DES MOINES Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey recognized Century and Heritage Farm families during a ceremony at the State Fair again this year. To qualify, a family must have owned at least 40 acres for 100 years or more in the case of Century Farms and 150 years or more for a Heritage Farm.
This year 341 Century Farms and 56 Heritage Farms were recognized.
"It is always a special privilege and a great joy to be able to honor these families who represent the rich legacy of Iowa Agriculture," Northey said. "The Century and Heritage Farm program is a celebration of Iowa agriculture and farm families who feed the world and care for the land."
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, now over 17,000 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 now over 500 farms have been named.
The 2011 Century and Heritage Farms Program ceremony was held at the Iowa State Fair on Tuesday, August 16.
"The program acknowledges the deep roots 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 an ideal place to recognize the Century Farm and Heritage Farm recipients."