Mae Durham of Saline County was technically the winner of the $2,500 check from the 2011 "America's Farmers Grow Communities" grant. However, the real winners are the Saline County members which Durham chose to benefit from the annual grant.
Although she said she gave it some thought after learning she had won, Durham from rural Marshall, said she decided to give it to 4-H because her children and grandchildren had been members.
Durham wanted the donation to go "to the kids," so the money will be used to help fund area youth who go to local, state and national 4-H camps and events, according to Saline County Extension 4-H Youth Specialist, Amanda Struchtemeyer, who said they try to give money to help each SC youth attending events.
It will also be used for scholarships for community wide day camps, sponsored by 4-H.
"If any of the community kids can't afford it, this will help pay for the day camp," she said.
Local Monsanto soybean facility manager Ryan Atkins explained that this program gives area farmers a chance to enter and win grants for charities they support.
In all, over 50,000 of the nation's farmers from 1,204 counties in 38 states, registered to win the grant. One winner is chosen out of each county.
"The company has funds set aside to help the communities," he explained. With this program it gives farmers who actually use Monsanto products the chance to decide where the money goes.
For each farmer that applies, Monsanto also gives $1 to each local United Way effort. That money goes to help fund food banks, food pantries, Meals on Wheels and other charitable organizations.