Many are still trying to find those last-minute presents and prepare for holiday meals. One item to note as 2008 winds down is to be prepared from a tax standpoint.
Two publications available in the extension office will help tax advisors, preparers, legal counsel and farmers. First is IRS Publication 225 entitled "Farmers Tax Guide."
Secondly, the CES-363 Purdue publication entitled "Income Tax Management for Farmers in 2008" to aid in preparing tax returns.
If you would like to lessen your state income tax burden, you can always make a donation to your local extension office. No, I am not joking and did not have too much eggnog. Seriously, up to $200 per individual and $400 for couples filing jointly given to an Indiana funded university will receive a direct deduction of 50 percent of the amount given off the state income tax bill. Therefore, a $100 contribution to either the Clay or Owen County Purdue Extension programs would only cost you $50. You can also specify how you would like the money to be used (i.e., 4-H, youth, agriculture, natural resource, or consumer family science educational programming). One could even specify the gift be for a specific educational program (i.e., emergency first responder training, 4-H horse and pony workshop, cancer awareness workshop, etc.).
Give the office a call and ask about this excellent way you can support community programs for minimal cost to your pocket due to the associated tax break.
Also, the local extension office has numerous means for community involvement. Individuals after proper screening can work with youth through 4-H and other youth programs. There are also extension homemaker groups that function to provide numerous community service efforts as well as educational venues. There are garden clubs and other associated natural resource organizations where volunteers can become engaged with the community.
We especially encourage minorities and underserved audiences to be involved with extension program input and participation. At the county level, an extension board elected by the local Extension Advisory Council sets policy and helps to assure that extension programming is directed to priority community needs and addresses underserved audiences through its plan of work. Also, the local extension board and others help to oversee that following statement found on our program promotions is followed: "It is the policy of the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service that all persons have equal opportunity and access to its educational programs, services, activities, and facilities without regard to race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin or ancestry, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, disability or status as a veteran. Purdue University is an Affirmative Action Institution. This material may be available in alternative formats."
We also request that those requiring reasonable auxiliary services to contact our offices in advance such that we might do our best in serving all audiences. In fact, all extension programs must be held in facilities meeting ADA requirements. So as you think about next year, we welcome community volunteers who are essential to making our programs successful.
Election of Extension Board members just occurred last month in Owen County at the Extension Advisory Council annual meeting. Congratulations to Sandy Davies, Bill Gallogly, Melanie McHugh, who were elected. Clay County will elect its next set of Extension Board members at its annual meeting next month on Jan. 26.
You can contact the local Purdue Extension Office by calling 812-829-5020 Ext. 14 in Owen County or 448-9041 in Clay County for more information or publication copies regarding this week's column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While most publications are free, some do have a fee. All times listed are Eastern Time.
Dec. 25-26 -- office closed,
Jan. 1 -- office closed,
Jan. 12-14 -- Indiana Green Expo, Indianapolis,
Jan. 13 -- Forestry Class, eight week evenings, Martinsville,
Jan. 19-21 -- Hort Congress, Indianapolis,
Jan. 20 -- Private Applicator program, Brazil/Spencer, 6:30 p.m.,
Jan. 21-22 -- Heartland of America Grazing Conference, Columbus,
Jan. 21-22 -- Midwest Organic Conference, Indianapolis,
Jan. 26 -- Clay Extension Advisory Council Annual Meeting, 6:30 p.m.,
Jan. 27 -- Managing Margin Risk, five Tuesdays (Brazil and Spencer), 7 p.m.,
Jan. 29 -- Private Applicator Program, Brazil/Spencer, 9 a.m., and
Jan. 29 -- Efficient Landscaping Beef House, 6 p.m.