USD 408 News

Local farmers answer the call. Bayer Fund awards $15,000 grant to Marion/Florence USD 408 ENHANCE STEM CURRICULUM

By Working with Farmers, Bayer Fund Invests in Children by Strengthening Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Education in Rural Schools


  • Bayer Fund’s $15,000 America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education grant will allow the Marion High School Agriculture Education Program to pursue the construction of a greenhouse for the school district.
  • School districts from across the country were nominated and selected by a panel of teachers and farmers to receive STEM grants through Grow Rural Education.
  • Since 2010, Bayer Fund’s America’s Farmers programs have awarded more than $57 million to thousands of nonprofits, schools and ag students across rural America.

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (August 2020) – 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 Marion/Florence USD 408 located in Marion, Kansas.

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.  Marion High 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.  Marion’s Agriculture Education program will use the Grow Rural Education funds to help offset the cost of constructing a greenhouse for the Ag Ed program.  The greenhouse will be used to help teach plant science and horticulture to students.  It will also be used to help start vegetable plants for the local community garden.  “As educators we are constantly looking for ways to engage our students and help them realize the importance of STEM skills” said Mark Meyer, Ag Education Instructor at Marion.  “We would also like to thank the farmers who nominated our district to apply for the Grow Rural Education grant as well as Bayer’s Farmer Advisory Council who believed we could make a difference with the funds.”

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 Marion.

“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.”

To view a complete list of winners or to learn more about the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program, visit or follow along on Facebook at Farmers are also encouraged to participate in Bayer Fund’s America’s Farmers Grow Communities program, which is accepting farmer enrollments through November 1, 2020. Grow Communities protects the programs and institutions that keep farmers and their communities thriving by allowing farmers to enroll for a chance to direct a $2,500 donation to their favorite local eligible nonprofit organization.

About America’s Farmers

America’s Farmers, sponsored by Bayer Fund, is focused on strengthening rural America through three community outreach programs that partner with farmers to make an impact in communities where farmers live and work. The programs have given more than $57 million to rural America since 2010 and include:

  • America’s Farmers Grow Communities supports rural communities by allowing farmers the opportunity to direct a $2,500 donation to their favorite local nonprofit organization.
  • America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education supports rural education by providing $15,000 merit-based grants to enhance STEM education.
  • America’s Farmers Grow Ag Leaders supports students pursuing ag-related studies by offering $1,500 scholarships towards higher education. 

To learn more, visit America’s Farmers at

About Bayer Fund

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.