On Friday, March 30, Monsanto territory sales manager Jody Foutch presented a check to the volunteer organization, which responds to all medical calls in a roughly 50 square mile radius around Blackburn, Elmwood and Mount Leonard.
The award, sponsored by Monsanto, gives area farmers a chance to win the donation for a local nonprofit organization. Blackburn area farmer Benny Kirchhoff chose the First Responders for the award, because of the service the organization provides the community.
First Responders president Joe Campbell said the donation will be a big help. Their budget, comes solely from donations, including a fundraiser each February which normally garners $2,500 to $3,000.
"We can't receive any tax dollars because we aren't part of the fire department," he said. However, the 10-member group works in connection with the Blackburn Fire Department and many of the volunteers are also volunteer firefighters, as well. They respond to calls in their personal vehicles. They also take time out of their work schedules for training provided by the Sweet Springs Ambulance District.
They also respond to all structure fires in the area, in case medical assistance is needed.
The First Responders have a long list of supplies they will be purchasing with the extra money.
"Now we can bring in all this extra equipment and not be breaking the budget," Campbell said. "We are a bunch of penny pinchers, we can make stuff go pretty far."
In 1,245 eligible counties in 39 states, farmers could win $2,500 for their favorite community nonprofit. The Monsanto Fund expects to invest more than $3.1 million in local communities.
America's Farmers Grow Communities is part of a broad commitment by the Monsanto Fund to highlight the important contributions farmers make every day to our society by helping them grow their local communities. Nearly 60,000 farmers participated in the second annual Grow Communities program, which is designed to benefit nonprofit groups such as ag youth, schools and other civic organizations. For more information and to see a full list of winners, visit www.growcommunities.com.