Bayer Fund awards $15,000 grant to Sleepy Eye Public School to enhance STEM curriculum

Sleepy Eye FFA

In early 2020, Bayer Fund’s America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education partnered with local farmers to nominate rural public school districts and award grants to enhance their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculum. Because area farmers answered the call, through Grow Rural Education, Bayer Fund awarded a $15,000 grant to Sleepy Eye Public School.

A brighter tomorrow for farming communities starts with a commitment from Bayer Fund today, which is why the America’s Farmers programs have awarded more than $57 million to rural America since 2010. Sleepy Eye Public School is one of the many schools across the country that has benefited from Bayer Fund’s Grow Rural Education program.

Grow Rural Education grants have helped schools purchase an array of STEM-related materials, such as augmented-reality sandboxes, weather-forecasting and robotics equipment. Sleepy Eye Public will use the Grow Rural Education funds to purchase welders, saws, a planer, new welding tables, station dividers, and a central gas line as well as some equipment for teaching animal science.

“As educators, we are constantly thinking of new ways to engage our students, help them realize the importance of trade skills now and in the future, and find grant funding for new equipment,” said Ag. teacher Mary Hoffmann. “We would like to thank the local farmers who nominated our district to apply for the Grow Rural Education Grant, as well as Bayer Fund’s Farmer Advisory Council who believed we could make a difference with the funds.”

FFA/Ag Department STEM grant

To qualify for a Grow Rural Education grant, farmers nominate a public school district to compete for a merit-based $15,000 grant. 

School districts that are nominated, then submit a grant application describing their STEM-focused project. Grow Rural Education’s Farmer Advisory Council, consisting of a panel of math and science teachers and approximately 30 farmer leaders from across the country, review the finalist applications and select the winning school districts, including Sleepy Eye Public School.

“Bayer Fund and the farmers we partner with feel incredibly passionate about Grow Rural Education because we’re investing in our children – who are our future – by enhancing STEM learning in rural public school districts,” said Al Mitchell, President, Bayer Fund. “We are always amazed by the incredible support of local farmers, as well as the countless ways Grow Rural Education brings teachers, students and people in the community together to set children up for success.”

Bayer Fund is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the communities where Bayer customers and employees live and work by providing funding for food and nutrition, education and community development projects.