Juneau Awards $119,000 in Agriculture Education Grants


Monday, December 7, 2009
by Jessica Rhoades
406.444.3190

Superintendent Juneau Awards $119,000 in Agriculture Education Grants

For Immediate Release

Superintendent Juneau Awards $119,000 in Grants to Advance Agriculture Education

Reminds Montanans of Opportunity to Support Ag Education

Helena, Mont. –– Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau announced that the Office of Public Instruction awarded nearly $119,000 in grants to advance agriculture education. Seventy–nine Montana schools will receive grants to help prepare students for successful careers in agriculture—a $2.8 billion industry in Montana.

"These grants are an investment in the young people who will shape the future of Montana agriculture," said Juneau. "Advancements in agriculture education will fuel the state’s economy and serve its residents for many years to come."

The 2009 Legislature appropriated the funds for agriculture education and established a funding account to accept donations to support the Advancing Agricultural Education in Montana Program under HB464, which passed in the 2009 Legislative Session, or for related payments to advance agricultural education in Montana schools.

"We are pleased to be a part of the efforts to encourage agricultural education in Montana's K–12 schools," said Superintendent Juneau. "Agriculture is an important industry in Montana and vital piece of Montana history and heritage. Agriculture programs in schools will help ensure that it is a part of our future."

More than 4,000 students are enrolled in agriculture education in secondary programs in Montana. There are currently agriculture education programs in 76 school districts in Montana, about one–half of the secondary districts. The state has more than 29,500 farms and ranches and over 60.9 million acres of farmland.

The program also allows for donations from Montana citizens to help Montana's schools fund agriculture education programs and related projects without relying only on the current funding provided schools based on levies or current property taxes. Donations from private individuals, businesses, organizations, foundations or other donors are accepted, and Juneau thanked state senator Taylor Brown for the first donation of $5,000.

Montanans who wish to contribute may write checks payable to the Office of Public Instruction by writing "Ag Ed Donation" on the memo line of the check.

Montana Office of Public Instruction
Denise Juneau, Superintendent
P.O. Box 202501
Helena, Montana 59620

The list of schools who will receive grants is available here:
http://opi.mt.gov/PDF/Superintendent/SchoolsCommunities_AgGrants2009.pdf

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Jessica Rhoades
Communications Director
p: 406.444.3160
c: 406.431.0151
f: 406.444.9299

Montana Office of Public Instruction
Denise Juneau, Superintendent

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