Since the land of Iowa was opened up to settlers in 1833, agriculture has been the heart of Iowa. The family farm represents the traditions and heritage upon which our State was built. Today, those individuals and families, who followed in the foot steps of their ancestors, continue to produce crops and livestock on that same land.
The Century Farms Program recognizes and honors those individuals who have owned the farm land for 100 years or more. The program began in 1976 as part of the Bicentennial Celebration, when over 5,000 certificates and farm markers were distributed across Iowa at local ceremonies.
The program was sponsored by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, with the endorsement of the Iowa American Revolution Bicentennial Commission.
Members of the original Century Farm Recognition Committee were Ronald R. Woodin, Deputy Adjutant General of Iowa; James Meimann, Iowa Department of Agriculture; Gene Maahs, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation; Murray Goodman, Iowa American Revolution Bicentennial Commission and Kris Lischefska, secretary.
Since 1976 over 15,000 families have been recognized. The Awards Ceremony is held each year at the Iowa State Fair.