Farmer steers $2,500 to Clayton history room

sgilman@newsobserver.comFebruary 28, 2014 

Monsanto’s Ken Lampkin, Clayton historian Pam Lipscomb Baumgartner and Clayton farmer James Vinson hold the $2,500 check from the America’s Farmers Grow Communities project. Members of the library board stand behind them.


One of Clayton’s treasures, the Virginia Lee Satterfield History Room in the Hocutt-Ellington Memorial Library, just got richer.

On Monday, two representatives of Monsanto, the chemical and agricultural giant, presented a $2,500 check to library staff and board members for use in the history room.

“We can use it to document and archive more of Clayton’s rich history,” said town historian Pam Lipscomb Baumgartner, who was beaming as she described what the check would mean. She might get more archival boxes or even an updated microfiche reader.

Clayton farmer James Vinson won $2,500 in a countywide drawing for America’s Farmers Grow Communities, a project funded by Monsanto. He chose the library to receive the money.

Vinson, who farms tobacco, corn and soybeans near Clayton, expressed fondness for the library. “I’ve always thought a lot of the library and have always enjoyed history, family history,” he said. “We’ve got a wonderful library here. I used it growing up, and I still use it from time to time.”

Belle Allen, vice chairwoman of the library’s board of trustees, said the check would be a great help to the board’s efforts. “We already promote and support the library,” she said. “The check just means we can do more.”

Every year since 2010, the Monsanto Fund has granted one $2,500 check to a nonprofit in each of 1,289 counties across 39 states. Farmers wishing to apply simply go to their local agriculture retail store and pick up an application. They fill it out and send it to Monsanto, which conducts a drawing for each participating county.

The farmer who wins the yearly drawing in his county then selects a recipient.

“The whole idea is to support the farmers and their communities,” said Monsanto’s Ken Lampkin, who helped present the check to the Clayton library. “Farmer support is very, very important to us. We felt like farmers giving back to the community they came from would be a boon to the community.”


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