DES MOINES –Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today encouraged eligible farm owners to apply for the 2011 Century and Heritage Farm Program. The 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.
“These awards are an opportunity to recognize the hard work and commitment by these families that is necessary to keep a farm in the same family for 100 or 150 years,” Northey said. “If you consider all the challenges and unexpected obstacles each of would have had to overcome during their life on the farm, it gives you a greater appreciation of the dedication and perseverance of these families.”
Farm families seeking to qualify for the Century or Heritage Farms Program must submit an application no later than June 1, 2011.
Applications are available on the Department’s website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov by clicking on the Century Farm or Heritage Farm link under “Hot Topics.”
Applications may also be requested from Linda Rosky, Coordinator of the Century and Heritage Farm Program via phone at 515-281-3645, email at Linda.Rosky@IowaAgriculture.gov, or by writing to Century or Heritage Farms Program, 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 ceremony to recognize the 2011 Century and Heritage Farms will be held at the Iowa State Fair and is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, August 16th.
The Century Farm program began in 1976 as part of the Nation’s Bicentennial Celebration and nearly 17,000 farms from across the state have received this recognition. The Heritage Farm program was started in 2006, on the 30th anniversary of the Century Farm program, and more than 450 farms have been recognized.
Last year 346 Century Farms and 66 Heritage Farms were recognized.
“Century and Heritage Farm recognitions at the Iowa State Fair are a great celebration of Iowa agriculture and the families that care for the land and produce our food,” Northey said. “I hope eligible families will take the time to apply and then come down to the State Fair to be recognized.