A humble life lost, a lasting legacy found

Champaign County man leaves large contributions for ag scholarships.

By Rhiannon Branch

Vincent Greene lived a quiet life. Born in Wapella, he worked as an accountant for 30 years at the University of Illinois. He made wise investments throughout his life before passing away in May 2015. 

Although he was not affiliated with Farm Bureau, he saw the good in its cause. Susan Moore, IAA Foundation director; and Kirk Builta, Champaign County Farm Bureau Foundation director, received the same surprise letter in the mail recently with a large check enclosed.

Greene gave $100,000 to the IAA Foundation and $200,000 to the Champaign County Farm Bureau Foundation, which will be used for scholarships in his name. The scholarships will be given to students pursuing careers in agriculture who demonstrate qualities of leadership, citizenship and commitment to agriculture.

Vincent Greene
Vincent Greene

The foundations were two of almost three dozen organizations that received funds from Greene’s estate. Greene left the money to be put towards scholarships for those in need. 

“People give in different ways,” said Moore. “We have a lot of people who are giving of their time and that can be even more valuable than the dollar. We have other friends and families who do their best every day to be sure the family farmland is there for generations to come. Then, we have people like Mr. Greene who waited to give until he had these large amounts of funds to provide at once. These are all valuable ways to support the ag community.”

Moore and Builta noted during a recent RFD Radio Network® interview that not all scholarships are based on endowments.

“We are looking for contributions to help with scholarship funds. You pick up the phone and let us know what you are wanting to give, and we will work through every channel we can to make that happen for you,” said Moore.

Builta gave some examples of donor strategies.

“Champaign County has been successful through the years working with our local COUNTRY Financial agents to create life insurance policies and make the Farm Bureau Foundation the beneficiary. Over the years, you can add to that fund, and at one point, that will create an endowment to that individual,” he said.

Moore and Builta did not know Greene or the money he had saved until after his passing. He serves as an incredible example of how a humble heart and a plan for the future can create a lasting legacy.

“I would love to be able to personally thank Mr. Greene for the impact he is making, but his choice was to do it quietly, and now it is our responsibility to take his wishes and apply them. It is very humbling to have been trusted with these funds and to see how one man is impacting so many lives,” said Moore. 

Content for this story was provided by FarmWeekNow.com.

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