Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey recognized Century and Heritage Farm families during a ceremony at the state fair again this year. 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 366 Century Farms and 101 Heritage Farms were recognized.
"Being able to recognize these farm families is one of my favorite days of the year," said Northey. "This award is a tremendous celebration of the families who have cared for the land and raised the crops and livestock that helped build our state and feed the world. To own a farm for 100 or 150 years is a testament to the values of land stewardship, hard work, patience, dedication and perseverance that are found in Iowa's farm families."
Over 18,600 farms in Iowa have been recognized since 1976
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has partnered with the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation since 1976 to recognize families that have owned and worked a farm for 100 years or more. Including this year's recipients, more than 18,600 farms from across the state have been recognized.
The Heritage Farm program was started in 2006, on the 30th anniversary of the Century Farm program and now 837 farms have been recognized as Heritage Farms.
The 2015 Century and Heritage Farms Program ceremony was held at the Iowa State Fair in the Pioneer Livestock Pavilion on August 20. Joe Heinrich, vice president of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, and Northey, recognized all award recipients.
Special bond between Iowa families and the land they farm
"The program acknowledges the deep roots of Iowa agriculture and the special bond that exists between Iowa families and the land they farm," Northey said. "The Iowa State Fair is a celebration of Iowa and Iowa agriculture, so it's a great place to recognize the Century Farm and Heritage Farm recipients."
All Century and Heritage Farm Award photos have been uploaded. Century Farm Award photos are at flickr.com/photos/iowaagriculture/sets/72157657996593826 and Heritage Farm Award photos are at flickr.com/photos/iowaagriculture/sets/72157658061066375. Photos are labeled with the county and family's last name for each recipient. Photos were taken of families that came to the ceremony. A list of all winners of the Century and Heritage Farm Awards is online at www.iowaagriculture.gov. In the left column click on "Programs" and then click the "Century Farms Program" tab or the "Heritage Farms Program" tab.