Letter to the Editor

Putting the wrap on 2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Many things are occurring as 2009 is wrapping up. For some, they are still working in the fields trying to get their harvest in, while others are rushing around purchasing gifts and food that will be shared during the holiday season. In either case, both will eventually have to deal with the dreaded taxman in the near future. There are two publications that can help individuals be prepared from a tax standpoint. The first is IRS Publication 225 entitled "Farmer's Tax Guide." It can be found online at www.irs.gov/publications/p225/index.html. The second is the Purdue publication entitled "Income Tax Management for Framers in 2009." It currently is not available online but should be available in the near future. For up-to-date information on the "Income Tax Management for Framers in 2009" publication, please contact your local Extension Office. Additionally, you can view the "Income Tax Management for Farmers" program, hosted by George Patrick of Purdue University Agricultural Economics department and David Frette, a CPA from Washington, Ind., from the comfort of your home (if you have high speed internet) on Dec. 10, from 7:30-9:30 p.m. To view this program, go to http://gomeet.itap.purdue.edu/tax/ shortly before 7:30.

One possible way to lessen your state income tax burden is by making a donation to your local Extension Office. Individuals can donate up to $200 while couples filing jointly can donate up to $400 to an Indiana funded university. Individuals doing this will receive a direct deduction of 50 percent of the amount given off the state income tax bill. For instance, if you would decide to contribute $100 to the Purdue Extension-Clay (or Owen) County program, it would only cost you $50. If you choose to donate, you can specify which program area (i. e. 4-H/Youth Development, Agriculture and Natural Resources, or Consumer Family Sciences). If you would even like to go a step further, you can specify a specific program or topic you would like your contribution to go towards. If you are interested in this opportunity, give the office a call and ask about this unique opportunity available to you to help support your local extension office.

For individuals involved in the Private Applicator Recertification Program (PARP) now is a good time to check the date of when your certification expires. Remember the certification expires on Dec. 31, of the year noted on your card. Prior to your expiration date, you must attend three PARP sessions. There are a few requirements on what sessions you can attend. They are: (1) You can attend no more than two sessions a given year. (2) You can do one online session per every five years. Please contact your local Extension Office if you are unsure of when your certificate expires and how many sessions you still need to attend. One chance to attend a PARP session prior to Dec. 31 will be on Dec. 14, at the Cloverdale Community Building from 12:45-3:30 p.m. The cost is $10 for the PARP credit and you need to bring your PARP card with you on that day. An additional PARP program will be offered on Dec. 14, at the Sullivan County 4-H Fairgrounds starting at 12:30 p.m., and the Greene County Fairgrounds starting at 6 p.m.

As a reminder, your local Extension Office offers you numerous chances to become involved with your community. Once you go through proper screening you can work with youth through 4-H and other youth programs. The Extension Homemaker groups offer various community service functions throughout the year which you might want to become involved with. As always, watch for upcoming educational programs being offered to you through the Ag and Natural Resource program area. Please remember to register for events in a timely fashion so that we can ensure we have adequate materials and handouts for the program. Up-to-date information on agriculture and natural resource topics can be found on your local Purdue Extension Office website, which is www.extension.purdue.edu/clay in Clay County or www.extension.purdue.edu/owen in Owen County.

If you have any questions related to this week's article or need any help with any home horticulture or natural resource question please contact your local Purdue Extension Office by calling 448-9041 in Clay Co. or 829-5020 in Owen Co. If you would like to contact me directly, I can be reached at either of the two numbers listed or via email at smith535@purdue.edu.

Upcoming opportunities available to you through Purdue Extension include:

* Dec. 7 -- 4-H Scholarship Workshop, Purdue Extension Clay Co. Office, 7 p.m., open to 4-H members grades 10-12, RSVP to (812) 448-9041.

* Dec. 10 -- Crop Management Conference, Beef House in Covington, 9 a.m.-2:45 p.m., cost $15 plus additional fees for PARP and other credits, RSVP by Dec. 4, at (812) 462-3371.

* Dec. 14 -- Last chance PARP program, Cloverdale Community Building, 12:45-3:30 p.m., cost $10.