Farmers plan to donate portion of harvest to schools

In this Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015, photo, central Illinois farmers deposit harvested corn on the ground outside a full grain elevator. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
In this Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015, photo, central Illinois farmers deposit harvested corn on the ground outside a full grain elevator. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

UTICA, Ill. (AP) — Farmers near Utica, Illinois, are donating a portion of their grain harvest this year to local schools.

The (LaSalle) News Tribune reports the idea originated with Nick Barto, who farms in Waltham Township. The Gift of Grain program benefits Waltham Elementary Education Foundation, which supports the Utica-area Waltham Elementary Schools.

Barto says it’s a way for farmers to give back. Utica-area grain elevators will calculate how many bushels farmers have designated for schools and write the check. Farmers may feel especially generous because it’s been a high yield year for corn and soybeans.

Superintendent Kristi Eager says the program recognizes the shared heritage of the school district and the community.

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