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.
The following guidelines are used for the selection and recognition of Missouri Century Farms.
1. The same family must have owned the farm for 100 consecutive years or more as of Dec. 31, 2020.
2. The line of ownership from the original settler or buyer may be through children, grandchildren, siblings, nephews and nieces, including through marriage or adoption.
3. The present farm shall consist of no less than 40 acres of the original land and shall make a financial contribution to the overall farm income.
Applications are available starting February 1 through May 1 each year from the MU Extension office in your county or you can download, fill in and print the application form from the Missouri Century farm website at www.extension2.missouri.edu/programs/century-farms. A fee of $100 is required to cover processing costs, one certificate, a booklet and one two-sided, 2-foot by 2-foot metal sign for each approved farm (sign includes MU and Missouri Farm Bureau logos). For additional information you may contact your local MU Extension Center.