Thomas Green gives green grants

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Local farmer chooses two youth programs to receive money

By Amber Coulter

Two nonprofit groups are benefiting from the generosity of an agriculture company and the respect of a local farmer.


Thomas Green of Glendale gave the Lakewood Elementary School athletic department and Central Hardin High School Future Farmers of America each $2,500 he won in a national drawing.

The FFA participated in a check presentation Wednesday afternoon at Central Hardin with Green and a representative of the organization that sponsors the award.

The money came from the America’s Farmers Grow Communities program through the Monsanto Fund. The program randomly selects an entrant from qualifying counties throughout the nation and awards farmers money to donate to nonprofit organizations of their choice.

Winners in counties declared disaster areas by the U.S. Department of Agriculture because of the drought this past summer, such as Hardin County, were allowed double the $2,500 grant to pass on to nonprofits.

Central Hardin FFA has been awarded $2,500 each of the past two years.

Green’s father nominated Charles Langley, who won a previous year, and his son this year after reading about the opportunity in a magazine.

Green was surprised to receive a call from a Monsanto representative saying he won and asking which two nonprofit organizations he wanted to support.

After some thought, he decided to give half the money to the athletic department at Lakewood, where his daughter participates in a physical education program he respects under a teacher he thinks can use the money to help many students.

“I knew he would take that money and really do good with it,” he said.

Green, a former FFA member, chose that organization to receive the rest of the money because of the positive impact it has on students.

FFA adviser Derek Smith said the money will help cover costs for 30 officers and executive committee members to attend the FFA Leadership Training Center in Hardinsburg.

Senior Dylan Gipson said the help is appreciated because of the number of trips FFA members take.

“It’s so expensive to go on these trips that even just cutting down on one helps a whole lot,” he said.

Green said it was good to pass the money to groups and leaders who know how to stretch their dollars.

“I just wanted to make sure that the money was utilized in a way that would help the most kids,” he said.

Monsanto, based in St. Louis, is involved in various aspects of farming, such as biotechnology and selling herbicide, pesticide and seeds.

Company representatives expect to invest more than $5 million in 39 states through the program to highlight contributions farmers make to society.

Amber Coulter can be reached at (270) 505-1746 or acoulter@thenewsenterprise.com.