Case Study: CF's Classroom Minigrant Program

Our Distribution Facilities’ Classroom Minigrant Program Helps Teachers Incorporate Agriculture and Environmental Stewardship Into Their Classrooms

CF understands the critical exchange of information, resources and talent that happens between our facilities and the communities where we operate. We have a common goal of raising young people who are curious and engaged and who grow up to contribute to society in positive ways.

That’s why for the past 20 years, CF distribution terminals across North America have awarded grants to educators through our Classroom Minigrant Program. Grants help teachers incorporate agriculture or environmental stewardship into their classrooms with priority placed on projects that focus on water quality education.

In 2017, the program awarded its one millionth dollar in grant funding. The recipient, located near our Albany, Illinois, terminal, was the River Bend School District. The district used the $5,000 grant to purchase supplies for an elementary school’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) Day event.

The grant is representative of how requests have changed over the past 20 years. Today, CF receives fewer requests for grants involving print resources and more requests for technology devices and software. Students at three other recipient high schools are using a special monitor to track bat populations, testing and comparing water samples with a colorimeter, and evaluating soil quality using the 4Rs based on lessons from a certified crop advisor.

Another unexpected development has been the program’s multiplier effect. Several projects have generated a widening ripple of support that delivers value far beyond the initial grant. After CF provided seed money to build a greenhouse at Garner-Hayfield-Ventura High School in Iowa, local businesses donated an additional $75,000 to complete the project. Harrison Elementary School in Indiana combined its minigrant with funding from a local Lowe’s store to create an outdoor pavilion that will be used for lessons on nature, nutrition and gardening.

Today’s students are tomorrow’s farmers, technicians and engineers. Through the Classroom Minigrant Program, we’re planting the seeds of agricultural and environmental protection early — by growing knowledge and skills that will bring shared benefits to our communities for years to come.

CF's Aurora Terminal supports the Aurora Public School District with minigrants.

Aurora Public School District

Recent minigrants awarded to educators from Aurora schools include projects to participate in an outdoor education day; gain an understanding of nature, planting, and caring for a butterfly garden; and enjoy Farm Day activities.
CF's Blair (NE) Terminal supports the Blair School District with minigrants.

Blair School District

Recent minigrants awarded to educators from Blair schools include projects to experiment with seeds and the plants they produce; create outdoor learning spaces to explore plant and animal life cycles; conduct research on Aquatic Agriculture in an Aquatic Ecosystem; and learn about habitats, animals, food sources and the environment at Desoto Wildlife Refuge.
CF's Brandon (MB) Terminal supports the Brandon School Division with minigrants.

Brandon School Division

Recent minigrants awarded to educators from Brandon schools include projects to learn how clean water is accessed; build a greenhouse to produce food to be shared at the school and elsewhere; develop a school campaign to reduce the number of disposable plastic water bottles; and expand existing flower bed and vegetable gardens using regional prairie plantings to attract butterflies and bees.
CF's Frankfort (IN) Terminal supports the Clinton Prairie School Corporation with minigrants

Clinton Prairie School Corporation

Recent minigrants awarded to educators from Clinton Prairie schools include projects to learn about the life-cycle of insects and woodland animals; use STEM learning kits to gain knowledge about scientific principles; and explore the animal life around them through technology.
CF's Cowden (IL) Terminal supports the Cowden-Herrick Community Unit School District with minigrants

Cowden-Herrick Community Unit School District

Recent minigrants awarded to educators from the Cowden-Herrick schools include projects to: create their own town including a sewer system (to scale); experience History through a trip to Cahokia Mounds; study environmental sustainability and water supply improvements through hydroponics and greenhouse construction; and learn the value of water as a natural resource.
CF's Fremont (NE) Terminal supports Fremont Public Schools with minigrants

Fremont Public Schools

Recent minigrants awarded to educators from Fremont schools include projects to be introduced to the livelihood of daily operations on a working farm, crops, equipment, storage bins, and animals that are part of the agricultural setting; and investigate habitats, animals, food sources and the environment at Mahoney State Park.
CF's Garner (IA) Terminal supports the Garner-Hayfield-Ventura Community School District with minigrants

Garner-Hayfield-Ventura Community School District

Recent minigrants awarded to educators from Garner-Hayfield-Ventura Community School District include projects to: build a new learning center where students can experience working in horticulture and agronomy and grants for teachers to incorporate agriculture or the environment in the classroom.
CF's Grand Forks (ND) Terminal supports the Grand Forks Foundation for Education with minigrants

Grand Forks Foundation for Education

Recent minigrants awarded to the Grand Forks Foundation for Education supported projects that increase understanding of the importance of water resources to the region's future, why agriculture and agricultural products that go into making pizza are important to the area, and how the local water supply is protected.
CF's Palmyra (MO) Terminal supports the Hannibal School District with minigrans

Hannibal School District

Recent minigrants awarded to educators from the Hannibal schools include projects to discover the benefits of plants that attract butterflies and caterpillars and learn the variations in water quality, soil composition, seed origin and their affects on plants.
CF's Pine Bend (MN) Terminal and Warehouse support the Hastings School District with minigrants

Hastings School District

Recent minigrants awarded to educators from Hastings schools include projects to research the life cycle of trees, purchase field biology equipment and connect students to nature by visiting the Carpenter Nature Center.
CF's Huntington (IN) Terminal supports the Huntington County Community School Corporation with minigrants

