BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – It’s down to the final four in The Toro Company’s "Ready. Set. GROW!" grant program, and now it’s up to the public to decide the winners. The all-new community grant program will award $15,000 to growers and nonprofits that promote sustainable practices in agricultural communities across America.

The "Ready. Set. GROW! finalists include:

  • Armed Services YMCA at Camp Pendleton (Camp Pendleton, Calif.), which would use the grant to support the Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training program, training active-duty service members and veterans in sustainable agribusiness. 
  • North Louisiana Agri-Business Council (West Monroe, La.), which would use the grant to create an educational display demonstrating the efficiencies of irrigation and best practices in water management. The display would be a part of LSU AgCenter’s Ag Alley, where more than 10,000 adults and children attend to learn and improve agricultural practices.
  • Project Fine – Colorful Growers (Winona, Minn.), which would use the grant to promote the use of water-saving technologies through education and demonstration, specifically focusing on youth ages 10 to 18. The program promotes healthy diets and exercise by placing large focus on education, understanding and appreciating how food is grown in a sustainable manner.
  • Shannon Ranch Elementary School (Visalia, Calif.), which would use the grant to install a drip irrigation system to more efficiently irrigate the school garden. The area is used by students throughout the year to learn about life sciences, and would serve as a model on smart irrigation practices for the surrounding community.

Starting today through November 19, 2013, the public can vote to determine which organization receives the largest grant to support its program. The organization with the most votes via the Facebook contest will receive $7,000; the program with the second most votes will receive $4,000; and the third- and fourth-place winners will each receive $2,000.