LAND ENDOWMENT PROGRAM
In talking with land owners it is interesting to hear of how land has a very emotional aspect and I wonder if God created this attachment to the land way back in the Garden of Eden when he gave Adam the mandate to manage the garden and be its caretaker.
Many family farms have been owned for a very long time by the same family. Many times there is a record of a family farm going back three and four generations. There is a lot of history that goes along with the family farm, mostly good, however sometimes in the process of farming the land fingers and arms have been lost due to heavy equipment use and at times even the loss of life. All the joys and sorrows becomes part of the history of the family farm.
As Ecclesiastes states, there is a time for everything. Just like the family farm, there may come a time when the farm needs to change ownership. Does one consider a public auction or a sale to the neighbor?
One option many land owners are considering these days is making a gift of land to their church, school or foundation. This creates a charitable deduction which can be a very beneficial tax planning strategy. But what about all the family farm history? What happens to the legacy behind the land? Is this the end of the legacy of the family farm? Often time these types of institutions sell the land after the gift is made as they do not desire the work associated with land ownership.