Huntington County Community School Corporation

Recent minigrants awarded to educators from Huntington schools included projects to: monitor and report on the growth of chickens from egg to chick; investigate abstract theory and math based problem-solving to design a product to be created on a 3D printer; maintain an outdoor classroom to learn about stewardship; research decomposition and landfills to gain greater understanding of the waste issue.
CF's Kingston Mines (IL) Terminal supports the Illini Bluffs School District with minigrants

Illini Bluffs School District

Recent minigrants awarded to educators from Illini Bluffs schools include projects to learn the value of the rainforest; gain insight into lifecycles of plants, insects and animals; understand the transfer of energy and matter between organisms; research plastics and how improper discarding of plastics harms the environment; and study agricultural and aquatic ecosystems.
CF's Peru (IL) Terminal supports LaSalle/Peru area schools with minigrants

LaSalle/Peru Area Schools

Recent minigrants awarded to educators from the LaSalle/Peru area include projects to experiment with Hydroponics and grow edible plants in the classroom; revitalize the school garden and produce food from the soil; experiment to discover the basic needs of plants; and host local school students at Illinois Valley Community College as a part of the Rivers Project.
CF's Ritzville (WA) Terminal supports the Lind-Ritzville School District with minigrants

Lind-Ritzville School District

Recent minigrants awarded to educators from Lind-Ritzville schools include projects to research the connection between apples and bees; gain practical experience in environmental science research techniques; research beef production in Washington, how it moves from farm to table; and explore the impact of mining and agriculture on the eagle population.
CF's Glenwood (MN) Terminal supports the Minnewaska Area School District with minigrants

Minnewaska Area School District

Recent minigrants awarded to educators from the Minnewaska Area School District include projects to learn the value of preservation of our natural resources; monitor and report of growth of chickens from egg to chick; prepare locally-sourced foods for healthy eating; investigate how trees respond to changes in water and soil quality; and research water conservation efforts.
CF's Mount Vernon (IN) Terminal supports the Mount Vernon Community School District with minigrants

Mount Vernon Community School District

Recent minigrants awarded to educators from Mount Vernon Community School District schools include projects to research plants to learn what is required to help them thrive;use a science classification library to learn the importance of the Earth, Moon and Sun; gain insight into environmental preservation for animals and plants; and study water and soil quality through testing and observation.
CF's Palmyra (MO) Terminal supports the Palmyra School District with minigrants

Palmyra School District

Recent minigrants awarded to educators from Palmyra schools include projects to collaborate to build an outdoor learning space and research conservation efforts and their impact on the land.
CF's Pine Bend (MN) Terminal and Warehouse support the Randolph School District with minigrants

Randolph School District

Recent minigrants awarded to educators from Randolph schools include projects to understand the life cycle of a plant, conduct a bean growth project and explore using conductivity.
CF's Albany (IL) Terminal supports the River Bend Community Unit School District #2 with minigrants

River Bend Community Unit School District #2

Recent minigrants awarded to educators from River Bend schools include projects to: become CPR certified to help in case of an emergency; develop an Earth Day program to be shared with K-8 students; learn about water budgets and how to manage irrigation to improve farm economics; and create robots to search and rescue and perform other high risk functions.
CF's Rycroft (AB) Terminal supports Rycroft area schools with minigrants

Rycroft Area Schools

Recent minigrants awarded to educators from Rycroft area schools include projects to complete an ecological study of Moonshine Lake; explore terrestrial insect life in their natural habitat; learn about germination and growth of seeds; delve into wetland ecosystems; and observe rocks, minerals and fossils within their environment.
CF's Seneca (IL) Terminal supports the Seneca Community Consolidated School District with minigrants

Seneca Community Consolidated School District

Recent minigrants awarded to educators from Seneca area schools include projects to learn about the effects of weather on agriculture; examine water quality through testing of water samples and determine opportunities to prevent contamination; clean up 30 miles of roadways around their school; research various animals, plants and insects, farming and the environment.
CF's Spencer (IA) Terminal supports the Spencer Community School District with minigrants

Spencer Community School District

Recent minigrants awarded to educators from Spencer area schools include projects to learn various ways plants take up nutrients and the effect of water quality on our natural resources; study as seeds grow into plants and observe bugs in their habitats; challenge students to create robots that conquer ever increasing challenges; and plant a garden that will provide elements for nutrition-filled meals.
CF's Vanscoy (SK) Terminal supports Vanscoy and Delisle schools with minigrants

Vanscoy and Delisle Schools

Recent minigrants awarded to educators from Vanscoy and Delisle schools include: plan and plant gardens following the lifecycle from seed to food; and learn about Farm-to-Fork.
CF's Velva (ND) Terminal supports the Velva School District with minigrants

Velva School District

Recent minigrants awarded to educators from Velva Public Schools include projects to investigate where food is grown, harvested and distributed; experiment with how environment influences growth and development: create agricultural or environmental Apps; and bake meals using North Dakota Pulse foods.
CF's Terre Haute (IN) Terminal supports the Vigo County Education Foundation with minigrants

Vigo County Education Foundation

Recent minigrants awarded to the Vigo County Foundation for Education supported projects that purchased adult and infant mannequins for CPR training, showed how a marine ecosystem works, allowed 2nd grade students to become worm farmers to demonstrate the importance of composting and sustainability, and developed and maintained a butterfly garden and bird sanctuary.