Has your farm or ranch been in the family for 200 years? If so, this year the University of Missouri Extension and its partners want to honor your dedication and recognize your operation as one of Missouri’s Founding Farms.
Missouri is in the midst of celebrating its 200th year of statehood. It is only fitting that the state pays tribute to the farmers and ranchers who settled this area of the nation. It is amazing to think there are farms in the state that have been around that long.
Missouri Farm Bureau President Garrett Hawkins said it best: “Family farms are the cornerstone of our rural way of life. One family farming the same ground for over 200 years requires determination, hard work and a love for the place you live.”
Missouri Farm Bureau partners with MU Extension for an annual Century Farm recognition. However, this year, the group — along with the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources — is honoring those who have been farming for 200 years or more. “We are proud to honor the families who operate Founding Farms and thank them for their dedication to the rich history of Missouri,” Hawkins added.
Marshall Stewart, MU vice chancellor for Extension and engagement, said his group will ensure every eligible farm family has an opportunity to apply for the special bicentennial award. Owners of properties in the Missouri Century Farm database identified as eligible Founding Farms will be contacted directly by MU Extension about this one-time recognition.
Who should apply?
Since the Missouri Century Farms program began in 1976, more than 8,000 Missouri farms have been added to that database.
Eligible farmers and ranchers can also apply for the Century Farm program. This year’s application deadline is June 1. To qualify, the same family must have owned the farm for 100 consecutive years. The current owners must be the children, grandchildren, siblings, nephews or nieces — including through marriage or adoption — of the original settler.
“Missouri’s proud agricultural tradition has kept our Show-Me State strong and innovative for two centuries,” said Christopher Daubert, vice chancellor and dean of the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. “This can be seen no more clearly than in our Century Farms. Thank you for all you do for Missouri agriculture. You have made us the state we are today and have made agriculture our greatest industry.”
Farm application details
This year’s Century Farm or Founding Farm property owners can apply online at extension.missouri.edu/centuryfarm. A $120 fee covers the cost of a certificate, Century Farm sign and booklet for approved applicants. County MU Extension centers present these items.
If you have questions about the program or status as a Founding Farm, contact the Missouri Century Farms coordinator at 573-882-7216 or email [email protected].
MU Extension contributed to this article.