THE AUSSIE Cotton Farmers Grow Communities grants program, which opens today, is again offering cotton farmers in New South Wales and Queensland the chance to nominate a local not-for-profit organisation to receive one of thirty $5,000 grants.
To date, the program, which is presented by the Monsanto Fund in partnership with the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR), has distributed $450,000 to 90 community projects across 14 cotton-growing areas.
The grants have funded a diverse range of critical needs projects, spanning health, wellbeing, agricultural production, education, disability, infrastructure, local media, nursing, food, emergency services and vital community service groups.
Monsanto Fund representative in Australia, Carissa Buckland, said the program’s aim is to make a lasting and positive impact on the wellbeing, prosperity and vibrancy of cotton growing communities throughout New South Wales and Queensland.
“We are proud to partner with FRRR to deliver this program for the fourth consecutive year. The feedback we receive is that these grants allow local communities to build, create and fund the projects that mean the most to them and will have long-lasting impact in their area,” said Ms Buckland.
FRRR CEO, Natalie Egleton, said that local leaders know what is needed most in their communities, and $5,000 can go a long way in rural and regional Australia toward creating sustainable solutions to local issues.
“The resourcefulness and resilience of rural residents can never be underestimated, and the needs vary greatly. Over the life of the program, the quality of the projects funded has been very high. They have ranged from primary school reading programs to community kitchen gardens, historical walking trails, health resources for cancer patients and badly needed upgrades to multipurpose community buildings.”
“While nominations can only be made by growers, if you work for a not-for-profit or charity group, or know of one doing great work, you can put forward your idea for a farmer to nominate. This is a great way for communities to unite their ideas and makes it even easier for farmers to decide where their nomination goes,” Ms Egleton says.
Cotton Australia Chief Executive, Adam Kay, credits strong communities as a driving force behind the continued success of the Australian cotton industry.
“Building thriving rural and regional communities is a priority for the cotton industry and we know how challenging it can be. The services and support provided by local community groups help to fill some of the gaps and play a vital role in the industry’s success, particularly around infrastructure, health and emergency services.
“Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities supports this objective and importantly, gives cotton growers the chance to influence local funding. When communities benefit, the industry benefits”, Mr Kay said.
Nominations close 5pm on August 31, 2017. For more information, to suggest an idea or submit a nomination, visit www.aussiecottonfarmers.com.au. Successful recipients will be notified in December 2017.