Farmers Breakfast tackles farm economy


The Community Foundation of Jackson County and Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service will serve up an economic forecast at the 18th annual Farmers Breakfast.

The event is set for 7:30 a.m. Feb. 18 at Pewter Hall in Brownstown. Doors open at  7 a.m. Admission is free.

James Mintert of Purdue University will deliver the keynote program for the 2020 Farmers Breakfast. Susan Bevers of Lorenzo, Bevers, Braman and Connell will present a brief program about the Foundation’s work.

Mintert is a professor and extension economist in the Department of Agricultural Economics and serves as director of the Center for Commercial Agriculture. He joined Purdue’s faculty in 2009 and served as the assistant director of Extension for agriculture and natural resources before taking on his director responsibilities at the Center.

Before his time at Purdue, Mintert was a professor, livestock marketing economist and Extension state leader in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Kansas State University for 23 years. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural economics from Purdue University and a doctorate from the University of Missouri.

If you go

What: Farmers Breakfast presented by Community Foundation of Jackson County and Purdue Extension Cooperative Service

When: 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18 (doors open at 7 a.m.)

Where: Pewter Hall, 850 W. Sweet St., Brownstown

To register: Call the Foundation office at 812-523-4483 or send an email to

Mintert cultivated his interest in agriculture while working on his family’s farm in the Mississippi and Missouri river bottoms, just north of St. Louis.

Over the course of his career, Mintert has received many awards, including Outstanding Extension Program Awards from both the American Agricultural Economics Association and the Western Agricultural Economics Association, in addition to the American Agricultural Economics Association’s Premier Forecaster Award for his livestock production and price forecasts. He is the author of more than 200 publications focusing on the economics of the livestock industry.

The Farmers Breakfast program is free of charge and reservations may be made by contacting the Foundation by calling 812-523-4483 or by emailing

The farm sector is an important part of the Jackson County community, and the Foundation supports those involved with farming through funds such as the Bob Myers Memorial Scholarship Fund and the C.B. Hess 4-H Memorial Scholarship Fund.

The Foundation also offers farmers an opportunity to donate to those and other funds that benefit the community through the annual Giving the Gift of Grain and Giving the Gift of Livestock programs. We also conduct a light-hearted fundraising competition, the Head to Head: Green vs. Red conest.

Joining the Foundation and Purdue Extension Jackson County as sponsors of the Farmers Breakfast this year are a number of area businesses and service providers involved with the farming community.

They include Premier Ag and Rose Acre Farms, which underwrite the cost of the buffet meal, allowing farmers to enjoy the breakfast at no cost.

Other sponsors include The Andersons, Aquatic Control, B&W Agri-Products, Beacon Ag, Beatty Insurance, Blue & Co., Bob Poynter GMC, Brownstown Veterinary Clinic, CPC Signs, Darlage Custom Meats, Donaldson Capital Management, Edward Jones, Farm Bureau Insurance, First Financial Bank, German American Bank, Grindlay & Grindlay and Hackman Show Feeds.

Also serving as sponsors are the Ivy Tech Foundation, JCB, Jackson County Co-Op Credit Union, Jackson County Insurance Agency, Jackson County REMC, Jackson County Tire, Jacobi Sales, Kova Farm Supply, Lorenzo, Bevers, Braman and Connell, Main Trailer Sales, Montgomery Elsner & Pardieck, Newkirk Crop Insurance, Old National Bank, PNA Realty & Auctioneers, The Peoples Bank, and Royalty Companies.

Other sponsors are Rumpke of Indiana, Schneck Medical Center, Seymour Animal Hospital, State Bank of Medora, Surface Insurance, Tampico Grain, The Tribune, Vision Financial Group, Wischmeier Trucking and Wright Implement.

The Foundation appreciates our sponsors’ support of the local farming community, which provides valuable jobs and income to area residents, as well as the support that they offer to the Foundation and our community.

SHS Class of 1970 targets school need

A new non-permanent fund at the Community Foundation of Jackson County aims to tackle a need at Seymour High School.

Members of the Class of 1970 – quickly closing in on their 50th anniversary next summer – recently established the SHS Class of 1970 Fund to accept donations from fellow classmates and graduates.

“As we will always remember those who have gone before us, next year’s Golden Anniversary reunion will be a special time to rekindle old friendships and remembrances of coming of age in the official ‘Small Town, USA,’” said Class President Dan Deputy, who now calls Virginia home.

“Mothers, fathers, doctors, lawyers, tradesmen, military, entrepreneurs — and even a pretty good Rock ’n Roll singer — the SHS Class of 1970 has made a positive impact to our nation and community’s growth, safety and well-being,” he added.

Deputy and fellow classmates such as Chuck Brackemyre, Gary Myers, Jane Nowling, Jana Plump, Gerri Nicholson Smith and Nancy Terkhorn are encouraging members of the Class of 1970 to give back to the school that helped shape and prepare them for life as an adult.

They’re working with Principal Greg Prange (SHS Class of 1979) to determine a need that classmates’ donations might fund. Any donations beyond meeting that need would be distributed to the school’s existing endowments at the Foundation, Deputy said.

“Our goal in the next 12 months – that’s two tax years for those still on Schedule A — is to fund a class gift to be donated to the school,” he added. “Ideally, all those available to attend would gather at halftime of the 2020 homecoming football game to present the check.”

Classmates interested in participating may do so in one of two ways.

