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Source: Monsanto news release

As America faces the worst drought in half a century, food pantries across the nation face the possibility of receiving fewer donations on average this fall due to higher projected food costs. As school begins, most food banks experience a typical donation slowdown. But thanks to Iowa's FFA chapters, 4-H clubs and Monsanto sites, several food pantries across the state will receive a significant collection of food to help those in need.

Eighty-five FFA chapters and 4-H clubs in Iowa participated in the fourth annual America's Farmers Food Drive, sponsored by Monsanto in conjunction with Farm Progress and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. The food drive took place at the Farm Progress Show Aug. 28-30 in Boone, Iowa and successfully raised 14,865 pounds of food and more than $22,200 in monetary donations. The top three FFA chapters and top three 4-H clubs that brought the most food, in pounds, were awarded $250. The six ag youth winners include:

Newton FFA

Maple Valley FFA (Mapleton)

New Hampton FFA

Montana Miners 4-H (Boone)

Rabbit Hopping 4-H (Maxwell)

Happy Homebodies 4-H (Nevada)

"The ag students and Monsanto sites that participated in the food drive went above and beyond what was expected," said Linda Arnold, Monsanto customer advocacy lead. "As the drought affects farmers and the rural communities that they help to support, it is our goal through the America's Farmers Food Drive to put one foot forward in helping feed the hungry."

Six Monsanto sites across the state participated in a Food Drive Facilities Competition to help collect food for area pantries. The Muscatine Monsanto site raised 5,800 pounds of food and was the winning facility based on the highest percentage of food collected, per employee.

In addition to the food collected at the America's Farmers Food Drive at Farm Progress Show, Monsanto donated $10,000 to United Way of Story County, and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation donated $10,000 to Feeding America.

"The monetary matches will help pantries purchase food from the Food Bank of Iowa where, for many items, the cost is only 14 cents per pound," said Jean Kresse, United Way of Story County president and CEO. "At that price, $10,000 equals 71,429 pounds of food."

Monsanto launched the America's Farmers Food Drive in 2009 at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Ill. and has donated nearly 55,000 pounds of food to United Ways to date.

To learn more about Monsanto's commitment to farmers across America, please visit

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