Soybeans in field

Agronomist and sales specialist Vince Willman with Sunrise Cooperative had been asked to help fulfill a special request in 2020.

A farmer in Seneca County wanted to make a donation to benefit several areas of need within the community, including a gift to the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation benefiting the Yvonne Lesicko Memorial Fund. However, he wanted to do it in a unique way.

The farmer, who wishes to remain anonymous, wanted to donate a “gift a grain” from his soybean crops.

He turned to Willman and the co-op to help in the endeavor. It was Willman’s job to make sure the donation, dubbed the “charity beans,” was able to be as successful as possible in order to get the most money out of them for the gifts.

While the project the farmer and Sunrise did together was a little unique, the idea of a “gift of grain” is not. It is another way to give back and support Ohio agriculture through the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation, said Kelly Burns, executive director of the foundation.

“It is a simple way to make a lasting difference,” she said. “The value of the grain can be used to support the future of Ohio agriculture.”

Burns noted that by giving grain, farmers avoid including the sale of the grain in their farm income. “Although a charitable income tax deduction is generally not available to those who donate, the avoidance of declaring it as income may be a significant benefit,” she said.

A before-tax contribution

The tax benefit was an attractive aspect to the donation, the donor said.

“It’s a really simple and efficient way to make a gift,” he said. “It is a before-tax contribution. You get the most out of your donated dollars.”

A farmer who wishes to donate a gift of grain will need to decide how he or she would like the donation to be used, Burns said.

“It is important that you contact the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation to discuss your gift intentions and to follow the proper steps to make this type of gift,” she said.

The farmer who donated the gift of grain to the Yvonne Lesicko Memorial Fund said giving back is the goal.

“My mother taught me that the two most important things about money are how we get it and what we do with it when we have it.”

Once your obligations are taken care of, he said, you give some to those who need it.

How it works
  • Farmer contacts the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation to discuss their specific gift intentions. Contact Kelly Burns, [email protected] or 614-246-8275.
  • Farmer delivers grain to the elevator.
  • Farmer asks the elevator to transfer a certain number of bushels to the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation.
  • Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation authorizes sale and collects proceeds.
  • Farmer includes production expenses on tax return but not the sale of gifted bushels. The farmer does not take a charitable contribution itemized deduction on the amount of the sale.

Disclaimer – A donor should always consult with their tax preparer to determine the tax implication prior to making a gift.

Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.
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Mandy Way

Way Farms

Farm Labor Resources
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Ernie Welch

Van Wert County Farm Bureau

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Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

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Jaclyn De Candio

Clark County Farm Bureau

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Jenna Gregorich

Coshocton County Farm Bureau

Growing our Generation
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Jared Hughes

Groovy Plants Ranch

Groovy Plants Ranch
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Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

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Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

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