The Iowa Department of Agriculture last week issued a notice encouraging eligible farm owners in the state to apply for the 2011 Century and Heritage Farm Program. The program is sponsored by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Iowa Farm Bureau. The program recognizes families that have owned their farm for 100 years in the case of Century Farms and 150 years for Heritage Farms.
Applications must be postmarked by June 1, 2011 to be recognized at the Iowa State Fair next summer. But now is not too early to start getting your paperwork and documentation together to get your application properly filled out and sent in.
"These awards are an opportunity to recognize the hard work and commitment by these families that is necessary to keep a farm in the same family for 100 or 150 years," says Bill Northey, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture. "If you consider all the challenges and unexpected obstacles each of these families would have had to overcome during their life on the farm, it gives you a greater appreciation of the dedication and perseverance of these families."
Get an application online or contact Iowa Department of Ag
Farm families seeking to qualify for the Century or Heritage Farms Program must submit an application no later than June 1, 2011. Applications are available on the Department's website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov by clicking on the Century Farm or Heritage Farm link under "Hot Topics."
Applications may also be requested from Linda Rosky, coordinator of the Century and Heritage Farm Program via phone at 515-281-3645, email at [email protected], or by writing to Century or Heritage Farms Program, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Henry A. Wallace Building, 502 E. 9th St., Des Moines, IA 50319.
Applications must be postmarked no later than June 1and the ceremony to recognize the 2011 Century and Heritage Farms will be held at the Iowa State Fair. Date to present the honor is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 16.
Last year 346 Century Farms, 66 Heritage Farms were honored
The Century Farm program began in 1976 as part of our nation's Bicentennial Celebration and nearly 17,000 farms from across the state of Iowa have received this recognition. The Heritage Farm program was started in 2006, on the 30th anniversary of the Century Farm program, and more than 450 farms have been recognized so far as Heritage Farms in Iowa.
Last year 346 Century Farms and 66 Heritage Farms were recognized. "Century and Heritage Farm recognitions at the Iowa State Fair are a great celebration of Iowa agriculture and the families that care for the land and produce our food," Northey says. "I hope eligible families will take the time to apply and then come to the State Fair in Des Moines next summer to be recognized."