IC School, FFA Foundation Donations

Local farmer John Helling was the winner of two $2,500 donations from the Monsanto Foundation. The prizes were donated to Immaculate Conception Grade School and the Franklin County FFA Foundation. Pictured in the front row, from left, are Sophia and Madelyn Helling; Jim Strubberg, treasurer of Franklin County FFA Foundation; and Megan McQuord, district sales manager for Asgrow and DeKalb, representing Monsanto Foundation. Back row, from left, are Sharon, Natalie and John Helling, donation recipient; Kelsey Baxter, Union FFA president; Kayla Vondera, Union FFA reporter; and Dennis Lottmann, Immaculate Conception principal.

The Franklin County FFA Foundation and Immaculate Conception Grade School will now be able to better serve the community, thanks to the support of local farmer, John Paul Helling, and America’s Farmers Grow Communities.

Sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of Monsanto Company, Grow Communities provides farmers in eligible counties the chance to win a $2,500 donation for a local nonprofit organization of their choice. To further support counties declared natural disaster areas by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) due to the drought, winning farmers in these counties are able to direct double donations, a total of $5,000.

Franklin County was declared a disaster area by the USDA, giving Helling the opportunity to choose two organizations to receive $2,500 donations. Helling selected the Franklin County FFA Foundation and Immaculate Conception Grade School.

The donations were given to the organizations during a schoolwide presentation at the IC Parish Center.

Principal Dennis Lottmann said the school will use the funds to update security.

The FFA foundation will use a portion of the donation to provide school grants for four FFA chapters in the county. The remaining money will be used to fund projects on the farm the foundation owns.

The school will put the donation toward purchasing safety and security equipment.

“I was on the board of the FFA foundation for several years,” Helling said. “We did many great things for the kids. The school is always looking for help, so I am glad to send some their way.”

This year, the Monsanto Fund will invest nearly $6 million in rural America through Grow Communities, which includes double donations for counties impacted by the historic drought. In Missouri, $355,000 is being given across 71 counties.

America’s Farmers Grow Communities is sponsored by the Monsanto Fund to partner with farmers in helping them positively impact their communities. This program is part of the Monsanto Fund’s overall effort to strengthen rural America.

For a complete list of Grow Communities winners and more program information, please visit growcommunities.com.

The Monsanto Fund is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the farm communities where farmers and Monsanto Company employees live and work. Visit the Monsanto Fund at www.monsantofund.org.