Endorf Family – Giving With Grain

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” ~ Matt. 25:40

Raised on a farm in Tobias, Nebraska, Glenn Endorf has led a life of Christ-like service. Meeting his wife, Jan, at synodical school at Concordia University in Seward, NE, the pair went on to teach at the Redeemer Lutheran School in Denver, Colorado, until the Lord called them to return to the family farm and continue the Husker’s tradition of farming.

Christ-like service led Mr. Endorf to contribute financially to others dedicated to loving and serving God’s people –including Field of Hope. Following a conversation with Field of Hope board member Faith Meinzen at a high school reunion, the Endorfs were made aware of Field of Hope and the organization’s involvement with agriculture in both Uganda and India. As Joel Endorf , Glen’s son, said, “Could there be a more fitting organization for a Christian farmer to give? Of course, as a farmer, the most efficient way of giving is to gift grain directly. This allows for more giving and less tax (both self-employment and income tax).”

(Endorf family pictured with Faith Meinzen, far right)

In 2017, the Endorf family donated 1,089 bushels of corn and 1,013 bushels of soybeans, totaling a donation of $13,292.98 to directly impact farmers and children in Uganda and India.

“Jan and I have been blessed by God as teachers, farmers, and parents. We have two children, Jamie and Joel, and they both graduated from Concordia University – Seward. Jamie taught for five years, then went to Peru as a missionary and met her husband, Anthony. Joel and wife Sara lead bible studies and are helping with the accounting for Mission of Christ network.

“We are blessed to see our children live their faith. We were motivated by knowing that (Field of Hope) would see to it that our gift would be used wisely. We feel good when we know what our gift is doing for others.”

Joel agrees. To explain his motivation for giving, he explained, “the God of the universe, from Genesis to Revelation, encourages it A LOT.” He continued:

Giving should be the defining characteristic of who we are as Christians. God is so gracious to allow us to be His hands and feet in the world and share what He gives us. He invites us to share in His mission and His joy. To me, it’s the only natural reaction to God’s love for us and His instruction to us. One of my missions in life is to help others understand the joy of giving and the blessing that comes with being a Child of God. As the statistics show, many Christians are missing out on it–to their own detriment. We could see God do so much with our offering to Him. God can turn fishes and loaves into a meal for 5,000. He can take our grain or money offerings of any size and turn it into something greater for His kingdom. There is no greater joy in the world than seeing God do it.

So how does grain donation work? When producers decide to donate a commodity, they must notify the cooperatives or elevators they work with, and the recipient charity must fill out a W9 and create an account with the cooperative branch. The producer delivers the commodity to the cooperative, the commodity is placed on the charity’s account, and the charity receives the money after they sell the commodity!

Joel Endorf was kind enough to write up this specific “how-to” for those interested in supporting a cause via Grain Donation.

  • To be eligible, you must be a cash basis active farmer. (Crop share landlords CANNOT gift grain. Their shares of crop are considered rental income and MUST be reported as income on their tax return.)
  • By giving grain, the farmer can exclude the sale of the crop from income while deducting the cost of growing the crop. In addition, they will save self-employment tax by reducing income.
  • The farmer must give up “dominion and control” of the crop. This means the charity has to have an account at the elevator and the grain is put in their name in their account. Therefore:
    • The farmer CANNOT sell the grain themselves and order the proceeds to be sent to charity. This is considered a cash donation since the farmer retained control.
    • In addition, the farmer CANNOT provide guidance regarding the sale of the commodity. The charity assumes all risk and storage cost once the grain is delivered to their account and must direct the sale.
  • The transaction must be well-documented, showing that the farmer has transferred ownership to the Charity. This means that at delivery, the warehouse receipt will be made with the Charity’s name as the owner.
  • There can be no prior sale commitment—meaning it cannot be a forward contract in your name that you transfer to the charity. It must be grain with no previous sale commitment

Steps to the Grain Giving Process

  1. Call the charity and let them know you plan to give them grain. Make sure the charity has an account at the elevator. This can usually be done by having the charity complete a W-9 to send to the elevator
  2. Deliver the grain to the elevator and be CERTAIN the elevator knows that the warehouse receipt needs to be made in the name of the charity. Remember, you CANNOT have it be made to you and the check made out to charity. That is a cash donation. The grain is your gift.
  3. Notify the charity that it has been delivered and that the charity should be receiving a receipt from the elevator. Let them know the ball is in their court to sell, now that they are the owners. The charity must direct the sale of the grain for cash proceeds.
  4. The charity should send a donor acknowledgement letter to the farmer for the bushels received. This is the farmer’s proof of gift.
  5. The farmer is able to deduct growing costs—but, of course, does not receive any income from the donated bushels. There is no need to report this anywhere else because it is already excluded from income.

