Harvest reaps gifts

School is back in session.

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

Some leaves are already turning brown and fluttering to the ground.

Seymour Oktoberfest and Fort Vallonia Days are just around the corner. Yes, autumn is quickly approaching.

And that means the fall harvest will soon kick into 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 agribusiness 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 Gift of Grain is simple and can take place at participating elevators — Premier Ag in Brownstown, Bundy Brothers in Medora, Rose Acre Farms in Cortland, Tampico Grain near Crothersville and Benson Hill near Cortland.

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 Memorial Scholarship and the Jackson County Veterinary Scholarship.

They also can benefit our community in general through the fall grant cycle with gifts to unrestricted funds. DB 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 this year. It will be directed to the Orville and Mary Schnitker Memorial Endowment, which was started in December 2016 by Schnitker and his sisters, Lois Bryden and Lora Willey, to honor their parents.

He joined the foundation’s board of directors in April 2021, but he has been a Gift of Grain giver since its inception.

“I like giving,” he said. “It makes me feel good. We’ve all heard of giving until it hurts, but I see it as giving until it makes you feel good. Looking around our community, you can see a lot of need, and giving through the foundation really helps us all make a difference.”

A farmer’s grain donations also count as votes in the good-natured Head-to-Head: Green vs. Red contest. The folks at Wright Implement and Jacobi Sales in Seymour will again team 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 of 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. Stored grain may be donated any time of the year, by the way.

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 cfjacksoncounty.org and clicking on the “Donate Now” button.

Just one more thing — let’s be careful out there as those 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 chief executive officer of the Community Foundation of Jackson County. For information about donating to the foundation, call 812-523-4483 or send an email to [email protected].