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Century and Heritage Farms recognizedCentury and Heritage Farms recognized

Iowa Department of Agriculture and Iowa Farm Bureau celebrated families who have owned a farm for 100 years or 150 years.

September 20, 2018

2 Min Read
DEEP ROOTS: The 2018 Iowa Century Farm and Iowa Heritage Farm ceremonies were Aug. 16 at the Iowa State Fair, as 507 farm families were honored. This is the Leistikow family of Bremer County.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture recognized Century and Heritage Farm families during a ceremony at the 2018 Iowa State Fair. To qualify, a family must have owned at least 40 acres for 100 years or more in the case of Century Farms and 150 years or more for a Heritage Farm.

This year 359 Century Farms and 148 Heritage Farms were honored. “To keep a farm in the same family for 100 or 150 years is a testament to the passion and perseverance of these families and a true picture of sustainability,” says Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. “These families inspire all of us to roll up our sleeves, identify innovative soil and water conservation solutions. and forge new public-private partnerships to ensure our agriculture industry remains strong for generations to come.”

Century Farm program began in 1976
The Iowa Department of Ag and Land Stewardship has partnered with Iowa Farm Bureau since 1976 to recognize families who’ve owned and worked a farm for 100 years or more. Including this year’s recipients, more than 19,000 farms from across the state have been recognized as Century Farms. The Heritage Farm program was started in 2006, on the 30th anniversary of the Century Farm program, and more than 1,000 farms have been recognized.

The 2018 Century and Heritage Farms Program ceremony was Aug. 16 at the Iowa State Fair in the Pioneer Livestock Pavilion. Craig Hill, president of the Iowa Farm Bureau, and Joe Heinrich, vice president, joined Naig to recognize all award recipients. “It was a great honor to help present these awards and celebrate the rich history of these farms and farm families,” Naig says.

“Since the land of Iowa was opened to settlers in 1833, agriculture has been the heart of Iowa,” Hill says. “The family farm represents the traditions and heritage upon which our state was built. Today, those individuals and families, who followed in the footsteps of their ancestors, continue to produce crops and livestock on that same land.” The Iowa Farm Bureau is celebrating its 100th birthday this year.

Winners on website
The Century Farms Program recognizes and honors those individuals who have owned the farmland for 100 years or more. The program began in 1976 as part of the U.S. bicentennial celebration, when over 5,000 certificates and farm markers were distributed across Iowa at local ceremonies.

A spreadsheet of all the Century Award winners can be found here and a spreadsheet of all the Heritage Award winners can be found here. Photos were taken of families that came to the ceremony, and the final column lists the families for which there is a picture available. All photos are posted on the IDALS’s Flickr page. Photos are labeled with the county and family name for each recipient.

Source: Iowa Department of Agriculture 

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