2017 Century Farms include Concordia area farm

Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Elsie Portal, Irma Tracy and Minerva Cowherd, who are co-owners of Boeschen Farms along with their brother Marvin Boeschen (not pictured) hold the Missouri Century Farm sign representing the Marvin Boeschen farm near Concordia. The Boeschen farm was selected as one of four accepted into the Missouri Century Farms program in 2017. Other farms accepted include the C.W. Hook farm near Higginsville, the Lichte farm near Lexington, and the Jeremy and Rachel Ahmann farm near Odessa.
(Contributed photo)

The Missouri Century Farm program’s history dates back to 1976 as a result of the Missouri Committee for Agriculture that was co-chaired by Missouri Department of Agriculture Director James B. Boillot and Elmer R. Kiehl, dean of the College of Agriculture at the University of Missouri.

The committee’s purpose was to organize the American Revolution Bicentennial celebration in Missouri. One activity that was initiated by the committee was the “Centennial Farm” project, which awarded certificates to persons owning farms that had been in the same family for 100 years or more.

Interest in the program continued after 1976. The College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and University of Missouri Extension planned a 10-year update in 1986 called the “Century Farm” program. This program has been sustained as a yearly event with more than 100 farms recognized each year.

To qualify, farms must have met the following guidelines: The same family must have owned the farm for 100 consecutive years. The line of ownership from the original settler or buyer may be through children, grandchildren, siblings, and nephews or nieces, including through marriage or adoption. The farm must be at least 40 acres of the original land acquisition and make a financial contribution to the overall farm income.

“It is important to honor and respect our history,” said Michael Ouart, former vice provost and director, University of Missouri Extension. “These farms represent both Missouri’s cultural heritage and the good stewardship that our farmers strive for.”

In 2008, the Missouri Farm Bureau joined MU Extension and the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources as a program sponsor.

“Missouri Farm Bureau is a proud partner in the recognition of century farms,” said Blake Hurst, president. “We applaud the hard-working farm families that have kept us fed and clothed for generations. They represent an important part of our heritage and laid a foundation for the bounty Americans enjoy every day.”

Applicants certified as owners of a 2017 Missouri Century Farm included the Marvin Boeschen farm, with Irma Tracy, Elsie Portell and Minerva Cowherd representing that farm, which is near Concordia; the C.W. Hook farm near Higginsville; the Tim and Laurie Lichte farm near Lexington; and Jeremy and Rachel Ahmann, whose farm is near Odessa. Applicants received a sign and a certificate.

Since Missouri began the program in 1976, more than 8,000 century farms have been recognized. The program has ended for 2017, but will be available again in February 2018. Contact the Extension Center (660-584-3658) for more information.

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