A new program called Canada's Farmers Grow Communities has been introduced to help strengthen rural communities.  The program gives farmers the opportunity to secure a $2,500 grant for a community charity or non-profit organization of their choice.

There will be two grants awarded in each of 29 grain growing territories across Canada.  

"Basically farmers just need to go in and tell us who they are, who they want to nominate and why, and then their name will be entered into a random draw," explains Trish Jordan, Spokesperson for Monsanto Canada Inc.

Jordan says they think farmers will have the best judgement on which community organizations need support. "Things like 4H, or maybe an upgrade to the local community center or maybe there is a particular program within a rural community, like a food bank or a program for under age kids. It really can be anything as long as it is a charitable organization."

Applicants have to be a farmer at least 19 years of age who is actively engaged in farming a combination of corn, soybeans and/or canola on at least 160 acres in Western Canada or a combination of corn or soybeans on at least 80 acres in Eastern Canada.

Non-farming community members can also go online and give their input.

The entry period goes until September 30, 2012 and winners will be notified by November 15, 2012.