Barry McNamara  |   Published February 05, 2021

$25,000 Grant

Compeer Financial awards MORE for Agriculture Grant to Monmouth College.

MONMOUTH, Ill. – Compeer Financial’s Fund for Rural America has awarded $25,000 to the Monmouth College Educational Studies PLACE Site, through a MORE for Agriculture Grant.

DESTINATION DOME: Educational studies professor Craig Vivian believes the grant money received fr... DESTINATION DOME: Educational studies professor Craig Vivian believes the grant money received from Compeer Financial will make the College's Educational Farm more than just a place for short field trips -- children will be able to learn at the site all day.An acronym for Partnerships Linking Agriculture, Community and Education, the PLACE Site program seeks to be a catalyst for agriculture-based educational partnerships and curriculum. It scales up work that began at the College’s Educational Farm and Garden in 2019 with another grant.

“We received a $10,000 grant from Compeer last year, so this grant shows their confidence and trust in what we’re trying to achieve,” said Monmouth educational studies professor Craig Vivian. “With this grant, we want to build up the infrastructure at our farm and garden for education and curriculum. One way we plan to do that is to furnish the new geodesic dome with some different tools and technologies.”

Doing so would take the farm, which is located a half-mile east of campus, from a field trip destination to a site where all-day learning could take place.

“It will be a nice, full curriculum that is housed out at the farm, with plenty of tools (students) can use, such as microscopes and tools to observe, measure and analyze the natural world we find at the farm.” Craig Vivian

“The idea is that students can spend the majority of their school day out there,” said Vivian. “It won’t just be a 30-minute field trip and then head back to school. We’ll be able to cover a lot of areas with them, such as biology, math and literature. The math could come from things like measurements and statistics and tracking things like rate of growth. The literature could be reading about agricultural issues that we’re facing locally. It will be a nice, full curriculum that is housed out at the farm, with plenty of tools they can use, such as microscopes and tools to observe, measure and analyze the natural world we find at the farm.”

Through presentations, digital and on-site workshops, and social media outreach, the PLACE Site aims to develop four features: an agricultural curriculum for the community and students from kindergarten through high school; spaces for the public to interact with agriculture; an interdisciplinary network of experts; and a platform to highlight the community’s agricultural experiences.

Vivian’s hope is that the program will serve as a model of agricultural education and engagement for other rural communities in the region.

“This grant will give our community’s students an unprecedented opportunity to learn how agriculture connects us all. Even better, it will give them the space and resources to change their community for the better.” Jenni Dickens

“I’m really big on agrarian philosophy, and this type of learning, specifically, helps students think about the world and their place in it through the culture of agriculture,” said Vivian. “It also provides a way to connect public schooling to Monmouth College and to connect the city and College.”

Vivian’s department colleague Jenni Dickens and Compeer Financial team member Shane Kaiser agreed with Vivian about the importance of connections.

“This grant will give our community’s students an unprecedented opportunity to learn how agriculture connects us all,” said Dickens, who serves as the educational studies department’s director of partnerships and initiatives. “Even better, it will give them the space and resources to change their community for the better, starting now, through the vital, common thread of agriculture.”

Kaiser said: “The PLACE site provides critical hands-on experiences and interactive learning that can only take place outside of the classroom. The site has a great potential to impact students of all ages in the Monmouth community and help them connect with agriculture in unique ways.”

Now in its second year, Compeer Financial’s MORE for Agriculture Grant supports innovative programs that encompass four qualities:

• Mission: Aligns with the mission of Compeer Financial, enriches agriculture and rural communities.
• Opportunity: Provides a new opportunity for clients or future clients, fills a known void in agricultural and rural markets, is a new and innovative project.
• Replication: Can be replicated by others to serve different geographic areas, with the ability for future collaboration.
• Evolution: Evolves over time to create a better future for agriculture and rural America.

Compeer Financial is a member-owned Farm Credit cooperative serving and supporting agriculture and rural communities. The $23.7 billion organization provides loans, leases, risk management and other financial services throughout 144 counties in Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Compeer Financial is the third-largest cooperative of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of lending institutions supporting agriculture and rural communities with reliable, consistent credit and financial services.

Back to News & Events

Did you know?

  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College has an active Pipe & Drum Band. Each year on Scholar’s Day in April the bagpipers wake students up at 6:00 a.m. by playing in the residence halls!</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/music/pipe-band/" target="_blank">Pipe Band</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> We’re no stranger to winning. Last year the Fighting Scots won Midwest Conference championships in Football, Women’s Soccer, Women’s Basketball and Men’s Track and Field. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="https://monmouthscots.com/" target="_blank">Fighting Scots</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> 99% of Monmouth students received some type of scholarship or financial assistance.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/offices/student-financial-planning/types-of-aid/scholarships/" target="_blank">Scholarships</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College is proudly test optional. Applicants may choose whether or to submit SAT or ACT scores for admission and scholarship consideration. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/admission/apply/test-optional/" target="_blank">Test Optional</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p><strong>Monmouth College is the birthplace of the women’s fraternity movement. Pi Beta Phi, the first such collegiate women’s organization, was founded at Monmouth in 1867. It was followed three years later by Kappa Kappa Gamma. The two pioneering organizations today boast a total of 275 active chapters nationwide.</strong></p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/student-life/sororities-fraternities/" target="_blank">Sororities & Fraternities</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College has an educational garden and 6.7 acre farm. Students grow and harvest fruits and vegetables to sell at the local farmer’s market. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="https://monmouthcollege.edu/academics/only-at-monmouth/educational-garden-farm/" target="_blank">Garden & Farm</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College offers several international trips each year during 2-week Scots Terms in January and May. Recently students have traveled to Botswana, Greece, Scotland, Japan, and more. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="https://monmouthcollege.edu/offices/global-engagement/" target="_blank">Scots Term</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> 98% of Monmouth graduates were employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/wackerle-center/career-services/" target="_blank">Career Preparation</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> We offer a certified Peace Corps Preparation program that gives Peace Corps bound graduates a leg up in the application process.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/peace-corps-prep/" target="_blank">Peace Corps Prep</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College covers the cost for all current students to get a U.S. passport. Unlock access to over 198 different countries! We’ll even help with the paperwork :)</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/study-abroad/" target="_blank">Study Abroad</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College offers unique academic minors in Global Public Health and Global Food Security for students who want to use their education to address global challenges. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/global-public-health/" target="_blank">Global Public Health</a></li><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/global-food-security/" target="_blank">Global Food Security</a></li></ul></div></aside>