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Fairbanks farmers see grain donation as investment in future

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Photo by HAROLD BOSSTICK

Fairbanks-based LG Hunt Farms Inc. is the first farm to donation bushels of grain to the Ivy Tech Community College Terre Haute Foundation’s Gift of Grain initiative, which helps fund its Precision Agriculture Equipment Technology and its Center for Excellence facility. The grain is recorded at a local elevator and transfer to Ivy Tech. The profits from the sale of that grain generate the funds for the program. Bobbi Hunt-Kincaid, who is the third generation of her family to run the farm, speaks with media about the donation.

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Bobbi Hunt-Kincaid’s family has farmed in northern Sullivan County since the 1940s.

“We’re a multigenerational farm. We have been around for several years,” she said. “My husband and I have been on the farm for about 18 years now. I grew up on this farm. My dad has farmed all his life, and my grandfather farmed, starting right after World War II.”

And that legacy is part of why she and her family, through their business, LG Hunt Farms Inc., chose to donate grain to the Ivy Tech Community College Terre Haute Foundation’s Gift of Grain initiative.

“Our family really feels like we’re investing in our community,” Hunt-Kincaid said. “You know, we are helping to strengthen the ag program there by investing in the sons and daughters of our community … I mean, these could be possibly our future employees, too.”

Based in northern Fairbanks Township, LG Hunt Farms is the first to donate as part of the initiative, according to Ivy Tech officials.

Gift of Grain allows farmers to designate a portion of their crops stored at a grain elevator to be transferred to Ivy Tech, which then sells the grain at market prices. The profit is used to fund the program.

Specifically, the money will go toward the capital campaign raising money for Ivy Tech’s Precision Agriculture Equipment Technology and its Center for Excellence facility, which opened in early August this year.

The donations also can be claimed on taxes by farmers.

“This will be a critical component of reaching what remained in that campaign …” said Rachel Mullinnix, executive director of Resource Development for Ivy Tech. “But we are looking to expand that (precision ag) program further.”

She added that the precision ag program is 93 percent funded, with Gift of Grain donations planned to finish the fundraising.

“It’s pretty humbling to get to go out into the field and get to see places like this that our students are going to be having a direct impact once they gain their education from us and they go out into the field,” Mullinnix said of the donation. “So, to get to see individuals and families, like the Hunts, come around this program and support it so generously, it’s warming. It helps our students know that, not only Ivy Tech is here to support their education, but their community is here to support their educational journey, as well.”

Hunt-Kincaid also said that she and the rest of her family see this donation as an investment in their future and the future of agriculture in the Wabash Valley.

“It’s our livelihood,” she said. “We need to invest back into ourselves to grow ... It’s a very important part of our community, and it’s what we do.”


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