Mary Benisch, third from left, presents a $2,500 check from Monsanto's America’s Farmers Grow Communities program, to representatives from the Columbus Agriculture Education Program, including Glenda Crook, agriscience teacher and FFA adviser; Lacey Schleicher, secretary; Jessica Lins, sentinel 2016-17; Abbygail Hayes, vice president; Hailey Schoenherr, reporter; Steven Taylor, sentinel 2017-18; and Kyle Paulson, president. Benisch and her husband Jerome own and operate a farm in the Columbus School District.

My husband Jerome and I have lived and farmed in the Town of Hampden all of our lives. We, our children, one of whom teaches at the Columbus Middle School, and some of our grandchildren have graduated from CHS, and some continue to attend school here.

I was happy and excited when the Agriculture Program was reinstated with Glenda Crook as the teacher. She is a neighbor and long-time family friend. Glenda helped us harvest tobacco as a teenager.

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I am hoping the funds from Monsanto help build a strong and continued Agriculture Program in Columbus Schools. I appreciate the opportunity from Monsanto and the 2017 Grow Community Program to help make that happen.

 Mary Benisch

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