Pictured left to right are: Kyleletta Carmean, David Carmean, Sarah and Jason Watkins, Jace Erwin, Dr. James L. Brown, Dallas Hurst – Extension Council, Janet Sue (Brown) Watkins, Blake Hurst – Missouri Farm Bureau President, and Eileen and Steve Irvine.
The University of Missouri Atchison County Extension Council and the Missouri Farm Bureau were pleased to honor Missouri Century Farms during the 2018 Atchison County Fair. The James Brown family of Smithville was recognized for two Century Farms in Atchison County. The first is a 40-acre tract originally purchased by his great-great-grandfather James Brown in 1872. The second is for a 60-acre tract purchased by great-great-grandfather James Freet in 1869. Both properties are located south of Tarkio, Missouri, on U.S. Hwy. 59.
You will see quite a number of the Missouri Century Farm signs in Atchison County. Guidelines used in selection include: same family must have owned the farm for 100 years or more as of December 31 of the current year, the family shall consist of direct descendants (if in corporation or partnership, one of the principal stockholders must be a direct descendant), and the farm shall consist of no less than 40 acres of the original land and shall make a financial contribution to an overall farm income.
The Missouri Century Farm program’s history dates back to 1976 as a result of the Missouri Committee for Agriculture. The committee’s purpose was to organize the American Revolution bicentennial celebration in Missouri. One activity that was initiated by the committee was the “Centennial Farm” project which awarded certificates to persons owning farms that have been in the same family for 100 years or more. A total of 2,850 Missouri farm owners in 105 counties were recognized as Centennial Farm owners. Since Missouri began the program in 1976, more than 8,000 century farms have been recognized.
In 2008, the Missouri Farm Bureau joined MU Extension and the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources as a program sponsor. “Missouri Farm Bureau is a proud partner in the recognition of century farms,” said Blake Hurst, president. “We applaud the hard-working farm families that have kept us fed and clothed for generations. They represent an important part of our heritage and laid a foundation for the bounty Americans enjoy every day.”
There are currently over 125 Missouri Century Farms recognized in Atchison County. If you are interested in having your farm designated as a Missouri Century Farm, contact the Atchison County MU Extension Center in the spring of 2019 for application forms.