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Century Farms celebrate history

By Staff | Jul 1, 2020

It’s more than 180 years since land that is now the state of Iowa was opened for settlers. The America of the 21st century is far different from the nation presided over by President Andrew Jackson in 1833. There is, however, one constant feature for Iowans – agriculture is at the very heart of economic life in the Hawkeye State.

Consequently, it was a fitting celebration of agriculture and the generations of Iowans who have farmed here that in 1976, as part of the nation’s Bicentennial Celebration, the Century Farms Program was established. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation created the recognition program. It had the endorsement of the Iowa American Revolution Bicentennial Commission. Since its inception, more than 20,000 families have had their farms designated Century Farms.

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. In 2019, 332 Century Farms and 153 Heritage Farms were recognized.

To be eligible for this recognition a farm must constitute at least 40 acres and have been owned continuously by members of the same family for 100 years or more. The present owner must be related to the person who owned the land a century or 150 years ago.

Enjoy the special Century Farm section in this issue.

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