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Farmers' last chance to win $2,500 for their communities

ST. LOUIS - During the season of giving, Minnesota farmers can get into the holiday spirit by signing up to win $2,500 for their favorite local nonprofit organizations through America's Farmer's Grow Communities, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund. One farmer in each of Minnesota's 70 participating counties will win. Those farmers can share their holiday cheer with food pantries, fire departments, students at local schools and others by signing up and designating an organization in their community.

Food pantries give food to the hungry all year round; though, the need for food can be magnified around the holidays.

"In the summer, we notice the donation shelves can get a little bare, so, we used the $2,500 during that time," said Sonja Ellner, executive director of the Dorothy Day Food Pantry. "This donation is very beneficial to the community. It's neat that we're all connected -the winning farmer who grows the food that we'll be delivering to those who need it."

This year, the program has expanded to include a total of 1,245 counties. The addition of 41 new counties will result in an additional $102,500 in donations. In Minnesota, the Monsanto Fund will invest a total of $175,000 toward nonprofit organizations in rural communities.

Now through Nov. 30, 2011, farmers can apply online at, or call 1-877-267-3332 to apply by phone. A $1 donation will be made to local United Way chapters for each farmer who signs up, to further enhance the investment in rural communities. Farmers who meet program eligibility requirements may enter regardless of involvement with previous Grow Communities programs. One winner will be selected at random from each of the 1,245 eligible counties, and the Monsanto Fund will announce winning farmers and recipient nonprofits in January 2012.

Eligible counties in Minnesota include Becker, Benton, Big Stone, Blue Earth, Brown, Carver, Chippewa, Chisago, Clay, Cottonwood, Dakota, Dodge, Douglas, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Grant, Hennepin, Houston, Isanti, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Kittson, Lac Qui Parle, Le Sueur, Lincoln, Lyon, Mahnomen, Marshall, Martin, McLeod, Meeker, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Mower, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Norman, Olmsted, Otter Tail, Pennington, Pine, Pipestone, Polk, Pope, Red Lake, Redwood, Renville, Rice, Rock, Roseau, Scott, Sherburne, Sibley, Stearns, Steele, Stevens, Swift, Todd, Traverse, Wabasha, Waseca, Washington, Watonwan, Wilkin, Winona, Wright and Yellow Medicine.

Visit to sign up and to learn more about America's Farmers Grow Communities. This program 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.

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