Sharp Co. man leaves lasting gift for youth

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

SHARP COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - A Sharp County man is setting things up now to make sure he can continue giving back to the community for years to come.

"So it's like the gift that keeps on giving," John Kunkel said.

Kunkel's family has lived in Sharp County for five generations and has been very active in the community.

He grew up on a farm and participated in the Future Farmers of America programs while attending Highland and Evening Shade schools.

"I went to Highland my 8th through 10th grade years and one of my ag teachers who really made a difference in my life was Charlie Johnson, so with my success when I was in FFA, I owe all of that to Mr. Johnson," Kunkel said.

In order to give back to youth who share his passion, Kunkel has created a trust so that when he passes away all of his assets, including the family farm, will go to Sharp County to be ran by the community foundation and help 4H or FFA members.

"Highland and Cave City agri departments will benefit from the proceeds that the land generates as well as the Sharp County 4H," Kunkel said. "And if anything should ever happen to the community foundation, it would roll up directly to the Department of Agriculture at the University of Arkansas."

Kunkel is also working to form a scholarship that would be available to Sharp County students who wanted to major in either agriculture or child services at any of the schools in the University of Arkansas System.

Highland school officials said they are incredibly thankful for the gift that Kunkel has given.

"I think it's very exciting to know that there are people in our community who are willing to pay it forward; to bring to us their assets, their talents, their skills in order for other students to gain from those skills and become leaders in the future," Highland Principal Annette Scribner said.

Kunkel encouraged other people to find something they are passionate about and set up a way to be helpful to an organization now and beyond their life.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

Watch Region 8 News On Demand: On your Desktop | On your Mobile device

Region 8 News App - Install or update on your: iPhone | Android