ROSCOE, Texas — Seventy percent of firefighters in the United States are volunteer and the only way for these departments to update and repair their lifesaving equipment is through community donations. The Roscoe Volunteer Fire Department faced a very dry year with many fires and is in need of extra funds to purchase new equipment. Thanks to one local farmer and America’s Farmers Grow Communities, the Roscoe Volunteer Fire Department can continue to keep its community and surrounding area safe.
Grow Communities, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, gives farmers the opportunity to win $2,500 for their favorite local nonprofit organizations. Larry Williams was the winning farmer in Nolan County. He recognized the need for new equipment and directed the donation to the Roscoe Volunteer Fire Department.
"We had a terrible fire season this year,” Williams said. “We had a very bad drought state-wide and our fire departments, especially volunteer fire departments, were fighting fires constantly.”
The department will use the $2,500 to purchase new fire equipment, such as a hose, nozzle and emergency lighting, for its new five-ton brush truck.
"Our department has been trying to recover from all the large grass fires last year around our area,” said Gary Armstrong, fire chief. “We have had trucks, equipment and gear damaged beyond repair. These fires put a strain on our department physically and financially, but with this donation through Grow Communities, the Monsanto Fund and the kindness of Larry Williams of Vista Farms 2, we will be able to replace some of our lost equipment."
In a ceremony held on Monday, March 26 at the fire station, Williams got the chance to present the Roscoe Volunteer Fire Department with the $2,500 donation.
Through America’s Farmers Grow Communities:
• Farmers in 1,245 eligible counties have the chance to win $2,500 for their favorite community nonprofit organizations.
• The Monsanto Fund has invested more than $3.1 million to rural communities this year alone.
• More than $352,500 in total has been donated to nonprofits in Texas.
• A list of all winners and more information can be found at www.growcommunities.com 
“Volunteer fire departments don't have a lot of funding other than donations, and I so glad that I was able to help the Roscoe department with this donation,” Williams said.
Grow Communities is part of a broad commitment by the Monsanto Fund to invest in farm communities such as Nolan County. It aims to highlight the important contributions farmers such as Williams make every day to our society.