Grants program aids cotton communities

Agribusiness July 13, 2020

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 as Bayer renews its commitment to support the cotton industry and Australia’s cotton growing communities through the distribution of 30 grants of $5000.

The ACFGC grant program has awarded $900,000 in grants to more than 150 local community projects over the past six years. It 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,” she said.

“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.

“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 state programs manager Michelle Murphy-O’Kane said it is important to keep funds flowing into 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,” she said.

“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 wellbeing services.”

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,” he said. “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.”

Nominations for the 2020 grants round will be accepted online or by mail until 31 August. For more information visit aussiecottonfarmers.com.au. Successful recipients will be announced on in November.

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