Example of tax savings: Say you give 2,000 bushels of corn to a church, and they sell it for $3.00 a bushel, for $6,000. If a farmer is in the 22% bracket, they will save $1,320 in federal income tax, plus some state income tax. The additional benefit that makes grain giving better than a cash donation is the self-employment tax savings. $6000 x 15.3% = $918. So, the farmer saves an additional $918 in tax by giving grain as opposed to cash. In addition, giving grain lowers AGI which may make a farmer eligible for other beneficial tax credits. Also, if the farmer was unable to itemize, this is the ONLY way to make their giving deductible. In this example, the tax savings is $2238 on a $6000 gift, plus any state income tax savings.

Training the Trainers

Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.” Kofi Annan

Part of Field of Hope’s mission is to inspire students in agriculture – to motivate them to see agriculture not as a poor man’s job but as a business with strong potential.

Most teachers in Uganda learned and now teach by method of lecture. Research will tell you this is the least effective method of teaching. Sitting in a classroom and writing everything possible that comes from the lecturer’s mouth is not inspirational. It’s daunting and boring, and it becomes hard to see the purpose in what one is learning.

Through experiential learning, students are educated through first-hand experiences; classroom focus shifts from the teacher to the student. Experiential learning takes what students already know – what they see at home or on their walk to school – and relates it back to what they’re learning by creating opportunities for them to see the lesson first-hand.

Field of Hope, partnering with Vivayic, has been developing curriculum for secondary (high school equivalent) agriculture classes in Uganda that is formatted for the experiential learning style. S1 (freshman level) was piloted this year – what started as three instructors quickly jumped to 15 as instructors heard about this curriculum and how it teaches their students. Just as this learning style is new for Ugandan students, it is new for Ugandan instructors, too. As one can imagine, teaching from what you write on the chalkboard and teaching from involved projects with high school students are quite different methods. Our instructors needed an expert to help them make the shift from lecture to the experiential learning style of teaching.

Lucky for us, Kelly Huenink, the adult agriculture trainer extraordinaire, happened to be in Uganda. God had orchestrated the pieces perfectly.

She said:

The processes of learning have been well-documented. Learning is not much different no matter where one is located in the world. However, teaching methods vary from country to country, culture to culture and teacher to teacher. We all have our favorite teacher, or teachers, and others who weren’t as good – even if they knew the content of the course well. Personally, I am humbled by my co-workers and their excellent teaching skills. I pale in comparison. Fortunately for me, I mainly teach adults in agriculture one-on-one, and that suits me well.

Recently, I worked with 15 Secondary Agriculture Teachers from almost as many High Schools in Northern Uganda. I had the help of Vivayic’s curriculum and staff to help prepare me for the two days of Train the Trainer that took place in late June in Lira through Field of Hope.

The first day, instructors volunteered to memorize paragraphs of the FFA Creed to recite later in the weekend. They all memorized their paragraphs! It was a great experience to hear them recite it. Tonny, an instructor, was challenged by the paragraph that talks about “less dependence on begging…”.

I know they all left with a greater understanding of the value of experiential learning (and that while lecture is the most common in Uganda, it is the least effective), how to utilize reviews and interest approaches, as well as gaining a deeper appreciation for the importance of agriculture. On the second day, instructors became familiar with the layout and structure of the curriculum (a scavenger hunt followed by a great discussion of their answers afterward). They also heard about project-based learning and the direction we’d like to see them heading with the upper-level students.

Some of the key ideas that they generated themselves were to 1). speak to their schools about eliminating the practice of using the gardens (digging) as punishment for students, 2). Giving each student a small plot if possible, 3). Using Bell Ringers to review the day before and to encourage them to be on time each day. The Bell Ringers come from the test review questions, and they keep a separate notebook for them.


The training was deemed successful, as our instructors were not only equipped to effectively teach out of the curriculum, but they were excited!

