Wilson challenge grant to double contributions to Dan Gillespie Soil Health Fund

Beginning April 1, 2022, contributions to the Dan Gillespie Soil Health Fund will have twice the impact thanks to a challenge grant issued by Patty and John Wilson of Craig, Nebraska.

Battle Creek no-till farmer and advocate Dan Gillespie sought to leave any land he farmed in better condition than he found it. The Dan Gillespie Soil Health Fund was established as an affiliated fund of Nebraska Community Foundation to promote soil health and regenerative agriculture, including but not limited to no-till farming, water conservation, tree conservation and planting cover crops. A volunteer Fund Advisory Committee composed of industry professionals and dedicated family members who share Gillespie’s vision aims to make impactful grants to support educational events, youth programs, farmers, ranchers and others involved in regenerative agriculture.

In February 2022, Gillespie died following a long battle with ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. News of his passing moved dozens of friends, colleagues and supporters to make donations to the fund. It occurred to John Wilson – a fellow conservationist, Extension educator and friend of Gillespie’s – that a challenge grant could help maximize donations and further the legacy of his dear friend.

“Knowing his passion for education and soil health, supporting the fund he and his family started was a no-brainer,” said Wilson. “Although my wife had never met Dan, she had heard me speak of him and the great work that he did. We could think of no better way to carry on his name and his work than by supporting the Dan Gillespie Soil Health Fund.”

Between April 1 and Oct. 1, 2022, all contributions made by individuals and families to the Dan Gillespie Soil Health Fund will be matched on a one-to-one basis by the Wilsons up to $5,000. In other words, each contribution will have double the impact on efforts to promote soil health and regenerative agriculture in Nebraska and surrounding states.

“By offering a matching grant, we hope to increase support for the fund and the number of people that it will positively impact.”

To learn more and make a matched contribution to the Dan Gillespie Soil Health Fund, visit www.nebcommfound.org/give/dan-gillespie-soil-health-fund.

 

About Dan Gillespie Soil Health Fund

The Dan Gillespie Soil Health Fund honors Dan Gillespie, a life-long farmer and long-time no-till farming practitioner and advocate, by raising funds and making grants to support soil health. The fund is dedicated to education and educational practices related to soil health and regenerative agriculture, including but not limited to no-till farming, water conservation, tree conservation and planting cover crops.

Grants from this Fund may support educational events and programming for youth, current farmers and ranchers and others involved in agriculture. The geographic focus of the Fund is Nebraska and surrounding states. A volunteer Fund Advisory Committee works actively to increase charitable giving and award grants to causes and projects that are addressing emerging needs and future opportunities to educate, inform and support healthy soil practices. Established in 2021, the Dan Gillespie Soil Health Fund is an affiliated fund of Nebraska Community Foundation.

About Nebraska Community Foundation

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

Headquartered in Lincoln, the Foundation serves communities, donors and organizations by providing financial management, strategic development, education and training to a statewide network of 1,500 volunteers serving over 270 communities.

In the last five years, 45,915 contributions have been made to NCF and its affiliated funds. Since 1994, NCF has reinvested $423 million in Nebraska’s people and places. For information, visit NebraskaHometown.org.

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