Calling Century Farms

by | Mar 28, 2024

Summary: The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is looking for farms that have been in continual family ownership for 100 years or more to apply to be part of the Century Farm Family program. This year on Oct. 21 we will hold the Century Farm Family Reunion at the State Fair in Raleigh.

Today’s Topic with Southern Farm Network’s Mike Davis

 

  • It takes a lot of determination and dedication to keep farm and forestlands in a family for 100 years or more.
  • My farm has not reached that milestone yet and I am continually inundated with calls and notes every week inquiring about my farmland in Guilford County.
  • I look forward to the day when I can apply to be in the Century Farm program myself.
  • There are 2,006 Century Farms in the state and we are hoping to add more as we prepare for the Century Farm Reunion Oct. 21 in Raleigh.
  • Every four years, we recognize and honor Century Farm families with a big reunion at the State Fair in Raleigh.
  • This program started with the 1970 State Fair when the Fair’s theme was Salute to Agriculture.
  • Fifty-four years later, we continue to celebrate the families who have maintained their farms for 100 years or more.
  • It’s one of my favorite events because we get to celebrate the families who have been the backbone of our state’s $103.2 billion ag economy for a long time.
  • What these families have contributed and continue to contribute to our state is remarkable.
  • We want folks that qualify, but are not in the program yet, to sign up. It is free and you can find an application online at www.ncagr.gov.
  • We would especially love to have qualified farms from Dare, Graham and Swain counties because there are currently no Century Farms registered in these counties.
  • I know one day we will have all 100 counties with farms in the program.
  • Fun facts, Johnston County has the most Century Farms with 84, Sampson has the second most at 73 and Robeson County has 70 for our top three counties.
  • Applications for the program are accepted continuously, but we will need your application in by Aug. 12 to be invited to the Century Farm Reunion in October.
  • The title to the property today must reside with a blood relative of the original owner, or a legally adopted child of the descendant. Continuous residence in the state or on the property is not required.
  • I am certain there are many more Century Farms out there and I would encourage them to apply today.
  • We also have the Bicentennial Farm Program for farms in continuous family ownership for 200 years or more.
  • People might be surprised to know we have 56 Bicentennial Farms in the program. This requires a separate application, but I would encourage farms that meet the criteria to apply for this distinction as well.
  • In addition to the invitation to the Century Farm Reunion, families in the program receive a signed certificate and a reflective metal sign for the family to display.
  • This is a great event and I hope we have a record number of Century Farm families attend this year’s reunion.