Century farms and ranches have shaped the nation. Amidst every kitchen, behind every faded barn door, and in every soiled and calloused hand lie untold stories of those who feed our nation. As an industry, we are called to discover these stories and share with consumers everywhere the contribution farmers and ranchers have made to our American heritage. It is time to redefine sustainability and put a face to the farmer who fills our cupboards and clothes our backs.

In 1976, the Centennial Farm project was initiated in Missouri to award certificates to persons owning farms that had been in the same family for 100 years or more. Interest in the program continued so the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and University of Missouri Extension planned a 10-year update in 1986 called the Century Farm program. The Missouri Farm Bureau joined as a program co-sponsor in 2008. This program has been sustained as a yearly event with over 100 farms recognized each year.

To qualify for this year’s Missouri Century Farm Program, a farm must have been owned by the same family for 100 years as of Dec.31, 2020. The 100 years must be consecutive. This lineage can be through children, grandchildren, siblings, nieces, nephews, including through marriage or adoption. The farm must include a minimum of 40 acres of the original land purchased by the family, and it must make a financial contribution to the overall farm income.

Applications may be obtained at the Linn County Extension office in the courthouse annex in Linneus or visit the website at https://extension2.missouri.edu/programs/century-farms and click on the Application Process button. Applications must be postmarked by May 1.

For more information contact Valerie Tate, MU Extension agronomist, at tatev@missouri.edu or call 660-895-5123. University of Missouri Extension programs are open to all.

Valerie Tate is an agronomist with MU Extension.