Jason and Shelby Gibbs from Shelby County are editors of the Jan. 29, 2018 Growing our Generation, featuring insights and ideas directly from Ohio’s young farmers and food and agricultural professionals.
Hi! We’re Jason and Shelby Gibbs. We live just outside Jackson Center with our two dogs Barley and Porter. Shelby grew up raising goats, cows, chickens and horses on her parents’ mini farm while Jason grew up on his family’s grain operation. Today, we, along with Jason’s parents, own and operate Gibbs Farms LLC where we maintain approximately 560 acres of corn, soybeans, hay and pasture along with a registered cow-calf herd of 90 Gelbvieh Angus cattle. The cattle operation began in 2010 with the purchase of 230 acres of pasture. The past eight years have given us the opportunity to renovate the pasture and we now operate the pasture in an environmentally conscious program call Managed Intensive Grazing. The cattle are rotationally grazed during spring through fall, and the cows calve in the spring. Our operation was recently honored as the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association’s Environmental Stewards of the Year. Learn more about our operation.
Jason and I both work off the farm full time. Jason works for the United States Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency as a farm loan officer. I work at McCrate, DeLaet & Company, a small CPA firm, as a staff accountant. Once we return from our full-time jobs, Jason and I head to the farm to tend to the cows and check the crops in the fields. This has presented challenges for preparing evening meals as we both have little time to prepare full meals. Recently we have come to love our Wi-Fi crock pot. It allows me to throw the ingredients in the pot and control my fancy crock pot from an app from work. I highly recommend this appliance for everyone! Here is one of our favorite recipes.
As we balance our off-farm professional careers with our farm and ranch goals, we are constantly reminded that what we do today will have magnified consequences for the future. For us, protecting and improving our land for future generations is a priority. We believe that raising cattle on marginal lands is one of the best examples of working with nature to improve our world.
I’ve often heard my dad say, “The good Lord only let a few of us tend to his land, but he let a darn sight less of us get to tend to his cattle.” To me, that means it is a privilege to work the land and care for our cattle which we should respect and honor. With privilege always comes responsibility. It is our responsibility to do the right thing to keep the soil on the land and out of the streams. It’s our responsibility to do the right thing when caring for cattle and all they produce. It’s the right thing to work with nature and not against it. This, because our Creator is watching…and so are our neighbors.
Ohio Farm Bureau has provided information on one of Ohio’s unique programs which provides both notification and protection for what we do every day on our farms. I think it’s relevant today more than ever.
It’s the start of a new year! Although your 2017 tax returns probably aren’t filed yet, you can start preparing for your 2018 taxes already. We begin 2018 with new tax reform legislation recently passed at the federal level. As with most changes, there’s good and bad news here. The good news: the estate tax threshold was doubled! The bad: Personal property (like farm equipment) no longer qualifies for tax free like-kind exchanges. It’s important for farmers to know how these tax changes will affect their tax liability.
The best way to prepare for this is to keep records during the year. Do not hand your accountant a box full of old receipts in February and expect them to magically create a humongous refund. Keeping records during the year lets you track progress so you can make informed decisions as the year goes on. Do you have a huge loss every month? Is your income through the roof? It might not be a bad idea to meet with your tax accountant in November and December to do some tax planning before the end of the year because tax accounting is not quite the same as bookkeeping. Here are more highlights about how the tax reform could affect your farm return.