Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR)

Cotton growers urged to nominate NFPs for $150,000 in grants

1 July 2020: Australian cotton growers can again nominate local not-for-profit and community organisations to receive $150,000 in grants for projects to benefit the communities in which they live and work.

The Crop Science division of Bayer, in partnership with the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR), is continuing the Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities (ACFGC) program in 2020, with Bayer renewing its commitment to supporting the cotton industry and Australia’s cotton-growing communities through the distribution of 30 grants of $5,000.

The ACFGC grant program has awarded $900,000 in grants to more than 150 local community projects over the last six years. The program has funded vital community projects that have addressed rural mental health, early, primary and secondary education, the arts, infrastructure, nursing and healthcare, food, disability and emergency services.

Bayer marketing lead Kate Connors said the ACFGC program strengthens community resilience and positively impacts the wellbeing of cotton-growing communities across Australia.

“In 2019, we funded projects from a wide range of areas with funding going to artistic workshops, picnic areas, school gardens and community shows. It’s great to see cotton growers giving back and doing their bit to strengthen the local communities especially with the challenges the last season posed for the industry,” Ms Connors said.

“We are again fortunate to work alongside our longstanding partner FRRR to support 30 projects that will provide real and lasting effects for communities in cotton growing areas. With the recent bushfires and ongoing drought continuing to put a strain on these rural towns and businesses, it is more important than ever to ensure not-for-profit and community organisations are supported.

“We invite anyone with a project they think could benefit their community to get on board and nominate. It’s all about strengthening community spirit, addressing a need for more services, supporting volunteers and fostering vibrant Australian cotton growing communities.”

FRRR’s State Programs Manager, Michelle Murphy-O’Kane said that it is important to keep funds flowing into these cotton-growing communities.

“Given the cumulative impacts of the drought, fires and now COVID-19, local groups are finding it particularly hard to raise the funds they need. It’s wonderful to be able to partner with Bayer Fund to offer these grants, which can have significant impact, and often be leveraged to attract additional funding.

“Grants like these are so important, especially in helping volunteer-run organisations address the priorities and needs of their communities. Each place will be different, and needs will vary – for some it’s upgrading community infrastructure, for others it’s offering educational programs for children, or providing access to health and well-being services,” Ms Murphy-O’Kane explained.

One of the recipients of the grants in 2019 was the Pittsworth Men’s Shed. President, Merv Hinneberg said they were pleased to receive the grant and put it to good use.

“We used the grant for a computer system with a printer and scanner. We plan to use it as a learning tool, showing people how they can improve their skills on the computer. It will be a valuable asset to us,” said Mr Hinneberg.

Nominations for the 2020 grants round will be accepted online or by mail between 1 July 2020 and 31 August 2020. For more information please visit Successful recipients will be announced in November 2020.

Bendigo, 21 November 2019: Schools, show societies, and a family support service are among the 30 not-for-profit organisations in New South Wales and Queensland cotton-growing communities to receive a $5,000 boost from the Bayer Fund this year as part of the Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities program.

Today’s announcement coincides with National Agriculture Day. This year marks the sixth round of the Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities program, which is delivered in partnership with the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) and takes the total investment into cotton communities to $900,000.

A local cotton grower nominated each of the not-for-profits that are receiving funds, which will help strengthen community resilience and positively impact on the wellbeing of cotton-growing communities. The majority of grant funding will be used to invest in infrastructure and equipment, and 23 percent of funds are being used to provide activities and services.

“There are many challenges associated with the drought for people living in rural Australia at the moment, and so there was a strong focus on developing organisational resilience, as was supporting lifelong learning, education and training,” said FRRR CEO Natalie Egleton.

“FRRR ran a series of grantseeker workshops in these cotton-growing areas, and the increased demand on not-for-profits for both short and long-term support was a talking point. Additionally, organisations providing direct support to farmers and their families discussed the heavy reliance on volunteers and the impact on those individuals who were giving support to others, while experiencing the effects of the drought first-hand.

