Monsanto grant to help pay for farm greenhouse

Friday, June 15, 2007 | 2:00 a.m. CDT; updated 10:13 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

The Thomas Jefferson Agricultural Institute has received a $200,000 grant from the Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic branch of a St. Louis based agricultural company. The money will pay for the construction of a greenhouse at Jefferson Farm and Gardens, an educational farm being developed by the institute at MU’s South Farm.

The teaching greenhouse will be a year-round exhibit displaying plants at various stages of growth.

The Monsanto Fund lists four priorities it considers when awarding grants: improving nutritional well-being through agriculture, the environment, science education and communities.

The Jefferson Agricultural Institute has spent more than $1 million on the farm, which is located on 67 acres leased from MU on New Haven Road, one mile east of U.S. 63.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development donated $500,000 to fund the farm, and another $400,000 came from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Other private grants have come from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, which donated $700,000 for educational operating costs over the next four years.

The farm’s biggest construction project will be a visitor’s education complex. The entire facility is estimated to cost $3.4 million.

Jefferson Farm and Gardens is projected to open to the public in the fall of 2008.

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