Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey recently encouraged eligible farms to apply for the 2009 Century and Heritage Farm Program. This program is sponsored by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, and the Iowa Farm Bureau, and recognizes families that have owned their farm for 100 years in case of Century Farms and 150 years for Heritage Farms.
"Every Century and Heritage farm is a model of the persistence, stewardship, hard work, patience and dedication needed to make a farm work," Northey stated. "They symbolize the rich legacy of Iowa Agriculture and it is a special privilege to honor these farms at the Iowa State Fair."
Last year 344 Century Farms and 67 Heritage Farms were recognized. As a result, more than 16,200 farms have been recognized through the Century Farm program since it was created in 1976. The Heritage Farm program was created just three years ago and has recognized 326 farms to date.
Cherokee County has 180 Century Farms and as that number grows each year such families are acknowledged at the Iowa State Fair.
The 2009 Century Farms Program ceremony will likely be held at the Iowa State Fair on Tuesday, August 18th, and the Heritage Farms Program ceremony will likely be held Thursday, August 20th.
Farm families seeking to qualify for the Century or Heritage Farms Program must submit an application no later than June 1, 2009. The application may be obtained online at: www.agriculture.state.ia.us/centuryFarms... and www.agriculture.state.ia.us/heritageFarm.... Applications may also be requested from Janet Lee, Coordinator of the Century Farm Program via phone at 515-281-5323, email, Janet.Lee@iowaagriculture.gov or write to: Janet Lee, Heritage or Century Farms Program, The 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 1st.
"The program acknowledges the deep roots Iowans have with their families and the unique bond that exists between Iowa families and the land they farm, so it is very fitting that we are able to recognize the Century and Heritage Farm recipients at the Iowa State Fair," Northey said.