Media releases: 27 June 2016
Growers encouraged to nominate local community groups
The program, presented by the Monsanto Fund in partnership with the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR), gives eligible cotton farmers from 14 cotton growing areas across New South Wales and Queensland the chance to nominate local community organisations to receive one of the 30 grants on offer.30 June 2016: Cotton farmers once again have the chance to give back to their communities by nominating local not-for-profit or community organisations to receive a $5,000 grant when Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities opens for nominations on June 30.
Since the program was launched in 2014, cotton growers have played a key role in enabling the program to distribute $300,000 to 60 community organisations. Grants have funded a variety of projects such as primary school reading programs, community kitchen gardens and badly needed upgrades to multipurpose community buildings.
FRRR Chief Executive, Natalie Egleton, said that after two successful years, the impact of these grants is clear and noted $5,000 can go a very long way in rural and regional Australia.
“Since the Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities program commenced, we have been consistently delighted by the quality of projects. It’s amazing what groups can do with $5,000 and this resourcefulness typifies rural and regional communities who manage to get things done despite some pretty challenging conditions, many of which people in our cities don’t have to consider,” she said.
While only growers who are actively involved in cotton farming can submit nominations, Ms Egleton says that local residents can also get involved.
“If you work for a not-for-profit or charity group, or know of one doing great work, you can put forward an idea for a farmer to nominate. This is a great way for communities to get involved and makes it even easier for farmers to decide where their nomination goes,” Ms Egleton says.
“We’re pleased to be partnering with the Monsanto Fund again and helping make life a little easier for cotton communities across NSW and QLD. We look forward to seeing what cotton communities will achieve this year,” Ms Egleton said.
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.
“Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities supports this objective and importantly, gives cotton growers the chance to play their part. When communities benefit, the industry benefits”, Mr Kay said.
Monsanto Fund representative in Australia, Helen Maccan, said the Monsanto Fund is pleased to be partnering with FRRR to offer Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities for a third consecutive year.
“Cotton farmers have really gotten behind this program and taken it on as their own since it was first launched two years ago. Many of the projects funded benefit their communities for years into the future. That legacy is all down to the cotton growers who took the time to submit nominations,” she said.
This year’s program coincides with the Cotton Conference on the Gold Coast from August 2-4, offering growers another way to submit their nomination.
“The Cotton Conference brings everyone with an interest in the cotton industry – from farmers, to suppliers and industry partners – together in one place. What better time to share ideas or nominate, than in person at the Conference,” Ms Maccan said.
Nominations are open from 9am, 30 June 2016 to 5pm on 31 August 2016. For more information, to suggest an idea or submit a nomination visit www.aussiecottonfarmers.com.au. Successful recipients will be notified in November 2016.
 Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities nominations will be accepted at the Monsanto stand, located near the Cotton Club throughout this years’ conference.