Bayer Fund Grant

Cheryl Curry, Julie Gaffney Valier School grant winner $15,000 from Bayer Fund

Valier grant writers Cheryl Curry, President of the Valier Area Development Corporation, and Julie Gaffney.

Photo by Carol Green

Bayer Fund awards Valier Schools a $15,000 grant to purchase virtual reality equipment.

Article by Carol Green

In early 2020, Bayer Fund’s America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education partnered with Valier area farmers to nominate rural public school districts and award grants to enhance their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculum. Because area farmers answered the call, through Grow Rural Education, Bayer Fund awarded a $15,000 grant to the Valier School District.

A brighter tomorrow for farming communities starts with a commitment from Bayer Fund today, which is why the America’s Farmers programs have awarded more than $57 million to rural America since 2010. Valier School District is one of the many schools across the country that has benefited from Bayer Fund’s Grow Rural Education program.

Grow Rural Education grants have helped schools purchase an array of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)-related materials, such as augmented-reality sandboxes, weather-forecasting and robotics equipment. Valier School District will use the Grow Rural Education funds to purchase and implement the use of Virtual Reality Equipment to enhance learning experiences otherwise unavailable to students in the area.

“As educators, we are constantly thinking of new ways to engage our students and help them realize the importance of STEM skills now and in the future,” said Julie Gaffney, K-12 Superintendent. “We would like to thank the local farmers who nominated our district to apply for the Grow Rural Education Grant, as well as Bayer Fund’s Farmer Advisory Council who believed we could make a difference with the funds.”

To qualify for a Grow Rural Education grant, farmers nominate a public school district to compete for a merit-based $15,000 grant. School districts that are nominated, then submit a grant application describing their STEM-focused project. Grow Rural Education’s Farmer Advisory Council, consisting of a panel of math and science teachers and approximately 30 farmer leaders from across the country, review the finalist applications and select the winning school districts, including Valier School District.

“Bayer Fund and the farmers we partner with feel incredibly passionate about Grow Rural Education because we’re investing in our children – who are our future – by enhancing STEM learning in rural public school districts,” said Al Mitchell, President, Bayer Fund. “We are always amazed by the incredible support of local farmers, as well as the countless ways Grow Rural Education brings teachers, students and people in the community together to set children up for success.”

To view a complete list of winners or to learn more about the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program, visit

Farmers are also encouraged to participate in Bayer Fund’s America’s Farmers Grow Communities program, which is accepting farmer enrollments through Nov. 1, 2020. Grow Communities protects the programs and institutions that keep farmers and their communities thriving by allowing farmers to enroll for a chance to direct a $2,500 donation to their favorite local eligible nonprofit organization.