LONDON, Ohio – The McConnell family of Hickory Grove Farms near Wellington, Ohio, was recognized as Ohio’s 2001 Outstanding Century Farm during ceremonies Sept. 19 during the Farm Science Review.
The farm has been in the family since 1892, when Frank Whitney purchased the house, barns and 46 acres near Wellington and moved there with his wife, Lou Emma Green. They added acreage in 1901, when Lou Emma inherited land from her parents. The couple’s daughter, Roena, and her husband, James McConnell, purchased the land in 1918. The late Howard McConnell was entrusted with the farm’s deed in 1967.
Today, the farm is operated by Howard’s widow, Jean McConnell, and her sons, Jim, Frank and Mark, along with Mark’s son, Matt.
The farm has grown to more than 2,000 acres and produces corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa and other forages. Ayrshire cattle were an important part of the farm for more than 75 years, making the decision to sell the herd in 1997 a difficult one. The dairy barns currently house replacement heifers for a nearby Holstein farm.