“These grants will not only boost morale in the short-term but also create a lasting impact, as FRRR’s research shows that communities typically leverage a grant three times over.”

Cotton Australia CEO Adam Kay said the grants will provide a much-needed boost to cotton communities.

“We are proud of the contribution our industry makes to the communities in which we operate. It is during times like these, where drought is biting, that the strength of our industry in supporting these communities comes to the fore. I congratulate the recipients of this year’s grants and look forward to seeing what is accomplished.”

Bayer Fund representative in Australia, Carissa Buckland, said that this year’s nominations illustrated that there is strong community spirit within the cotton areas.

“Many of the projects being funded are all about bringing people together – for artistic workshops, picnic areas, school gardens and community shows. It’s great to see cotton growers giving back and doing their bit to strengthen their local community.”

The full list of recipients can be found below.





Darling River Food & Fibre (Bourke), NSW

Bourke Arts Community Inc

Develop organisational resilience and capacity through the purchase of studio equipment and materials to make glazes.



Gwydir Valley, NSW

St Philomenas Catholic School Moree P & F

Provide access to quality learning environments and experiences through the construction of an all-weather shade area.




Moree Water Ski Club Inc

Build community resilience and maintain recreational assets through the construction of a shade shelter.



Moree Show Society Inc

Strengthen community wellbeing and identity through the delivery of the Moree Show.



Lower Namoi, NSW

Wee Waa Sports Inc

Enhance community identity through an upgrade of galleries and blades over windows.

Wee Waa


Wee Waa Fishing Club

Supporting community engagement through the upgrade of a well-used picnic area

Wee Waa


St Joseph’s Catholic School Wee Waa Parents & Friends Association

Improve education outcomes through the establishment of a garden area for students.

Wee Waa


Macquarie, NSW

Marra Creek Public School Parents and Citizens Association

Increase engagement in learning through the purchase of media infrastructure and a pizza oven.



Narromine Agricultural Show Inc

Develop community engagement through the purchase of portable sound equipment and two shade marquees.



Southern Valleys, NSW

Wirrinya Aquatic Club Inc

Enhance community sense of place through the upgrade of an outdoor area.



St Marys Catholic Primary Hay Parents and Friends Association

Foster school engagement and improve education outcomes by developing an outdoor learning space.



Lake Cargelligo Central School

Provide access to quality learning environments through the purchase of portable agricultural equipment.

Lake Cargelligo


Goolgowi Parents and Citizens Association

Increase engagement in education experiences through the establishment of a garden as part of an environmental education program.



St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School Hillston Parents & Friends Association

Develop community resilience through the upgrade of a canteen area.



Upper Namoi, NSW

Gunnedah South School P&C Association

Strengthen community participation through the upgrade of an outdoor area.



Gunnedah Family Support

Develop individual and community capacity and social wellbeing through the delivery of a men’s support program.



Gunnedah Family and Children’s Services Inc

Provide a safe and secure start in life for children through the replacement of a soft-fall area around play equipment.



The Boggabri Tractor Shed Inc

Enhance organisational resilience and capacity through the uprade of a kitchen.



Walgett, NSW

Walgett Little Athletics Centre

Develop a more engaged, participative community through the upgrade of kitchen equipment.



Central Highlands, QLD

Rotary Club of Emerald Inc

Provide access to quality learning environments through the development of an all-abilities playground.



Emerald Branch Queensland Police-Citizens Youth Welfare Association

Build stronger individual and/or community resilience through furnishing a youth space within a welfare centre.



Darling Downs, QLD

Toowoomba and District Down Syndrome Support Group Inc

Promote inclusive community engagement through the provision of an annual family workshop and camp.



Pittsworth and District Men’s Shed Inc

Develop a more engaged, participative community through the purchase of information technology.



Meandarra Primary P&C Association

Strengthen community participation through the installation of a concrete path and seating.



Jandowae Kindergarten Assoc Inc

Provide access to inclusive learning environments through the upgrade of a playground cubby.



Brookstead Community Hall Association Inc

Providing access to community activities through the installation of a solar powered system.