They can write a check to the Community Foundation of Jackson County and include “Class of 1970 Fund” in the memo. Mail it to the Foundation at Post Office Box 1231, Seymour, IN 47274, or drop it by the Foundation office at 107 Community Drive, right across from SHS.

Or they can Donate Now.  Enter your donation amount and follow the credit card instructions or the PayPal instructions if you have a PayPal account and wish to use it.  Donors are asked to send a follow-up email to stating your name and informing us that your contribution is to be credited to the SHS Class of 1970 Fund.

Deputy is urging classmates to participate, setting up levels of participation and recognition.

“The Donor Club allows a classmate to take pride in contributing a gift at any amount,” he said. “Cumulative giving of $197 – as in 1970 – makes you a member of the 1970 Club. Cumulative giving of $500 earns Owl Club recognition, and Go Big Purple is for those who can contribute $1,000 of more.”

The SHS Class of 1970 Fund is one of more than 200 funds administered by the Foundation. They include community funds that benefit our Fall Grant cycle and Impact Grants, designated funds that benefit an array of charitable organizations, scholarship funds and donor-advised funds. If you would like to discuss starting your own fund or making a gift to the SHS Class of 1970 Fund or any of the funds making a difference in Jackson County, give us a call or stop in for a visit.

The staff can help you determine how your gifts can best meet your giving goals and your desire to give back to the community.

Nippon Steel Pipe America supports community


Nippon Steel Pipe America Inc., a steel tubing manufacturer, celebrated its recent name change and 30th anniversary in Seymour with two gifts to the Community Foundation of Jackson County.

The company donated $10,000 to the Nippon Steel Pipe America Inc. Charitable Endowment for Education and donated $1,000 to the JCB Administrative Endowment Fund. Both funds are administered by the Foundation.

“We greatly appreciate the work that the Community Foundation of Jackson County does in our community, and we’re pleased to be part of that,” said Brad Mullis, Nippon Steel Pipe America’s general manager of human resources, safety and training.

The Nippon Steel Pipe America Inc. Charitable Endowment was established in April 2014. The field of interest endowment helps fund the Foundation’s Fall Grant cycle. Recent grants from the fund were used to further educational programs at Child Care Network and Developmental Services Inc.


Brad Mullis of Nippon Steel Pipe America, right, presents two checks to Dan Davis of the Community Foundation of Jackson County. The company gifts totaling $11,000 to two funds administered by the Foundation. Mullis is the company’s general manager of human resources, safety and training.

“Our Board of Directors appreciates the community-oriented spirit with which these and earlier gifts from Nippon Steel Pipe America are given,” Foundation President & CEO Dan Davis said. “Their gifts will make a difference in the community, and here at the Foundation, for decades to come.”

The company is also tied to another fund at the Foundation, the Nippon Steel Pipe America Inc. Scholarship Fund, which was created in October 1999.

Nippon Steel Pipe America Inc. opened as Seymour Tubing Inc. in 1989 at 1515 E. Fourth St. in the Eastside Industrial Park. It has since expanded 11 times and changed its name to Nippon Steel Pipe America earlier this year.

Mullis said the name change reflects the company’s global connections and global capabilities. The company has sister locations around the world. The gifts to the Foundation illustrate the company’s commitment to the Jackson County community, he added.

“We still operate by our message of small-town commitment, world-class quality,” Mullis said.

The company was formed as a joint venture between Nippon Steel, Sumitomo Pipe and Tube Ltd. and Mitsui Trading Co. Today, an 80 percent share is maintained by Nippon Steel Pipe Co. Ltd., and 20 percent is owned by Sumitomo Corp.

The company was incorporated on March 22, 1989, and a groundbreaking ceremony was held April 26 of that year. Production of steel tubing, primarily for the automotive industry, began in March 1990. The company now produces steel tubing for shock absorbers, struts, exhaust systems, side impact beams, wiring harnesses, steering and suspension systems and other components.

Over the years, employment has grown to 543, according to the Jackson County Industrial Development Corp., making Nippon Steel Pipe America the county’s ninth-largest employer.

Fast facts about Nippon Steel Pipe America Inc.

Founded: March 22, 1989

Expansions: 11

Employees: 543

Production: Steel tubing primarily for the automotive industry

How you can help

You, too, can make a donation to the Community Foundation of Jackson County. For information about how you can make a gift, large or small, to any of the funds administered by the Foundation or how you might start a new fund, call 812-523-4483 or send an email to President & CEO Dan Davis at

Trish Butt, left, of the Community Foundation of Jackson County Board of Directors presents a grant check to Karen Haas and Matt Nieman, members of the Jackson County Community Theatre Board of Directors. The grant is the first paid to the theater from the Branaman Family Endowment for the Jackson County Community Theatre. The endowment was created in 2017 by Patricia Branaman Blackadder, a Brownstown native. The fund will award a grant to the theater each spring. To donate to the fund, contact the Community Foundation at 812-523-4483 or donate online.

Together, We Grow Tomorrows

By Contributing Today

A community foundation has one simple goal: to build up and improve that community – over time – through philanthropic donations, large and small. Endowments are never spent, but professionally handled and invested in projects and causes that will produce MORE income; perpetually investing all gains back into the community and helping them to keep giving forever. The Community Foundation of Jackson County, and our experienced managing board of local directors, adhere strongly to these principles and use them to exist as a strong catalyst for positive change within our own community.

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Community Foundation of Jackson County
107 Community Drive P.O. Box 1231 Seymour, IN47274 
Tel: 812-523-4483 | Fax: 812-523-1433