Apply now for century farm status

Minnesota families who have owned their farms for 100 years or more may now apply for the 2013 Century Farms Program. The application deadline this year is April 1.

Produced by the Minnesota State Fair in conjunction with the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation, the Century Farms Program was created to promote agriculture and honor historic family farms in the state. Nearly 9,500 Minnesota farms have been honored since the program began in 1976.

Family farms are recognized as Century Farms when they meet three requirements. The farm must be: 1) at least 100 years old according to authentic land records; 2) in continuous family ownership for at least 100 years (continuous residence on the farm is not required); and 3) at least 50 acres.

A commemorative certificate signed by State Fair Board of Managers President Jim Foss, Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation President Kevin Paap and Governor Mark Dayton will be awarded to qualifying families, along with an outdoor sign signifying Century Farm status.

Applications are available online at mnstatefair.org (click the “Recognition Programs” link at the bottom of the home page); at fbmn.org; by calling the State Fair at (651) 288-4400; or at statewide county extension and county Farm Bureau offices. Recipients will be announced in May. Previously recognized families should not reapply.

Information on all Century Farms will be available at the Minnesota Farm Bureau exhibit during the 2013 Minnesota State Fair, which runs Aug. 22 through Labor Day, Sept. 2. A Century Farm database is also available at fbmn.org.

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