Here’s what the instructors have to say about our curriculum:

Field of Hope’s curriculum is helpful because “it prepares students for academic excellence, personal and career success including self-employment, and the curriculum is practical-based.” – Sam Okidi, Amuca SDA

“It is better to use and incorporate because most of the activities are learner-centered and practical-based.” – Isaac Obote, Amuca SDA

Field of Hope’s curriculum is helpful because “it engages students in activities and learning is more practical because learners are also involved. It motivates the learner to learn and inspires them to work hard.” – Wilfred Obalim, Skyland HS

The curriculum “is more involved (participatory) for the learners, hence students understand better.” – Irene Amito, FOH Trainer

“It gives very interactive questions as guides to the teacher.” – Tony Aguma, Hope Secondary School

“The curriculum is helpful to teach agriculture because it presents precise and simple content to understand. It also points the most appropriate methods to use when presenting a particular lesson.” – Emmanuel Adyebo, Lira Integrated

Field of Hope’s curriculum “gives knowledge in the details.” –Mercy Alum, RG

Alix Ambriz – Volunteer Story

Alix Ambriz is a Field of Hope Volunteer. This is her story.

“Two things that can always be shared are God’s love and the fruits (and vegetables and proteins) of His creation.”

Alix is a curriculum development specialist for Vivayic. Alix and her husband Andrew chose to volunteer with FOH to launch an agricultural curriculum project with partner schools in Uganda. Alix said it was important to connect with the teachers and learners that her curriculum would eventually impact. “We wanted to dig beside them—in the same dirt they do—and hear their stories,” she said. “We wanted to see for ourselves how the work FOH is doing is truly empowering Ugandans to maximize their potential with the resources they have available.”

Alix personifies what it means to be an FOH volunteer. In this image, she found real connection and inspiration. “I talked with three boys in the school garden at Otino Waa Children’s Village. I’ve spent my entire life working with farmers who are passionate about providing food for the world, but I have never heard one speak with as much excitement as these three student farmers,” she said. “They shared with me how many gallons per hour their drip irrigation provides to their garden and the change in yield they’ve observed.”

Volunteers like Alix serve and grow with FOH in Uganda, India, and the USA. Those volunteers impact farmers, widows, orphans and others, but volunteers often find new impact and meaning in their own lives as well. Take it from Alix: “I returned to the US and made a commitment to be intentional in sitting with God and listening as He shared what He’s calling us to do.”

Join us as we answer those calls.

This is Alix’s story. What will yours be?

PC: Tobin Redwine

Brian Harvey Hogue – Volunteer Story

Brian Harvey Hogue is a Field of Hope volunteer. This is his story.

“The more you fill that bucket with desire, responsibility, fulfillment and service, the more you realize the bucket seems to be growing exponentially faster.”

Brian grew up on a farm in Arizona, and turned that appreciation for agriculture into an entrepreneurial career in agriculture and agricultural services. Currently, he owns Arable Media, an agricultural communications multimedia production company. Brian chose to volunteer with FOH because he believes in the people and the mission, but the people of Uganda left a lasting impact on him.

“I will never forget the voices of young girls singing as they used a hoe to dig up sweet potatoes from the ground at Restoration Gateway,” Brian said. “It seemed like the noise of the digging and the breaths the girls had to muster between singing loudly made it sound more genuine, more beautiful and more hopeful. I hope I never forget that moment.”

Brian saw passion and commitment in the people he served, and found meaning in the garden rows and classrooms that make the FOH landscape. “Hearing and watching the student’s hunger for knowledge about farming was so moving. They take the idea of feeding their country as a responsibility but not a burden, as an opportunity but not a choice,” he said. “It was striking to me. I am not sure what I expected them to think about agriculture but their approach and feelings towards it was unique and almost seemed to contradict the way I feel we might look at agriculture here in the US.”

Join us as we change the way the world looks at agriculture.

This is Brian’s story. What will yours be?

PC: Tobin Redwine

Andrew Ambriz – Volunteer Story

Andrew Ambriz is a Field of Hope Volunteer. This is his story.

“We live in an incredibly small world. We are given magnificent gifts that are meant to be shared with people who need them most.”

Andrew and his wife Alix joined a FOH team in Uganda in October 2016 to research and redesign an agricultural curriculum for partner schools. But their service was not limited to curriculum development. Andrew used his gifts to lead an impromptu worship session before a cooperative savings and loan workshop in Dokolo. He had no clue he would be asked to jump in front of strangers and kick off a workshop with music, but he was, and he did. Here’s what he learned in that moment: “Love conquers all. The people of Uganda use all of their emotions. There is no in-between. I can still see, hear and feel the energy as an entire building gave all they had to worship God and the blessings that have been given to them,” Andrew said. “They carry that enthusiasm and appreciation into their lives and their relationships. Uganda has a spirit of faith, hope and love.”

