Orrville Fire Department awarded grant

Published 10:36 pm Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Wendy Yeager presents Orrville Volunteer Fire Department Chief Bill Grimes a $2,500 donation from the Monsanto Fund to use toward equipment.

Wendy Yeager presents Orrville Volunteer Fire Department Chief Bill Grimes a $2,500 donation from the Monsanto Fund to use toward equipment.

Since 2010, America’s Farmers Grow Communities, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, has provided funds for farmers to apply for grants to use toward a favorite community non-profit organization. Orrville farmer Wendy Yeager applied for a grant, won and chose the Orrville Volunteer Fire Department as the beneficiary of the $2,500 donation.

“The reason why I chose the fire department is because they do a lot of good in our community,” Yeager said.

Each year, winners from the 1,326 eligible counties are selected. Over 22 million dollars have been awarded to non-profit organizations in rural areas since the program’s creation.

This year, 13 organizations in Alabama benefitted from the grant such as Colbert County High School Football Team in Colbert County, Fyffee Volunteer Fire Department in Dekalb County, Town Creek Public Library in Lawrence County and Hartford Civic Club in Geneva County and others.

In order to apply, the applicant must be 21 years of age or older and must meet certain farming requirements, according to www.americasfarmers.com. Qualified counties are selected by crop parameters from the USDA Crop Production report and must have a minimum of 30,000 acres of corn, soybeans, cotton and vegetables.

Chief Bill Grimes said the donation will be a big help in purchasing new equipment.

“We’ll be able to buy a piece of equipment that normally we wouldn’t be able to afford,” Grimes said.

Grimes said the department is looking at purchasing a thermal imaging camera.

“If you have a fire in the wall, the camera will spot where the heat source it,” Grimes said.

The cameras generally run between $5,000 to $8,000.

Normally the department hosts the annual West Dallas Antique Tractor Show, Car, Gas Engine and Craft Show fundraiser in November. However, because of various contributing factors, the department decided to cancel last year’s fundraiser.

“Typically, that’s a huge fundraiser for the fire department,” Yeager said.

The show attracts between 2,500 to 3,500 visitors each year and has become a staple event for the Orrville community.

Grimes said the department plans on having the fundraiser this year, but the donation will help until then.

“It means a lot,” he said.

For more information about America’s Farmers Grow Communities, visit www.americasfarmers.com.