Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities grants program supports

7/2/2018

 

Australian cotton growers can now nominate local not-for-profit and community organisations undertaking impactful projects for one of 30 $5,000 grants.

This year marks the 5th anniversary of the Monsanto Fund’s Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities grants program. In partnership with the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) the grants program has distributed $600,000 to 120 community projects across 14 cotton growing areas. 2018 will see a further $150,000 injected into rural cotton areas, supporting an additional 30 community projects.

Over the course of the Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities grant program, Monsanto Fund and FRRR have supported crucial community projects that address rural mental health issues, preschool, primary and secondary education, disability, the arts, infrastructure, nursing, food and emergency services as well as social service groups. In 2017 the grants program supported projects run by men’s sheds, P & C Associations, childcare centres, op shops, riding schools and cultural organisations.

Monsanto Fund Representative in Australia, Jessica Douglas said that the program’s goal is to make an enduring impact toward the wellbeing, success and liveliness of cotton growing communities throughout New South Wales and Queensland.

“We are very proud to partner with FRRR for the fifth consecutive year to deliver this program. The positive feedback we receive year after year has proven to us the real and lasting effect these grants are having on local communities. The program gives cotton farmers an opportunity to support local organisations. Through their nomination, community organisations have increased capacity to commit to projects that will have an enduring and meaningful impact within the local area.”

FRRR’s CEO, Natalie Egleton, said recent research FRRR has undertaken has confirmed the value of small grants like Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities.

“Locals know what’s needed in their community. By having a program where growers can nominate an organisation in need of funds, or community members can suggest a project for a grower to support, we know the grants will go toward projects that are really needed. Further, the funds are usually leveraged at least three times thanks to additional in-kind support and other donations, so these grants are truly catalytic,” she explained.

Cotton Australia General Manager, Michael Murray, said communities in cotton-growing valleys were the driving force behind the success and resilience of the industry.

“Australia’s cotton industry derives its strength from, and in turn supports, rural and regional communities,” Mr. Murray said. “These communities often face challenges, but the services and support provided by local community groups help to fill some of the gaps and play a vital role in our industry’s success.”

“We value the Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities program because it supports rural towns and groups while giving cotton growers a chance to play their part. When communities benefit, the industry benefits.”

Cotton farmers are urged to directly apply via the website. Community organisations can suggest a project and  for which cotton growers can make a nomination. Community suggestion forms can be found on the website.

Nominations will be accepted online or by mail between 9am 2 July 2018 until 5pm 31 August 2018. For more information, to suggest an idea or submit a nomination visit: au.smarterfarming.info, Successful recipients will be notified in early December 2018.

ENDS

Media enquiries:

Natalie Egleton or Jacki Dimond – 03 5430 2399 or email news@frrr.org.au 

Jessica Douglas – 0400 186 293 or jessica.douglas@monsanto.com

See the website for a full list of projects funded in the last four years thanks to the program.

Conditions of entry

Cotton Farmers must be 18 years or older and be actively engaged in farming cotton in one of the 14 Cotton Grower Association (CGA) areas in NSW and QLD, listed below. These farmers may nominate a community project.

Organisations who are involved in areas such as: social, economic, environmental, health, education or cultural areas that offer clear public benefits for communities in rural and regional that are in, or servicing, one of the 14 CGA areas are eligible to receive grants. Grants to support sporting activities cannot be considered.

Nominations will be independently assessed by FRRR. For more information please visit http://au.smarterfarming.info.

About The Monsanto Fund

The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company, is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to strengthening the communities where farmers and Monsanto Company employees live and work (www.monsantofund.org).

About FRRR

The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) was established in 2000. Its mission is to champion the economic and social strength of Australia’s regional, rural and remote communities through partnerships with the private sectors, philanthropy and governments. Since inception, FRRR has managed the distribution of more than $75 million in grants to over 8,000 community groups and provided substantial capacity building support across the nation. To find out more about FRRR, visit www.frrr.org.au.

 

NSW

QLD

Lower Namoi

Gwydir Valley

Darling Downs

Central Highlands

Macquarie

Southern Valleys (Lachlan/Murrumbidgee)

St George

Dawson Valley

Upper Namoi

Mungindi Water Users

Dirranbandi

Macintyre Valley

Walgett

Darling River Food and Fibre (Bourke)