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ECRU, MISS. (WCBI) – This assembly at the North Pontotoc Attendance Center had the look and feel of a pep rally.

For students, faculty and staff, there was plenty to cheer about.

“We’re awarding the district with a $10,000  grant,” said Melinda Brown of Monsanto.

Each year,  the Monsanto Company awards grants to schools throughout the nation as part of its America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program.

The program allows local farmers to nominate their public school district. Terrie Bowen did some research and thought the grant would help generate more interest in agriculture among students.

“I think our children are not aware of how much impact agriculture has on our community here locally and across the Southeast.   And by applying for the grant Monsanto gives you money that you can make these children more aware of how agriculture can work in our daily lives,” Bowen said.

The $10,000 grant will split between the North and South campuses.  Greenhouses will be built at each school to enhance math and science education.

“The bottom line is that in almost every grade level science curriculum has some botannical aspect to it and so we want to enhance their experience by giving them something other than just a book, we want them to have hands on and this will do it,” said Scott Haley, principal of the North Pontotoc Attendance Center.

Students are looking forward to the hands on educational opportunity.

“I think it’s exciting for everybody to have a greenhouse,” said fourth grader Anna Nava.

“I think it’s going to be good for the school and the planet cause it will help other plants grow,” said fourth grader Jake Hall.

It’s a big honor to receive this grant. Twenty four school districts around the state were nominated, but Pontotoc County was the only one chosen by Monsanto to receive the 10 thousand dollar grant. Community leaders and educators say it’s proof positive this district is making the grade.

Comment on this Story

  • Anne Bennett

    I know the school district will be grateful to the Monsanto Corporation for the $10,000. grant and will use it for educating the children in farming and biology. That is wonderful to be able to have the greenhouses. I hope the school teachers and the children will investigate all the wonders of growing plants and food crops and create a love for working the soil and farming. The entire Monsanto sponsored America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education 2012 program awards $2.3 millions.

    But our education will not be complete without research upon Monsanto’s history and practices along with the gift. Monsanto has invested well in communities through this sort of grants that are investments of good will dollars that will reap Monsanto much positive publicity. The community must teach the whole Monsanto story and include the negative as well.

    The serious health effects of Monsanto’s Roundup has been associated with over 29 negative health conditions according to peer-reviewed studies available on PubMed. And these conditions are nothing minor. Health effects linked to Roundup include:
    DNA damage
    Low testosterone
    Liver damage
    Endocrine disease

    These are serious disorders that result from the very Roundup that is used on crops by farmers worldwide before hitting your dinner table. In fact an increased amount of usage is now needed thanks to ineffective GMO crops that are now being eaten by mutated superbugs that have developed a resistance to Monsanto’s built-in GMO pesticides. Roundup covered crops that eventually land on dinner tables worldwide.

    But perhaps very few scientists around the globe actually dare speak about these dangers due to the overwhelming political influence Monsanto and other biotech companies have over nations around the globe. We know thanks to 2007 WikiLeaks cables that not only are most if not all U.S. ambassadors on Monsanto payroll, but that prominent U.S. political figures have threatened nations who oppose Monsanto with ‘military-style trade wars’. A threat that has managed to strike fear into many nations who would not risk massive retaliation from the United States.

    Also a recent French study found that mice fed Monsanto’s GM corn (grown using their patented herbicide Round-up) began growing tumors, died at an earlier age and developed organ failure and other health problems.

    In the recent California vote on Prop 37 that would have required the labeling of bio-engineered food products was defeated by in large by 6 biotech companies including Monsanto Corp who combined paid a whopping $45 millions dollars to prevent consumers from having their bioengineered ingredients labeled.

    Please tell the viewing public especially the schools and the children all sides of the story so they may make informed choices about our farms and food industry.

    Respectfully yours, a concerned Mississippi mother and grandmother

    cc Pontotoc Mississippi School District
    cc WTVA TV Tupelo Mississippi
    cc Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
    cc Allen Advocate Pontotoc County Newspaper

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