“Adopting” calves

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I recently watched a TV show that originated in the United Kingdom. The show centered on rural life in England, and that particular episode exposed the many problems faced by beekeepers in that country with declining populations of bees, beehives and honey production. Just as I have heard in this country, there are lots of different theories as to why the number of honey bees are declining, but everyone agrees that they are – and drastically.

One beekeeper, who was suffering from a severe shortfall in his income, had devised an ingenious plan: For a one-time contribution of 360 Euros (about $370 U.S.), the farmer will install a new beehive at one of his locations, complete with your, or your company’s name or logo. He will also send you a framed certificate that acknowledges your commitment to helping increase England’s bee population. In addition, the donor will get regular social media updates, along with pictures of the hive that has been “adopted,” showing bees moving in and out of the new wooden hive that has the donor’s or company’s name prominently displayed. The patron will also have the chance to donate again next year.

As you may or may not know, the United States’ population of beef cows is smaller than it has been in decades. Prolonged drought across much of the country, coupled with a retiring population of cattle producers, along with increased government regulations, have contributed to the drastic decline in beef cow numbers. For those who are genuinely concerned about the difficulties faced by today’s cattlemen and cattlewomen and want to contribute to helping perpetuate an industry that helped shape this great country, you can.

Make a one-time contribution of $350 (cheaper than a hive of bees) to Jerry Crownover. In return, you will receive a framed picture of a calf with your initials or your company’s logo, which will appear on the calf’s left hip. You will also receive social media messages throughout the years, showing the calf frolicking in green grass (if we ever get another rain), suckling its mother and otherwise having a wonderful time out on the farm. In addition, the donor will also receive a certificate that designates the supporter as a “Friend of Farming,” and is suitable for framing. It will also be permissible (even encouraged) to make more than one financial donation each year. Why not adopt an entire herd?

While I don’t think the IRS will consider this a charitable donation to a non-profit organization, they might consider this endowment as a red entry on one’s profit/loss statement. 

So, if you like delicious, all-natural honey poured over your steaming hot scones, I encourage you to adopt a beehive in Britain. If you love a sumptuous, All-American ribeye steak grilled to perfection, I implore you to adopt a baby calf from me here in the United States.

Jerry Crownover farms in Lawrence County. He is a former professor of Agriculture Education at Missouri State University, and is an author and professional speaker. To contact Jerry, go to ozarksfn.com and click on ‘Contact Us.’

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