(Radio Iowa) – Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey handed out certificates Tuesday at the Iowa State Fari to honor those who have had a farm in their family for 100 years. Northey says the number of farms meeting the mark has stayed pretty steady.
“The last few years somewhere between 300 and 400, this year 365 century farm awards were recognized. Amazing to see that many farms recognized,” Northey says. “We have over 17,000 century farms that have been recognized since the mid 1970′s when this program started.”
Northey also recognized heritage farms today too. ”Which are farms that have been in the same family for 150 years. And again, about the same number as last year, we’ll have 67 farms that we’ll recognize that are heritage farm awards this year. That means that they have been in the same family since the Civil War or before,” Northey says.
The recognition stirs up a lot of emotion for the families. “There’s a lot of very happy people and people that think of others that came before them. Some damp eyes in celebration as well,” Northey explains. You can find out more about the century and heritage farm programs on the Iowa Department of Agriculture’s website at: www.iowagriculture.gov.