Dawson Valley, QLD

Theodore Early Childhood Centre Association Inc

Support early childhood development through the provision of a shade area and the purchase of an outdoor play set.



Dirranbandi, QLD

Dirranbandi Swim Club Dirranbandi Courts Sports Association Inc

Strengthen community participation and water safety through the purchase of swimming and pool equipment and barbeque to host a community event.



Macintyre Valley, QLD

Talwood State School P&C

Increase engagement in learning and improve education outcomes through the purchase of an irrigation system to compliment an orchard project.



North Star Sporting Club Ltd

Promote community safety and resilience through the purchase of a defibrillator and three comprehensive First Aid kits.

North Star



Bendigo, 21 November 2018: As part of the National Agriculture Day celebrations, Bayer today celebrated the hardworking Australian cotton growers who have secured $750,000 for their local communities over the past five years through the Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities (ACFGC) grants program sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, a philanthropic arm of Bayer.

The ACFGC program was initiated in 2013 by the Monsanto Fund in partnership with the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) to support local communities in Australian cotton-growing areas with 30 $5000 grants each year.

Rural education is a strong feature of this year’s 30 grant recipients with around half of the approved ACFGC projects going towards much-needed facilities in rural schools, preschools and daycare centres. The remainder of the $5000 grants will be for a diverse mixture of worthy community projects, including enhancing children’s health and infrastructure funding for show societies and community halls.

“Now in its fifth year, the lasting positive impact of these grants is clearer than ever,” said Natalie Egleton, Chief Executive of FRRR.

“This year, especially with the drought continuing to put a strain on rural communities, the groups that are receiving grants will be able to address a lack of services, undertake projects to strengthen community resilience, support volunteers or improve fatigued and run-down facilities and services.

“Often what might appear to be a small thing, such as supporting a local town show or upgrading a community hall, has a significant flow-on effect on the community’s wellbeing. So we are delighted to again partner with the Monsanto Fund to ensure this funding reaches these local initiatives and helps to create vibrant communities.”

Cotton Australia CEO, Adam Kay, said the grants program strengthens cotton growing communities.

“In recent years, the Australian Cotton Farmers Grow Communities grants program has seen positive and meaningful outcomes achieved in our cotton communities,” Adam said.

“This program has been instrumental in helping our cotton towns thrive, which is something everyone in the community benefits from.

“This latest round of 30 grants will undoubtedly build on the success we’ve already seen, and we congratulate the recipients.”

Monsanto Fund Representative in Australia and Bayer’s Corporate Engagement Lead, Carissa Buckland, said that the ACFGC grant program works by acknowledging that people living and working in rural and regional communities are best-placed to determine the groups and projects that most need support.

“For this reason, the program gives cotton farmers the opportunity to nominate a deserving not-for-profit group to receive one of the grants,” Carissa said.

“As such, we would like to thank all the cotton growers who nominated community projects — their support for the program ensures its success.“

Carissa said that because the funded programs are awarded based on their long-term benefits, the grants lead to ongoing positive impact for rural communities.

“The funding provided by the ACFGC program is often a catalyst for further financial or in-kind support and as such, the grants over the past five years have led to an estimated $1.8 million worth of community building activity for more than 100 regional organisations.

“Congratulations to this year’s recipients. Once again, we’ve been hugely impressed and inspired by their dedication to providing quality and much-needed community services.”

Organisation & Project Summary


Amount Awarded

New South Wales

Boomi Amateur Thespian Society

Increase fundraising capacity and enhance production quality at the Boomi Amateur Thespian Society via the purchase of new sound equipment.



Croppa Creek Bowling Club Ltd

Improve conditions and longevity of a much needed community asset by repairing the roof.

Croppa Creek


Moree Secondary College P&C

Enhance cross community engagement through the delivery of a celebratory campaign.



Narrabri Preschool Association Inc.

Enhance the preschool’s educational and collaboration opportunities through the installation of an automatic sprinkler system. 



Wee Waa & District Preschool Assoc. Inc.

