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Lee County farmers donate to Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Winnings from Americas Farmers allow for donation to Albany hospital

A nurse cares for a 47-day-old baby boy in the neonatal intensive care unit at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in a 2010 file photo. A couple from Lee County recently donated $2,500 to the NICU through America’s Farmers Grow Communities. (Albany Herald file photo)

A nurse cares for a 47-day-old baby boy in the neonatal intensive care unit at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in a 2010 file photo. A couple from Lee County recently donated $2,500 to the NICU through America’s Farmers Grow Communities. (Albany Herald file photo)

ALBANY — Lee County farmers Eric and Stephanie Gause have directed a $2,500 donation to the Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) funded by America’s Farmers Grow Communities to contribute to the production of an informative video for families with loved ones in the unit, officials with America’s Farmers have announced.

Thanks to the support of farmers across the country, more than $3.2 million is being directed to nonprofits in 1,289 counties in 39 states, officials say.

“Our goal is to provide a communication tool for our NICU families, one that informs and prepares them for this stressful situation,” said Phoebe Foundation Executive Director Lauren Ray in a statement.

America’s Farmers Grow Communities works directly with farmers to support nonprofit organizations. The program offers farmers the chance to win $2,500, which is then donated to the farmer’s nonprofit of choice. Through America’s Farmers Grow Communities, farmers have been able to support a variety of groups, such as schools, fire departments, community centers and youth organizations like 4-H and Future Farmers of America, officials say.

“They helped our daughter that was born premature and we were very pleased with the care she received,” said Eric Gause on the decision to donate to the NICU.

America’s Farmers Grow Communities launched in 2010, and has since donated over $13 million to more than 5,200 nonprofit organizations across the country, officials say. Sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, is part of the America’s Farmers initiative, which highlights and celebrates the important contributions of farmers.

The America’s Farmers campaign is an advocacy program meant to celebrate U.S. farmers through communications, awards and special programs that highlight the importance of modern American agriculture. Among its other initiatives is America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education, which supports rural education by offering farmers the chance to nominate area school districts that can compete for a $10,000 or $25,000 merit-based grant to enhance math and science education; America’s Farmers Mom of the Year, which celebrates women in agriculture by offering the chance to win up to $10,000 and the title of “National Farm Mom of the Year,” and America’s Farmers Grow Ag Leaders, which launches this year in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Nebraska, North Carolina and South Carolina and aims to encourage the next generation to remain involved in agriculture by offering students the chance to apply for a $1,500 scholarship.