At Peoples Company, we understand that a plot of land is often only as fruitful as the person who farms it. And in the business of agriculture, it takes someone truly passionate, dedicated and strong willed to take on the task of providing the goods that sustain our country.
Future Farmers of America, more commonly known as FFA, is an organization that cultivates the skills and values of farming in the minds of over 14,500 students throughout Iowa today.
From a student’s perspective
By participating in FFA, students learn valuable leadership and career skills through agricultural education and hands-on challenges. Josh Remington, Executive Director of the Iowa FFA Foundation, explains what students gain from taking part in FFA:
“As a student, have you ever asked yourself while sitting in class, ‘How is this applicable to what I want to do?’” said Remington. “In FFA, students are introduced to concepts from subjects such as math and geometry, but connected to real-life agricultural situations. For example, while calculating the diameter of a shape, they apply it to the topic of designing a plant nursery.”
Classroom education is merely one component of FFA.
The organization continues its agricultural education beyond pencil and paper – developing its own projects known as Supervised Agricultural Experience programs. FFA also provides the platform for students to demonstrate the mastery of both classroom and hands-on knowledge through competitive Career Development Events.
Students compete against other FFA chapters to articulate their craft and skills at a high level, and for a chance to advance to the national championships. FFA is not just for individuals wanting to follow the traditional career path of farming, Remington explains.
“There is becoming a desire among students to understand where our food comes from,” he said. “Students are interested in learning more about the different avenues food and resource production takes, and how they can help support the growing global population.”
What Remington identified as one of the first “S.T.E.M” curriculums, members of FFA have found themselves in more than 300 different occupations – from farmers to senators.
The Iowa FFA Foundation was founded in 1986. The foundation recognized that there was a growing need for funds and support to local Iowa FFA chapters, and there was also a strong willingness within the Iowa community to support agricultural education.
Today, the foundation continues its efforts to support FFA through gifts of land and monetary donations. The organization raised $1.2 million dollars last year, and is hoping for an increase of donations in 2015.
“It is a misconception that FFA is a dying organization,” Remington said. “FFA membership is at an all time high, but with record membership brings record need.”
Donating to the Iowa FFA Foundation is mutually beneficial, helping FFA students while receiving a tax benefit! The foundation accepts land, money and other items such as cars, tractors and grain. The foundation can also be part of an individual’s estate planning and gifting.
If you are a beneficiary of land, the donation of a few acres could save you from the heavy tax burden of the inheritance.
“In some cases, by donating 10 to 20 acres of land you’ve inherited, you can relieve the tax difference of the whole farm,” said Remington. “With inherited money, one could also donate it as endowment for FFA scholarships. Through a scholarship you can further the legacy of your loved one while fostering the future of FFA.”
Supporting FFA with the resources it needs to provide students with the best possible experience is a donation for the future of food and resource production in America. Current and future FFA members will use the skills they learn to provide resources to our donors and the country as a whole.
How to donate?
That’s where we come in.
Peoples Company can help facilitate the gifting of land to the FFA. We can advise on the donation of land to a landowners’ accountant, attorney, tax advisor or estate planning personnel. Whether you are interested in writing the donation into your will, or you presently have a couple acres you would like to render to the cause, Peoples Company can assure you that your land will be used to the support of agricultural education.
Although Peoples Company is not an attorney, trust officer, or financial advisor; we work closely with charitable organizations and foundations with the sale and property management for gifts of land that they would receive. Another way we serve the FFA Foundation is as a resource in directing potential donors to the professional that can help in facilitating gifts to the foundation. We’re also able to explain to someone how a gift would affect their tax liability.
Peoples Company has supported the Iowa FFA Foundation this year through contributions to its annual gala, and promoting the gifting of agricultural real estate during the 2015 Land Investment Expo. If you are interested in supporting FFA via the donation of land, contact Matt Adams at Matt@PeoplesCompany.com.