Gift of Grain benefits community

Staff Reports

Crop conditions look poised for a good harvest this fall as some Jackson County farmers are already starting to shell corn and pick soybeans.

The Community Foundation of Jackson County invites area farmers to participate in the annual Giving a Gift of Grain program. Their donations support the foundation and overall community.

According to the Sept. 7 U.S. Department of Agriculture weekly crop report, 57% of the Hoosier State’s corn production is rated as good with 14% rated as excellent. Likewise, 57% of Indiana’s soybean fields are rated good, and 10% are rated as excellent.

Farmers can contribute grain to benefit the area’s agricultural community through the Premier Companies/Bob Myers Memorial Scholarship, C.B. Hess 4-H Memorial Scholarship and Jackson County Veterinary Scholarship.

Or they can donate to the foundation’s community endowments, which benefit the fall grant cycle and Impact Grant program, foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Dan Davis said.

Tractor enthusiasts who don’t have grain to donate to the program also can cast a ballot in the Head-to-Head Green vs. Red competition. A $25 donation to the Jackson County Community Endowment, for instance, entitles the donor to cast one vote for their favorite equipment line. A $100 donation entitles the donor to five votes.

Another option available to donors is to create a new unrestricted endowment in the name of themselves, their family or their farm that would also provide income for future grants.

D and B Pfaffenberger and Sons Grain of Seymour plans to make a gift again this year to the program. The donation is meeting a family obligation, Mike Pfaffenberger said.

“Our family is committed to giving back,” he said. “We’re blessed, good years or bad, and we feel the need to give back and help others. Good or bad, we all need to give something.”

The Pfaffenberger gift was directed to the Jackson County Community Endowment, which helps fund the fall grant cycle. In terms of Green vs. Red, the family generally supports the Red team.

Hamilton Township farmer Donald Schnitker expects to again make a gift of grain last this fall. His gift will support the Green team and be paid into the Orville and Mary Schnitker Memorial Endowment.

“I think it’s a unique way for a farmer to give to the foundation,” said Schnitker, who joined the foundation’s board of directors in April. “Instead of just giving money, I’m giving part of what I do.”

Participating in the Gift of Grain is simple. Farmers can tell their grain elevator that a particular load of corn or soybeans is being donated to the foundation. The elevator in turn sells the grain for the foundation. Donors to the Giving a Gift of Grain program can benefit by avoiding the sale of the donated grain in their farm income, which can provide a savings in their federal and state income tax bills.

Participating grain elevators include Bundy Brothers in Medora, Premier Companies in Brownstown and Cortland, Tampico Grain near Crothersville and Rose Acre Farms west of Cortland.