Sowing Good Seed
Paul and Andrea Brown’s roots run deep in the New Providence community in which they farm and live. Andrea grew up in the area and they returned to New Providence a few years after they were married. Since then they have maintained a livestock and crop farming operation. In addition to their work, the couple is driven by their strong faith and commitment to community.
“I coordinate the Dave Ramsey program in Hardin County to promote financial literacy,” shares Andrea. “In that work we believe that everything we have is given by God and we want to give back what we have been graciously given.”
As the Browns supported causes they care about, they typically wrote checks. But as an accountant, Andrea realized using another asset might be a better way to maximize what they could give. “Because of the recent changes to the tax law, it became beneficial to make a gift of grain through our local community foundation as a tax-wise strategy that provides an opportunity for us to give back more,” says Andrea. When delivering grain to the local elevator or ethanol plant, the family indicates how many bushels they would like to contribute to their charitable giving fund at the Hardin County Community Endowment Foundation, an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines. While this strategy provides an opportunity to avoid claiming the sale of grain as income, it also allows the family to grow their giving. The proceeds of the sale are directed to their charitable giving fund, from which they can continue to support a variety of charitable interests.
Adds Andrea, “Using grain to open a charitable giving fund provided a tax advantage, but it has also provided us a simple way to support a variety of causes. We can continue our preference of giving anonymously and wisely use the resources God has given us as we give back.”