As U.S. farmers face the worst drought in more than 25 years, Monsanto today announced new commitments to support farmers and the rural communities where they live that have been impacted by severe drought conditions:
 
1. To support rural communities, the Monsanto Fund is doubling its America’s Farmers Grow CommunitiesSM funding in counties that have been declared a disaster area by the USDA.
 
2. To support farmers who have been financially impacted by the drought, Monsanto is offering additional prepay options and financing assistance for the purchase of their seed. Farmers in impacted areas can call 1-855-379-1212 to discuss their individual situation and explore options with a Monsanto representative.
 
“Nearly 90% of the U.S. corn crop is in regions impacted by drought,” said Mike Stern, U.S. row crops business lead, Monsanto. “Monsanto understands that when farmers face crop losses, it makes it more difficult to invest in their business for the following year. We want to help ease the minds of our farmer customers who have been hit hard by this year’s drought. We also recognize the economic impact that a devastating drought can have on communities where farmers live and work. This is why we’re providing disaster relief through additional funding of our America’s Farmers Grow Communities program that will directly assist those drought-stricken counties.”
 
America’s Farmers Farm Mom of the Year Debbie Lyons-Blythe has seen firsthand the impact farmers’ challenges have on the communities where they live. “Farmers are small business owners that fuel the economies of their local communities,” said Lyons-Blythe. 
 
Farmers’ investments in their business generate income for local businesses and provide jobs for their neighbors. “In good years, farmers make a profit and invest that money back into their operation — purchasing new equipment, improving fences, and even building new facilities,” Lyons-Blythe said. “During a severe drought, farmers aren’t able to invest as much in their crops or business, and that has a cumulative impact on rural communities.”
 
To help, the Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of Monsanto Company, is providing additional financial support to farming communities impacted by drought through America’s Farmers Grow Communities. Through this program, eligible farmers in select counties can enter to win a $2,500 donation for their favorite local nonprofit group, such as FFA chapters, schools, fire departments, local food pantries or other civic groups. To further support counties that have been declared disaster areas due to drought, winning farmers in these counties can choose where to direct an additional $2,500 donation based on community needs that have surfaced because of the drought. In 2013, the Monsanto Fund plans to invest up to $5 million in rural America through America's Farmers Grow Communities, with the additional drought relief funding.
 
To date, 661 counties have been declared disaster areas within the 1,271 eligible Grow Communities counties. Farmers can enter online at www.americasfarmers.com/growcommunities or call 1-877-267-3332.  Entries can be submitted through Nov. 30, 2012. Winners will be announced in January 2013.
 
While crop insurance will help farmers recover from a portion of their losses as a result of the drought, the timing of their claim payments may make it more difficult for them to reinvest in their businesses and prepare for the 2013 planting season. Monsanto is helping their farmer customers in affected regions by offering additional prepay options and financing assistance for the purchase of their seed. Farmers in impacted areas can call 1-855-379-1212 to discuss their individual situation and explore options with a Monsanto representative.