Bicentennial Farms in Lawrence County: Neighbors bound by history

SALEM, Ohio — In Pennsylvania, farms wishing to be designated as a centennial or bicentennial farm must apply to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

Crystalaire Farm and the Thompson Farm in New Wilmington, Pa. were honored with the designation as a bicentennial farm recently.

Criteria

The same family must own the farm for at least 100 (Century Farm) or 200 (Bicentennial Farm) consecutive years. A family member must live on the farm on a permanent basis; and the farm must consist of at least 10 acres of the original holding or gross more than $1,000 annually from the sale of farm products.

Applications must be completed, notarized and mailed to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture for review.

Farming tradition

The idea of a Century Farm Program, aimed at emphasizing the importance of economic and rural heritage and traditions, was initiated in the New York Agricultural Society in 1937.  

In 1948, the Bradford County Historical Society of Pennsylvania began its own program, similar to the one in New York.  

The Bicentennial Farm Program started in 2004 after it became apparent that there was a lot of interest in bicentennial farms.  

The information on the applications and other information supplied by the applicants is filed in the Archives of the State Historical and Museum Commission.

Ohio’s program

Ohio also has a centennial and bicentennial farm program. According to the Ohio Department of Agriculture, the Ohio Century Farm program was developed as a way to honor families for their enduring legacy to our state. The Bicentennial designation was adopted into the program in 2013 to celebrate the growing number of families whose farms have met the 200-year milestone.

Agriculture Director Dave Daniels named a farm in Pickaway County March 11 as the first bicentennial farm in the state. Bob Fagan family’s Der Decker Baurenhoff Farm in Ashville, Ohio, was named as the first bicentennial farm in Ohio.

To read more about the two Pennsylvania farms recently designated as having bicentennial status, check out the Thompson Farm or Crystalaire Farm.

About the Author

Kristy Foster Seachrist lives in Columbiana County raising sheep and horses. She earned her degree from Youngstown State University and has worked in both print and broadcast journalism. You can follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/fosterk96. More Stories by Kristy Foster Seachrist

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