Hillsboro ISD receives $25,000 grant to build greenhouse

POSTED: Monday, November 5, 2012 - 10:24am
UPDATED: Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 2:04pm

HILLSBORO, Texas (Nov. 5, 2012) – Many schools around the country are giving students the opportunity to get “down and dirty” outside the classroom. Greenhouses provide students with a hands-on, agricultural learning experience beyond typical classroom activities. Thanks to the support of local farmers and America’s Farmers Grow Rural Educationâ„ , Hillsboro Independent School District (Hillsboro ISD) received a $25,000 grant to construct a greenhouse.

America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, gives farmers the opportunity to nominate a public school district in their community to compete for a grant of either $10,000 or $25,000 to enhance education in the areas of math and/or science. More than 1,000 nominated school districts submitted applications. The Monsanto Fund will invest $2.3 million into rural education through this program.

“This grant will allow our school district to construct a freestanding greenhouse at our high school,” said Kelly Hestand, Hillsboro ISD executive director of curriculum. “Our math, science and ag classes will all utilize and benefit from the greenhouse. The addition of a greenhouse will also help our teachers with an authentic way to teach.”

After being nominated by local farmers, school districts completed an online application, and finalists were chosen by math and science teachers from ineligible school districts. The America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education Advisory Council, a group of 26 prominent farmers from across the country, then reviewed the finalists’ applications and selected the winners.
“We would like to thank the farmers who nominated our district,” Hestand said. “We are excited for them to see the greenhouse in action after it is complete. We want them to fully experience what their generosity has provided our students.”

Hillsboro ISD was presented with the $25,000 grant during a presentation at the Hillsboro High School football field on Friday, Nov. 2.

America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education started with a successful pilot in Illinois and Minnesota in 2011, in which farmers were given the opportunity to nominate a public school district in 165 eligible counties in those two states. The Monsanto Fund awarded more than $266,000 to local schools in 16 CRDs. Now, the program has expanded to 1,245 eligible counties in 39 states.

America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education helps farmers positively impact their communities and supports local rural school districts. This program is part of the Monsanto Fund’s overall effort to support rural education and communities. Another program that is part of this effort is America’s Farmers Grow Communities, which gives winning farmers the opportunity to direct a $2,500 donation to their favorite community nonprofit organization in their county. Farmers can participate in this program through Nov. 30, 2012 by visiting www.growcommunities.com.

About the Monsanto Fund
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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The greenhouse will at least provide some measure of preventing genetic and pesticide contamination that are so often associated with industrial agriculture's genetically modified crops, thus making the greenhouse both an effective and safe teaching and food-growing environment.

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