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August 01, 2012   Email to Friend 

Program Seeks To Honor Historic Alabama Farms

The Department of Agriculture and Industries is accepting applications for the 2012 Century and Heritage Farm program. This program is designed to recognize and honor those farms that have been in operation as a family farm over a long period of time and have played a significant role in Alabama history.

A Century Farm is one that has been in the same family continuously for at least 100 years and currently has some agricultural activities on the farm. The farm must include at least 40 acres of land and be owned by the applicant or nominee.

A Heritage Farm is one that has been operated continuously as a family farm for at least 100 years. The farm must possess interesting and important historical and agricultural aspects, including one or more structures at least 40 years old. The farm must be at least 40 acres of land owned and operated by the applicant, who must reside in Alabama.

The application deadline for the 2012 Century and Heritage Farm program is Aug. 31.

The Century and Heritage Farm program began in 1976 when the director of the Alabama Historical Commission and a representative from the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries met to discuss ways to recognize small family farms that had been in operation for a long time. Out of this original meeting the idea for the Century and Heritage Farm program was born. It was decided that recognition should be given to these farms because of their significant role in Alabama’s history.

The population in rural Alabama at that time was rapidly changing as people moved to urban areas. The number of family farms was diminishing rapidly as it still is today. It was decided that farms with more than 100 years of ownership should be awarded a certificate to recognize significant achievement.

The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries administers the program. The first certificates of recognition were presented at an Alabama Farm Bureau meeting in Birmingham in December 1977. To date, more than 500 farms have been recognized in Alabama.

Applicants must complete an Ownership Registration Form supplied by the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries. For more information, contact Amy Belcher at (334) 240-7126 or e-mail amy.belcher@agi.alabama.gov. A list of farms that previously received a Century and Heritage Farm designation is available at www.agi.alabama.gov/chfarmsl.

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