'It's all about strengthening community spirit'
AUSTRALIAN cotton growers can nominate their local not-for-profit and community organisations for a share of $150,000 in grants for projects to enhance their communities.
The successful Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities grants program has distributed a total of $750,000 to 150 local community projects over five years.
In partnership with the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal, Bayer is continuing the program following its acquisition of Monsanto - and renewing the business's commitment to supporting the cotton industry and Australia's cotton growing communities.
Since 2014, ACFGC has funded vital community projects that have addressed rural mental health; early, primary and secondary education; the arts; infrastructure; nursing and healthcare; food; and disability and emergency services.
Australian fund representative Jessica Douglas said the program strengthened community resilience and positively impacted the wellbeing of cotton growing communities across NSW and Queensland.
"In 2018 we funded essential education facilities and projects in rural schools, preschools and day-care centres, and we are excited about what we can achieve in 2019,” she said.
"We are again fortunate to work alongside our long-standing partner, FRRR, to support 30 projects that will provide real and lasting effectsfor cotton growing communities.
"With the 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 chief executive Natalie Egleton said the value of these grants was immeasurable and the lasting, positive effects of the grants were clear.
"What might seemingly be a small thing, such as funding for a local town show, upgrading a community hall, or providing resources to a kindergarten, all have a significant benefit to the wellbeing of the wider local community,” she said.
"The investment from the program goes a long way, delivering three times the monetary value thanks to additional donations and in-kind support.”
Cotton Australia chief executive Adam Kay said that when cotton growing communities benefited, so did the industry.
"Cotton is grown in more than 150 regional communities across NSW, Queensland and Victoria,” he said.
"These communities are the driving force behind the strength and resilience of the cotton industry,.
"The Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities program has supported hundreds of projects over the past five years and has made a positive impact to the success and wellbeing of cotton communities.”
"Cotton growers are encouraged to nominate a local organisation or project in their area that deserves this important boost.”
Community organisations can suggest a project for cotton growers to nominate. Nominations will be accepted online or by mail until August 30.
For more information, visit aussiecottonfarmers.com.au
Successful recipients will be notified by November.