Each year, the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Bill Northey, recognizes Iowa’s Century and Heritage farm families during the State Fair in Des Moines. To be honored as a Century Farm a family must have owned at least 40 acres of farmland for 100 years or more, and to be honored as a Heritage Farm, a family must have owned it for 150 years or more.
This year, Northey recognized 354 Century Farms and 119 Heritage Farms, including five Century Farms and one Heritage Farm in the Dallas County area.
The following area families’ Century Farms were honored:Carole Bayeur-Dawson, along with J. Scott Dawson and Angela Poortinga, of Adel.Richard H. and Jeanette M. Reiste of Minburn.Janice Sharon Schroer of Grimes.C. Jack Sheibley Jr., along with Donna J. Sheibley of Dawson.Marc Harding, along with Richard Harding, John Harding, Jill Davis and Lori Ahmady, of Grimes.
Tim and Winette Luellen, of Minburn, were recognized for their heritage farm at the fair.
“The Century and Heritage Farm awards ceremony is one of my favorite days of the year,” Northey said in a press release. “It 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.”
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 19,000 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 more than 1,000 farms have been recognized.
The 2017 Century and Heritage Farms Program ceremony was held at the Iowa State Fair in the Pioneer Livestock Pavilion on Thursday, August 17. Craig Hill, President of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, or Joe Heinrich, Vice President of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation joined Northey to recognize all award recipients.
“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.”