July 17, 2019
Gifts to the Community Foundation come in all forms and shapes. While some donors make a legacy gift, designating in their will or estate plan a portion of their estate for charitable purposes, others prefer to establish a donor advised or field of interest fund to see the good it is doing during their lifetime. The WKCF is used to receiving cash assets but it can also receive distributions from an IRA, retirement plan or life insurance policy, and even gifts of grain. Surprisingly, one type of gift we had not received in our 23-year history was farm land. Until recently. In June, the WKCF became the recipient of two charitable trusts, both with significant cash assets and farm ground. The donors of these trusts, the late Ruth V. Gordanier and Roy P. Mersereau, owned farm ground north of Garden City, and wanted their land to stay together long after they were gone. With the help of local trust advisors, they had left their farm ground in a charitable trust with the purpose to return the income from farming to local nonprofits. The WKCF, in order to receive these gifts and continue to fulfill the donors’ wishes, established a holding company – WKCF Holdings, LLC – charged with overseeing the farm operations. The holding company is run by six managers who are well-known in the farm community: Ed Banning, Kathy Diehl, Dennis Kleysteuber, Jeff Mai, Stephen Morris and Martin Nusser. They will be working with local tenants to oversee and manage the farmland. We’re very excited about this new opportunity, and we’re looking forward to starting a conversation with anyone interested in exploring the options of leaving farm land to the Community Foundation.