Longtime Southwest Initiative Foundation friend Patrick Costello is receiving growing recognition for his work with us and his service to the legal profession. Pat practices law in his hometown of Lakefield. His idea became Keep it Growing, Southwest Initiative Foundation’s farmland giving program. It’s an innovative model that has since been used by community foundations around the country to accept and retain donated farmland.
Keep It Growing, a unique option for landowners to consider when planning their estate, was authorized by our Board of Directors 15 years ago. The success of the original design was unpredictable since to our knowledge, no other community foundation had tried it. To date, Southwest Initiative Foundation has 1,730 acres in the program. And, appreciation for the idea has continued to grow.
With Pat’s model, land owners can donate farmland to a charity, retain income, reduce their income and estate tax, maintain tenant relationships, and benefit their community and our region. Rather than liquidating the asset like most charities would, Southwest Initiative Foundation keeps and manages the farmland and uses the rental income to fulfill the donor’s charitable wishes in southwest Minnesota.
Last summer, Pat was recognized by the Minnesota State Bar Association with its Lifetime Achievement Award for his leadership and service to Lakefield, the Minnesota State Bar Association, and national law–related organizations.
In November, Pat was given the Distinguished Service Award by the American Agricultural Law Association. He is a past president of that association and a past recipient of their Excellence in Agricultural Law recognition. Long ago, an article Pat prepared and presented to this association was the genesis for the farmland retention concept he later persuaded Southwest Initiative Foundation to follow.
Pat was given an Outstanding Service to the Profession Award in 2018 by Minnesota Lawyer and recognized with the Southwest Initiative Foundation Award in 2016.
“Pat has helped define what community philanthropy means in southwest Minnesota,” said Diana Anderson, Southwest Initiative Foundation President/CEO, pictured with Pat and his wife, Marcy. “He understood before anyone that the generational transfer of wealth could see millions of dollars leave the region as it passed to heirs or charities outside of our region. His vision for community foundations to keep and manage farmland has been the single most important charitable innovation in our history, and perhaps all of rural philanthropy.”
“In helping his clients find ways to give back to their hometowns, Pat understands that these remarkable men and women also find deep satisfaction and purpose.” Diana Anderson, President/CEO
Southwest Initiative Foundation is grateful for Pat’s innovation and continued contributions to our southwest Minnesota communities. We congratulate him for his well-deserved 2019 honors!