winning school districts to go before the Monsanto Fund Board for final approval. Grant winners will be announced at the Farm Progress Show this September. The pilot debuted in 2011, and the program will launch nationally in January and run through May 2012. The Grow Rural Education program is part of a broad commitment by the Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of Monsanto Company, to support farming communities. Visit for a complete listing of school districts, counties and more information about America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education.

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