HURON, S.D. – More than 80 farm and ranch families who have owned their land for a century or more were honored at the 2016 South Dakota State Fair, receiving a Century Farm or Quasquicentennial Farm award from the South Dakota Farm Bureau (SDFB) and the South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA).
This year, 51 families were honored with the Century award for 100 years of ownership and 29 were honored with the Quasquicentennial award for 125 years of family ownership. Sixty-seven of the families were able to be in attendance for the awards ceremony, held at the fair on Sept. 1 on the Farm Bureau Dakotaland Stage. Each family had the opportunity to say a few words about their farm or ranch as they were presented their award by Mike Jaspers, South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture, and Scott VanderWal, president of the South Dakota Farm Bureau.
"This event carries on a long standing tradition of celebrating families who are a true example of dedication, perseverance and what makes South Dakota great," said South Dakota Farm Bureau President Scott VanderWal. "I personally always enjoy hearing the stories from these families about their accomplishments. SDFB is proud to continue this partnership with the South Dakota Department of Agriculture to kick off this celebration at the South Dakota State Fair."
Secretary Jaspers added, “For all of these families to have been able to keep farms or ranches in their family for 100 years, 125 years or even longer took incredible dedication and determination. As a farmer myself, hearing their stories and seeing multiple generations attend the event together exemplifies why these families are the backbone of agriculture in South Dakota.”
Since the program began in 1976, South Dakota Farm Bureau and the South Dakota Department of Agriculture have honored approximately 3,000 farm and ranch families with these awards. To be recognized, at least 80 acres of the original land must have been continuously owned by the same family, and they must be able to provide proof of the original date of purchase.
More details about the program and pictures of families can be seen on Farm Bureau’s website, https://www.sdfbf.org/Programs/Century-Farms.
To see a map of the Century Farm recipients, go to http://sdda.sd.gov/office-of-the-secretary/century-farms/.
For a map of the Quasquicentennial Farms, go to http://sdda.sd.gov/office-of-the-secretary/century-farms/.
South Dakota Farm Bureau (SDFB) is a grassroots agriculture organization representing more than 16,000 member families across the state. Founded in 1917, SDFB works hard every day to represent, uphold, and improve our state’s #1 industry – agriculture. Visit www.sdfbf.org .
Agriculture is a major contributor to South Dakota’s economy, generating $25.6 billion in annual economic activity and employing over 115,000 South Dakotans. The South Dakota Department of Agriculture's mission is to promote, protect, preserve and improve this industry for today and tomorrow. Visit us online at http://sdda.sd.gov or find us on Facebook and Twitter.