Farmer, Monsanto team up to help micro business firm

By From page A13 | February 17, 2013

Lending Works Inc., a Davis-based company, will be able to continue assisting those with disabilities, thanks to the support of local farmer Steve Pylman and America’s Farmers Grow Communities.

Sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of Monsanto Co., Grow Communities provides farmers in eligible counties the chance to win a $2,500 donation for a local nonprofit organization of their choice. To further support counties declared natural disaster areas by the U.S. Department of Agriculture due to drought this year, winning farmers in these counties are able to direct double donations, a total of $5,000.

Yolo County was declared a disaster area by the USDA, giving Pylman the opportunity to give an additional $2,500 to Lending Works, for a total gift of $5,000.

“I’m very excited to help out such a great cause,” Pylman said in a news release.

Lending Works Inc. gives interest-free loans of up to $3,000 to individuals with disabilities who want to start or expand their own micro business. Loan recipients have started a variety of businesses, including jewelry, landscaping and costume design businesses.

The president of the volunteer board for Lending Works Inc., Jackson Murtha, is a micro business owner himself. Murtha, who lives in Davis, designs products for “Buttons ‘n Bears, oh my!” — a Davis-based business that has created custom buttons, pins and magnets for political campaigns, schools, businesses, sororities, fraternities and other groups.

This year, the Monsanto Fund will invest nearly $6 million in rural America through Grow Communities, which includes double donations for counties impacted by the historic drought.

In California, $62,500 is being given across 14 counties.

America’s Farmers Grow Communities is sponsored by the Monsanto Fund to partner with farmers in helping them positively impact their communities. This program is part of the Monsanto Fund’s overall effort to strengthen rural America.

Enterprise staff

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