Ag department honors farm families

ROCK SPRINGS, Pa. — Agriculture Secretary George Greig recognized five farm families who have been working their farms for more than a century Aug. 16, during Penn State’s Ag Progress Days, the state’s largest outdoor agricultural event.

Counties

Greig presented families from Beaver, Centre, Schuylkill, Susquehanna and Wyoming counties with century farm awards.

Since the Century Farm program’s inception in 1977 and the creation of the Bicentennial Farm program in 2004, the agriculture department has recognized 2,073 farms.

Green Valley Dairy, owned by Farin, Albert and Carol Weltner of Georgetown, Beaver County, was established March 3, 1906. The 100-acre farm was purchased for $52 per acre.

The Weltners bottled and delivered their own milk for more than 30 years. Today they farm 460 acres and still milk the herd in the original barn.

Beaver County is home to 19 century and bicentennial farms.

The Corby and Nicole Shunk Farm in Centre Hall, Centre County, was purchased Feb. 2, 1907, for $50 per acre. The crop and beef operation still includes those original 60 acres.

Centre County is home to 37 century and bicentennial farms.

The Zettlemoyer Farm, owned by John and Linda Garber in New Ringgold, Schuylkill County, was established in 1853. Its 175 acres were purchased for $1,000. Many original farm buildings are still in use today, as is the two-room home built in 1910.

The farm was preserved in 2002 and is one of 32 century and bicentennial farms in Schuylkill County.

Established Oct. 18, 1882, the Theodore and Rebecca Place Farm in Meshoppen, Susquehanna County, features a home built in 1886 and its original barn, both still in use. The tract of 170 acres has been expanded to the dairy operation’s current 300 acres.

The farm was preserved in 2001 and is one of 44 century and bicentennial farms in Susquehanna County.

The Stephen and Christina Henning Farm in Mehoopany, Wyoming County, is a seventh-generation dairy still using its original barn. Established Jan. 14, 1847, the 142-acre farm was purchased for $8 per acre.

Wyoming County is home to 18 century and bicentennial farms.

Purpose

The century farm program was established to help promote the strength and durability of Pennsylvania’s farm families and to recognize families who have been farming the same land for 100 years.

To be eligible for the program, a farm must be owned by the same family for at least 100 consecutive years. A family member must live on the farm on a permanent basis, and the farm must include at least 10 acres of the original holding or gross more than $1,000 annually from the sale of farm products.

Application details are available online at www.agriculture.state.pa.us by searching “Century Farm” or by calling 717-705-7796. Photos of the recipients are available by clicking on “Media” then “Photo Gallery.”

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