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DeSoto County 4-H recipient Gailn Burton, who was the recipient of a donation as part of the American Farmers Grow program, is flanked by DeSoto farmers, from left, Carolyn and Johnny Neergaard and Dr. Joy Fox Anderson, DeSoto County Coordinator with the Mississippi State University Agricultural Extension Service.

DeSoto County 4-H Clubs were recently awarded a prestigious America's Farmers Grow Community Donation from Olive Branch farmer Carolyn Neergaard.

Neergaard directed $2,500 to DeSoto County 4-H Clubs as part of the America’s Farmers Grow Communities program, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, a philanthropic arm of Bayer.

As part of their mission DeSoto County 4-H Clubs used the funds to purchase a classroom set of ten iPads to use within local 4-H programs like the robotics project group.

“We want to thank Mrs. Neergaard for the support towards positive youth development and change,'' said Lara Angel, Mississippi State University, Extension Agent II. "The impact will be felt here locally within our community helping us to grow and develop life skills that benefit young people in DeSoto County and foster leadership and volunteerism in 4-Hers and adults.”

“We’re excited to be given these funds to help us further extend knowledge and change lives of the youth locally in DeSoto County,” said Dr. Joy Anderson, DeSoto County Coordinator.

Since the program began in 2010, the Grow Communities program has partnered with farmers to support nonprofit organizations important to them in their local communities.

The program has given more than $29 million to farming communities since its inception, including more than $3 million in 2018. Each year, farmers enter for a chance to direct a $2,500 donation to a nonprofit they care about in their community. The organizations reflect the makeup and character of rural America, including emergency response organizations, schools, youth agriculture programs, food banks and many others.

“Farmers play a pivotal role in rural communities, and through their commitment to the Grow Communities program, we are able to provide the monetary support these nonprofit organizations need to make an impact,” said Al Mitchell, Monsanto Fund president. “We’re proud to play a part in helping these rural communities grow and thrive.”

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