Partnership gets donation

Published 9:41 pm Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Jaya Tiwari, left, executive director of the Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community, receives a $2,500 donation check from Monsanto representative Jimmy Shields, right. The partnership received the donation, because local farmer Joseph Barlow Jr. won a contest and directed the award money to the organization.

A local organization received a donation Wednesday through the generosity of a local farmer.

Joseph Barlow Jr. was selected as a winner in the America’s Farmers Grow Communities program by Monsanto Company, an agricultural company that sells crop seeds, weed control products and other agricultural products.

As a result, Barlow received $2,500 to direct to a local nonprofit organization. He chose the Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community.

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“It’s a good fit,” said Barlow, who has been involved with the partnership before as “Mr. May” in its 2012 Guys with Ties calendar.

Barlow explained that the partnership is involved with causes such as community gardens, sustainable farming and healthy eating, which all connect to his chosen profession.

“We definitely appreciate this,” said Jaya Tiwari, executive director of the Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community. “We’re grateful for Joe recommending the partnership as a worthy organization.”

Jimmy Shields, a Monsanto representative, said the company expects to donate $3.1 million to local nonprofits across the country this year through the program. One winner was selected in each of 1,245 eligible counties in 39 states, he said.

This is the second year in a row the Barlow family has won the award. Last year, Barlow’s wife, Shelley Barlow, received the award and directed it to the Virginia Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom, which helped purchase books about agriculture for all of Suffolk’s elementary school libraries.

The Barlows own Cotton Plains Farm near Chuckatuck.

Shields said a husband and wife winning in two consecutive years is unusual, especially because the eventual winner is randomly selected from among qualified applicants.

For more information on the program and a full list of winners, visit www.growcommunities.com.