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By Carmen Ensinger
Carrollton School District received a $2,500 grant recently from the America’s Farmer’s Grow Communities (AFGC) program which they will use to pay for the Pixellot Camera System installed in both the gym and on the football field that will allow life streaming of events held in the gym and on the football field.
The AFGC program, sponsored by the Bayer Fund, partners with local famers to local farmers to provide grants to local nonprofits to help their communities. Local farmer, Rodney Reif, was chosen to receive the $2,500 funding and chose Carrollton School District as the recipient of the funding.
Carrollton Superintendent Mark Halwachs thanked Reif for directing the money to the district.
“This camera system allows the district to live stream sporting events in the gym and on the football field,” he said. “Last year, when schools were limited in the amount of people they could allow in the gym, these systems allowed more people to be able to watch the game at home. They also allow those who are not able to maybe get out of the house to watch their grandkids, or those who live in other states to watch them via the live stream.”
Some might remember the district receiving some substantial donations from the Monsanto Fund in 2013 and 2014. Bayer acquired Monsanto in 2018 and renamed it the Bayer Fund in 2019.
But in 2013 and 2014, the Carrollton School District received a total of $35,000 from the Monsanto Fund. In 2013, then agricultural teacher Christie Joehl, helped guide the school to qualify for this $35,000 in grant monies through the Monsanto’s America’s Farmer’s Grow Rural Education program.
In 2013, the district received a $10,000 grant to revitalize its greenhouse and expand it’s horticulture program. The district had a greenhouse, but it was in such a state of disrepair that it was unusable. This meant that while the district had a horticulture class, students were afforded no hands-on experience because they had no greenhouse.
Money used from that grant helped to construct the greenhouse that students are using today in the district.
The following year, Joehl helped the district secure an even bigger grant – $25,000. This money was used to purchase 45 Google Chromebooks for use in the school’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture and Math program. Carrollton was one of only two schools to receive this $25,000 grant award.
Established in 2010, the AFGC program has awarded more than $59 million to nonprofits, aspiring ag students and public schools across rural America. Since farmers are leaders in their communities, this is why the AFGC program relies on them to help identify the most worthy causes.
Dedicated to making a difference in rural farming communities, the AFGC program asks farmers across the country to participate by nominating nonprofit organizations with resources to strengthen their local communities.
Last August, farmers entered for the chance to direct a $2,500 Grow Communities donation to a local eligible nonprofit of their choice. Farmers have directed donations to food banks, emergency response organizations, schools, youth agriculture programs and many others that reflect the spirit of rural America.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made their donations more needed than ever.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone, including those in rural regions, and farmers play a critical role in helping communities overcome challenges, like the ones we are currently facing,” Bayer Fund President Al Mitchell said. “Bayer Fund is proud to work side-by-side with farmers to identify local eligible non-profit organizations that are able to provide their residents with solutions that leave a lasting impact.”