Farmers, ranchers should think outside the checkbook

Farmers, ranchers should think outside the checkbook for charitable giving

Before charitable farmers and ranchers open their checkbooks this year, Westlock Community Foundation (WCF) encourages thinking beyond cash and opting to instead donate gifts of grain or livestock.

Giving a portion of your harvest is a great way to share the bounty with the causes closest to your heart. By contributing commodities like corn or cattle, farmers and ranchers can save significantly on taxes while strengthening the mission of their local community fund. 

“Giving bushels of Canola or Wheat instead of dollars allows farmers to make a larger gift to our community fund because they can still deduct all their production costs on their income taxes. It’s a really smart way to give back,” says Katie Robertson, Executive Director of WCF. 

Instead of selling the ag commodity, the producer transfers ownership of the livestock or grain directly to Westlock Community Foundation for the benefit of the Rural Roots Fund. The producer can then claim all their production costs as deductible expenses for income tax purposes. When a producer transfers legal ownership to a charity before it is sold, the producer will not have taxable income from a sale, thus minimizing taxes. Tax savings may be realized on federal income tax, state income tax, and self-employment tax, depending on the producer’s specific circumstances.

It is important to first check with your professional advisor to determine whether a contribution of grain or livestock is appropriate for your tax situation. It is also important that you notify WestlockCommunity Foundation in advance of making your gift of commodities as there are specific (but simple) procedures that must be followed. Gift of Grain and Livestock forms are available through members of the Fund Advisory Committee.

You can find details on the benefits and process of making a charitable gift of grain or livestock, as well as other out-of-the-box giving methods beyond cash by contacting Westlock Community Foundation. We are always available to point you in the right direction at (780) 349-2212 or

About the Rural Roots Fund

Ag and rural industries can be found in all the communities we serve. The purpose of the grant will provide support for a high quality of life throughout rural Westlock and region, through organizations, projects, and initiatives that enhance rural communities. The fund was established to support the uniqueness of rural living, particularly agricultural – and to honour the Millers and their rural life. Priorities for the fund are Innovation/Community Collaboration, Education/Training Initiatives, and Information/Research initiatives). The Rural Roots fund is an affiliated fund of Westlock  Community Foundation.

About Westlock Community Foundation

Westlock Community Foundation unleashes abundant local assets, inspires charitable giving, and connects ambitious people to build stronger communities and a Greater Alberta. 

Headquartered in Westlock, the Foundation serves communities, donors, and organizations by providing financial management, strategic development, education, and training to a regional network. 

Since 2023, Westlock Community Foundation has reinvested $210,000  in Westlock and the region’s people and places. For information, visit