Enable the delivery of a healthy, varied menu at the Wee Waa & District Preschool through the modernisation of its kitchen facilities.

Wee Waa


Wee Waa High School P&C Committee

Improve the educational opportunities of students at the Wee Waa High School through the upgrade of its agricultural teaching facilities.

Wee Waa


Lions Club Trangie

Increase the usability of the Trangie Pavilion by installing newly donated air conditioning units.



Nevertire Hall Trust

Increase community pride and attractiveness of the main community facility by painting the exterior and interior of the Nevertire Hall.



The Trustee for the Warren Youth Foundation

Enhance employment skills of youth through the purchase of a tractor to complement the agricultural training program.



Mungindi Community Preschool Inc.

Enhance the educational facilities of the Mungindi Community Preschool by purchasing and installing an air conditioner in the main teaching room.



Binya Hall Trust Inc

Increase visitation to Binya and a sense of community pride by painting the Graincorp Silo.



Coleambally Playgroup

Improve the capacity of the Coleambally Playgroup to provide quality early childhood education services by purchasing play equipment and establishing a new pop up playgroup in Darlington Point.



Leeton Community Op Shop

Provide nutritious food to those in need and work experience to youth through the extension of the Teahouse at the Leeton Community Op Shop.



Yenda Preschool Kindergarten Inc.

Enhance the play area of the Yenda Preschool Kindergarten by including a bike track and vegetable garden with edible plants.



Curlewis Public School P&C Assoc.

Provide a sun-safe area to the children of Curlewis Public School by constructing a shade sail over the play area.



Emerald Hill Hall Committee (Emerald Hill Progress Association Inc.)

Increase the usability of the Emerald Hill Hall by purchasing a 25 KVA transformer.     

Emerald Hill


Gunnedah Preschool Kindergarten Association Inc.

Enhance access to preschool for children through the purchase of a 12-seater bus.



Walgett Preschool and Long Day Care Centre Incorporated (t/as Coolibah Kids)

Enhance the educational abilities of the Walgett Preschool and Long Day Care Centre through the purchase of materials to install sustainable, drought proof garden beds, a worm farm, compost system and a bike track.




Bushkids (Royal Queensland Bush Children’s Health Scheme)

Increase access of remote children to allied health services through the purchase of equipment to establish tele-health hubs at Dingo, Springsure, Dysart, Clermont and Gemfield.



Emerald State High School P&C Assn

Enhance the educational capabilities of the Emerald State High School by installing a garden, and establishing an environmental and landscaping group within the school.



Back Plains State School P&C

Increase the fundraising capacity of the Back Plains State School P&C through the purchase of catering equipment.

Back Plains


Broxburn Music Club of Pittsworth Incorporated

Increase the usability of the Broxburn Music Club of Pittsworth’s catering shed through its re-plumbing and the purchase of a rainwater storage tank.



Pittsworth Kindergarten Association Inc

Increase educational and social experiences of children at the Pittsworth Kindergarten through the upgrade of its playground.



Zonta Club of Dalby

Enhance the comfort of friends and family who are visiting loved ones undergoing medical care at the hospital by purchasing two sofa chairs for the palliative care rooms.



Moura Fish Stocking Group Inc

Enhance the River Park, a much used local facility, through the purchase of solar lighting, upgrades to the water system and the erection of a small shelter for a picnic table.



The Dirranbandi Daycare Steering Committee (Dirranbandi Progress Association)

Increase economic prospects of families by creating architectural plans to support a feasibility study for the establishment of a childcare facility in Dirranbandi.



Goondiwindi Pastoral & Agricultural Society

Increase the capacity of the Aspects Art Show through the provision of new plinths for the display of 3D art works.



Texas Show Society

Improve health and wellbeing at the Texas Show Grounds through the purchase and installation of a shade structure.



Queensland Country Women’s Association – St George Branch

Provide support for residents experiencing domestic violence or parents of children in the local hospital by beginning the refurbishment of refuge accommodation.

St George


Thallon Progress Association Inc.

Increase the safety of those visiting the Thallon War Memorial by paving the surrounding area.