MANKATO, MN (KDAL) - The AgStar Fund for Rural America, the corporate giving program of AgStar Financial Services, recently announced $127,835 in grants to 94 communities through the Emergency Response Equipment Grant Program. Due to the great need and large volume of applications, the AgStar Fund doubled the amount of departments served and increased the budget for this program by twenty five percent. Grants for up to $2,500 are awarded for funding equipment for volunteer fire, rescue and ambulance squads in AgStar’s 69 county service area. Since the Fund’s inception in 2001, AgStar has awarded nearly $567,274 to fire departments, ambulance teams and rescue squads in Minnesota and Wisconsin. With a record number of grants awarded this year, following are a few examples of what the AgStar grant dollars will support. The Barnum Volunteer Fire Department in Carlton County, MN will replace communication equipment and a rig that was lost in the flooding this past summer.