Andrew and Alix are examples of how everyone can serve and be impacted by FOH. Andrew explained how people might shy from opportunities to volunteer, but in fact we are all equipped and able to serve: “People might think, ‘It takes a lot of hard work to serve.’ They’re wrong,” Andrew said. “Uganda and its people showed me that living a life close to God is really very simple. We must value Him, we must value ourselves, and we must value each other and we must let those principles flow into every area of our lives.”

Join us as we continue to find value in empowerment and integrity around the world.

This is Andrew’s story. What will yours be?

PC: Brian Harvey Hogue

Lacey Roberts – Volunteer Story

Lacey Roberts is a Field of Hope Volunteer. This is her story.

“I wanted to stay in that moment forever, but in the same breath I realized that I have a great responsibility.”

Lacey joined a FOH team while she was already in Uganda as part of a fellowship through Oklahoma State University’s Master of International Agriculture Program (MIAP). Her collaboration with FOH reaffirmed that we all can have a role in impacting people, and feel impact in return. “During my week with FOH, I learned that I had a part to play, no matter how small, in making a difference,” Lacey said. “I learned that I am working in the right field of agriculture, that it matches my heart’s desires and my God-given skills. I honestly learned that I am braver than I give myself credit for, and that I still have so much more growing to do as a career woman and a human being.”

Lacey saw international agricultural development in action, and shared how FOH makes good on their stewardship mission. “I was able to visit many donation areas and see first-hand how students and classrooms are using donated drip systems to apply agricultural lessons learned in the classroom,” She said. “Through education and empowerment, FOH is working towards a stronger future for Uganda, and that is something I like to stand behind.”

Ultimately, every FOH volunteer takes away genuine and authentic passion for the people they meet, and the connection they share. “I continue to think about those children I met and laughed with,” Lacey said. “I hope that as they grow they are met with a world that is improved and ready for all the discoveries they will make”

Join us as we meet Lacey’s call for an improved and ready world.

This is Lacey’s story. What will yours be?

PC: Tobin Redwine

Meet Ketty

There are days when I question why I do this. It is my choice after all. There is no mandate to board the plane, to cross the Atlantic Ocean and wake up to roosters crowing half way around the world.

And somewhere between the intermittent electricity and cold showers, as the African sun burns into my skin and the wind embeds the red soils into my every crevice, the questions come…why do I continue to do this?*

Sure, there is adventure. But adventure would invite me on safari or white water rafting down the Nile. Adventure doesn’t invite you to the middle of a field.

But Ketty does.

Meet Ketty.  She is from Amolatar District in Northern Uganda and is one of the women in our Women’s Empowerment Program.  She was beside herself with excitement that I had come to visit her field.

I asked her how being part of the women’s group has changed her farming.  “I am learning new knowledge about how to do things better and now have access to a tractor which saves me so much time during plowing.”  She goes on to share how the mechanized plowing allows her to plant “in time” when the rains have come, which lets her hit the ideal planting window.

We are growing the women’s program “slowly by slowly” as they would say here, allowing the women and our partner’s at VOMAP to take the lead.  It is not our intent to manage a perfectly executed agricultural program, but rather to walk alongside our partners and the women at a pace that they help develop.  Otherwise, it would become “our” program and the progress would likely end when we board the plane to come home.

“What is your biggest challenge?” I ask.  “What would you like to see next through the program?”  She pauses and smiles a hopeful smile.  “I would like to be able to access a sprayer to help with insects and disease.”  I can also see the need, but because it is her idea, she will take ownership of the solution.

Tomorrow morning I will meet with the leaders of VOMAP and discuss how we might help the women formalize their Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) to become a resource for their agricultural endeavors.  This may become an avenue that enables Ketty to purchase that backpack sprayer she’s been eyeing.

“Please continue to visit me in my field to check on my progress.”  Then a smile paints across her face.  “Please you are welcome to join us for harvest!”**

I suddenly want nothing more than to do just that!  There are many kinds of harvests the Lord is preparing…

The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.  Matthew 9:37-38

*I realize that coming here for a short term trip hardly seems like a sacrifice, especially compared to my heroes, the long-term missionaries that give their lives to such a cause, however I am merely being transparent about my questions.  For example “What would be so wrong with living a ‘regular’ life, with all the creature comforts of home?”  The answer…nothing!  Until I meet another Ketty!

**Reliving the day, I nearly forget that we spoke through a translator (Agnes).  While English is the national language, each village speaks their own native tongue first.  The more remote locations you travel, the more limited education and English you will find.

Post by Brandy Young.