Monsanto representatives have been busy passing out super-sized checks at events all over Indiana this month. Monsanto recognizes a farmer or his wife and selects them to name a charity to receive a $2,500 donation in their name. It's part of Monsanto's "Farmers Growing America" program.
Recently Tom and Sherry Hensley, Franklin, were able to make donations of $2,500 to two groups in the community.
"Sherry's name was picked from a random drawing," Tom says. "It's good to see the money coming back into our community."
Monsanto is awarding these donations all across the Midwest. Normally, there is no more than one $2,500 check awarded per county. However, Monsanto made the decision to award two $2,500 checks on behalf of the winning farmer or farm family in counties which were declared disaster areas due to the drought last year. More than one-third of the counties across the country met that qualification.
In Johnson County, where the Hensley's live, the county average corn yield was about 58 bushels per acre. The normal average yield there is over 150 bushels per acre. In the next county west, Morgan, the yield was only 42 bushels per acre, one of the lowest averages in the state.
The Hensley's awarded one $2,500 grant to the Boys and Girls Club in Franklin. They donated the other $2,500 check to the Johnson County 4-H Council for use directly with the 4-H program. A number of junior leaders and 4-H members were on hand at the annual ag day breakfast to receive the oversized check. Naturally, real checks also accompanied the jumbo checks, which might be difficult to cash at a bank!Ashley Schultz, Youth Extension educator and the person in charge of the 4-H program in Johnson County, expressed her thanks for the donation, and wanted to make sure people knew the money would benefit the 4-H members involved in the program countrywide.