Farmers plan to donate portion of harvest to schools

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.