Gift of


What began as a good year for many farmers — timely rains and an early start for many — may end up as a questionable one.

Heavy rainfall and severe flooding along the East Fork White River and Muscatatuck River caused undue and sometimes fatal stress on some corn and soybean fields. Their yields remain uncertain at best right now.

Nevertheless, farmers across Jackson County soon will start their combines as the fall harvest gets under way. A few may be hard at it already, harvesting bushels and bushels of corn and soybeans.

Farmers will transfer those crops from field to farm to grain buyers, manufacturers and eventually to our grocers and our kitchen tables in one form or another.

Farming and its related agri-businesses remain a big industry in our community and a vital part of the Community Foundation of Jackson County. Many of our friends and neighbors are employed directly or indirectly by farming and the businesses that help keep them operating.

Each harvest season, the foundation makes a tool available to area farmers to help support the community — the Giving a Gift of Grain program. There’s also the Giving a Gift of Livestock program available for livestock producers who might be inclined to give a steer a year.

Their donations also count as votes in our second annual Head-To-Head: Green vs. Red contest. Tractor enthusiasts without grain to donate can also participate in the contest with their cash donations. We’ll have more details on that contest later. The Red team won last year, by the way.

Crops, of course, are the livelihood of grain farmers, who prepare the soil, plant the seeds and nurture their plants to maturity and eventual harvest. That’s also how the foundation handles the gifts of cash and property — including gifts of grain and livestock — and the Foundation invites farmers to invest in growing a better tomorrow for Jackson County with their gifts.

Participating in the Gift of Grain program is simple and can take place at participating elevators — Jackson-Jennings Co-op in Brownstown and Cortland, Bundy Brothers & Sons at Medora, Rose Acre Farms at Cortland and Tampico Grain near Crothersville.

Farmers can contribute their gifts of grain to benefit the area’s agricultural community through grants to programs such as 4-H and scholarship funds such as the Jackson-Jennings Co-op/Bob Myers Memorial Scholarship and the Jackson County Veterinary Scholarship. They also may be donated to the Jackson County Community Endowment, which helps finance the fall grant program, classroom education grants and grants for emerging community needs.

Donors to Gift of Grain can benefit by avoiding the sale of the donated grain in their farm income. Savings can be found in their federal and state income tax bills.

For information about the Giving a Gift of Grain program, or its companion program, Giving a Gift Livestock, contact the foundation at 812-523-4483 or send an email to [email protected]. We’ll be happy to work with you as you harvest your crops and sow the seeds to help us grow better tomorrows.

And one more thing — let’s all be careful out there as those big lumbering combines, grain trucks and trailers make their way along area roads as farmers hustle to bring in their harvest.

Dan Davis is president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Jackson County. The foundation administers more than 140 funds with assets of more than $10 million. For information about how you can make a donation to any of the funds administered by the foundation or how you might start a new fund, call 812-523-4483 or send an email to Davis at [email protected].

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