Greene County is Home to Many Century Farms

Mar 19, 2014

Beginning in 1976, the University of Missouri Extension has been recognizing a history in agriculture by honoring the state’s longtime family farms called Century Farms.  KSMU's Theresa Bettmann has more on the special designation.

Each year, the agency recognizes those farms that continue to stand the test of time and have been in the same family for several generations.  Farming is still very much a part of life for many Missourians.  David Burton, county program director with the MU Extension, says around 8,000 farms statewide are considered Century Farms.

"This year to qualify as a Century Farm, you're farm would need to have been in your family since December 31, 1914.  Anything earlier than that.  So it has to remain in the same family for over 100 years, it needs to be at least 40 acres of the original land that was acquired, and it still needs to be making some sort of financial contribution to the overall farm income," Burton explains.

Although Greene County is often thought of being more urbanized, Burton explains that agriculture is still a vital part of the community.

"There's been many years that we've been among the leading counties in the whole state for Century Farms.  I mean, you think about 110 active Century Farms still in Greene County which is often thought of as urban, that's a lot," says Burton.

Farms that receive the honor of being named receive a sign to display and become part of a statewide directory.  Many farmers enjoy the earned prestige for their hard work and longevity, says Burton.

"First and foremost, those who do it will say it's a sense of family pride and recognition of this milestone.  And it is a milestone to keep the farm in the family for that long, that is something pretty special," says Burton.

MU Extension is currently taking applications for qualifying farms.