The Arkansas Agriculture Department is accepting applications for the 2015 Arkansas Century Farm program. The program recognizes Arkansas’s rich agricultural heritage and honors families who have owned and farmed the same land for at least 100 years. The program is voluntary and places no restrictions on the land. Since the program’s inception in 2012, 240 farms have been certified as Arkansas Century Farms.
To qualify, farms must meet the following criteria:
• The same family must have owned the farm for 100 years by December 31, 2015. The line of ownership from the original settler or buyer may be through children, grandchildren, siblings, and nephews or nieces, including through marriage and adoption.
• The farm must be at least 10 acres of the original land acquisition and make a financial contribution to the overall farm income.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said, “The family farm is an Arkansas tradition — a way of life for generations of hard-working folks and a precious resource for all. In honoring those families who are part of this great tradition, the Arkansas Century Farm Program recognizes the historical relevance of the family farm and its important place in Arkansas’s future.”
Nationally, over 96 percent of all agricultural operations are family farms. Arkansas currently has over 44,600 farms on 13.8 million acres with the average farm size of 309 acres.
Qualified applicants will be presented with a personalized metal sign and a certificate. Only the legal owners of the land may apply.
There is no cost to apply for the Arkansas Century Farm program. Applications can be obtained from the Arkansas Agriculture Department by calling (501) 683-4851 or from the department’s website at: www.aad.arkansas.gov/Pages/programs.aspx.
Applications must be postmarked by May 31, 2015, to be eligible for designation in 2015.