September 9, 2015

Growing agriculture

By Alyssa Meier

A seed has been planted in the Washburn School District that will help nourish the relationship between its students and the agriculture industry.

The Washburn School District formally accepted a $10,000 check from the Monsanto fund on Friday night after being named a grant recipient of the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program. The check-presentation ceremony took place after the first quarter of the Washburn-Minot high school football game at Washburn High School. The grant was accepted by Washburn Public Schools Superintendent Brad Rinas.

"The idea behind it is for us to do something in a school setting that promotes agriculture, that incorporates technology, that impacts more than just a small group of students," Rinas said.

Also present were Monsanto officials, as well as local farmers that nominated the school for the grant and members of the community that took part in scoring grants, including Katie Heger, who is on the farmers review panel for Monsanto.

"We receive all of the grants electronically, score them and submit them. Then we have a three-day meeting in July in St. Louis at the Monsanto headquarters and, with our farming co-partners, look at the credibility of the applications that come in," Heger said. "We make our final selections as farmers, not as a company, as to who these grants will be awarded to."

Heger and her husband run a third-generation grain farm in Underwood, which drives her passion for the industry and her desire to ensure young people in North Dakota stay connected to it.

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