Gift of Grain program allows farmers to support community

By Dan Davis

School is back in session.

The Friday night lights are burning as the Owls, Braves and Cougars football players hit the gridiron and marching bands roll out their new shows.

And some leaves are already turning brown and fluttering to the ground.

Yes, autumn is quickly approaching.

That means the fall harvest will soon kick into high gear with Jackson County farmers working their way through fields, harvesting their corn and soybean crops.

Farmers will transfer bushels and bushels of corn and beans from field to farm to grain buyers, food processors and eventually to our grocers and our kitchen tables.

They hope this growing season has been a good one, producing a good yield. The Community Foundation of Jackson County hopes so, too, for the benefit of our farmers and our community in general.

That’s because farmers and the agri-business sector represent a strong, vibrant part of our economy and community. 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.

Participating in the Gift of Grain program is simple and can take place at participating elevators — Premier Ag in Brownstown and Cortland; Bundy Brothers at Medora; Rose Acre Farms at Cortland and Tampico Grain near Crothersville.

Farmers’ gifts can benefit the area’s agricultural community through grants to programs such as 4-H and scholarship funds such as the Premier Companies/Bob Myers Scholarship and the Jackson County Veterinary Scholarship.

They also can benefit the Fall Grant Cycle with gifts to unrestricted funds. D&B Pfaffenberger & Sons Grain of Seymour have done just that the last several years with donations to the foundation’s Community Fund.

Donald Schnitker of Cortland plans to again make a Gift of Grain to the foundation this year. It will be directed to the Orville and Mary Schnitker Memorial Endowment, which was started in December 2016 by Schnitker and his siblings, Lois Bryden and Lora Willey, to honor their parents.

“Even years where the farm economy is struggling, we as farmers still have much to be thankful for and should be proud to share our blessings with the community where we live,” Schnitker said of his plans.

A farmer’s grain donation also counts as votes in the Head-To-Head: Green vs. Red contest. The good folks at Wright Implement and Jacobi Sales in Seymour have again teamed with us to promote the contest, parking equipment head-to-head in the Foundation parking lot.

For information about the Giving a Gift of Grain program, or its companion program, Giving a Gift Livestock, contact the Community Foundation of Jackson County 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.

The foundation also invites tractor enthusiasts to stand up and vote — with their donations — for their favorite implements in the Head to Head: Green vs. Red competition this fall.

A $25 donation entitles the donor to cast one vote for their favorite equipment line. A $100 donation entitles the donor to five votes. You can vote in our office or online by going to and clicking on the Donate Now button. You can also place donations in red and green donation canisters at Jacobi Sales and Wright Implement.

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

Dan Davis is president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Jackson County, 107 Community Drive, Seymour, IN 47274. For information about donating to the foundation, call 812-523-4483 or send an email to [email protected].