There are lots of signs that people display on their farms that they're proud of that are quite noticeable to anyone driving the back roads of the Hoosier state. Perhaps the award that most people seem to cherish as much or more than any other is the Hoosier Homestead award. It's bestowed upon families who have owned their farms for 100 consecutive years. In many cases, ownership goes way beyond that.
Lt. Governor and Secretary of Agriculture Becky Skillman recently presented family representatives of 21 farms with the award at the Statehouse in Indianapolis. Since 1976, just over 30 years ago, nearly 4,500 families have now received the award. Considering that farms are in reality small businesses, especially today, it's amazing that so many small businesses have survived and stayed solvent for more than a century.
The oldest farm amongst those declared Hoosier Homestead farms for the first time this year was the Knapp farm in Clinton County. The family produced records showing that consecutive ownership dates back to 1831. Other farms that have been in the same family for 150 years or more include the Phyllis and George Hart farm in Decatur County, dating to 1836; Gobin farm, awarded to William R. Gobin and Carter Gobin Phelgley of Sullivan, for their farm, dating to 1838; Getts farm in DeKalb County, going back to 1845; the Newby family farm in Howard County, established in 1847, the Neihart farm in Owen County, going back to 1854, the Clay County farm entered by H. Norman and Carolyn S. Keiser, also dating to 1854, and the Busick farm from Adams County, established in 1857.
These awards are based upon ownership of the land, not necessarily who has farmed the ground. Those who have owned the land for more than 150 years were also awarded the Sesquicentennial farm award.
Others receiving Homestead Awards from the Secretary of Agriculture in the most recent declaration of these awards included: the Krueckeberg farm, Adams County; the Reed farm in Bartholomew County; Harold and Arleta Weibel's farm in Benton County, started in 1907; and the Greene farm in Daviess County in southwestern Indiana, established in 1902.
Others making the list and receiving the honor included a Grant County farm owned by Edgar and Thelma Morrison and David and Sharon Green; the Searles and Gard farm in Huntington County; the Royer-Libey- Jordan farm in LaGrange County; the Jones farm in Madison County, also established in 1907; the VanVactor farm from Marshall County; the Pocock farm from Steuben County, dating to 1868, just after the conclusion of the Civil War; the Alvin Scott Gobin and Carter Gobin Phegley farm in Sullivan County, this one established in 1876; the Grandlienard farm in Wells County, started in 1907; the Thomas farm, also from Wells County, dating to 1897; and the Mathew Farm in White County, started in 1901.
Congratulations to all these latest winners!