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ST. LOUIS -- America's Farmers Grow Communities will partner again with farmers to award more than $3.3 million to community nonprofits across the country. In Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, 186 organizations will receive donations in 2016. Sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, the program's purpose is to make a positive impact in rural communities by giving farmers a chance to direct $2,500 donations to eligible nonprofit organizations of their choice. Farmer enrollment for Grow Communities runs through Nov. 30, 2015.

Since the program's inception, Grow Communities has helped fund a broad cross-section of organizations which reflect the makeup and character of rural America. For example, in St. Clair County, Michigan, farmer Doug Hunter directed a $2,500 donation to the Capac Community Food Pantry. The organization used the funds to help cover the operational costs associated with serving nearly 150 families in need.

"Hearing that I was selected as the winner really brightened my day," said Hunter. "It's been a rough year in our community, and I'm excited to be able to direct the donation to the food pantry."

Farmers have also directed donations to help fire departments purchase equipment and complete training, send FFA and 4-H groups to contests and conventions and boost agriculture curriculum in rural school districts. Other beneficiaries of the program have included health care organizations, youth and community centers, state parks and economic development programs, among many others.

"Thanks to the participation of farmers from across the country, more than 7,000 nonprofit organizations have received donations through Grow Communities in the past five years," said Deborah Patterson, Monsanto Fund president. "We are excited to team up with farmers once again to help support the causes that mean the most to them and strengthen rural America."

Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana farmers can enroll in the program and find a complete list of program rules and eligibility information at www.GrowCommunities.com or by calling 877-267-3332 toll-free. Program winners will be announced in January. Follow Grow Communities' new Facebook page to learn more about the program and connect with past winners at facebook.com/AmericasFarmersGrowCommunities.

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