Century Farms

This sidebar originally appeared in Pennsylvania Heritage Magazine
Volume XXXIX, Number 2 - Spring 2012

Read the full article: "Stewards of the Land"

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture recognizes families who have owned farmland for one hundred and two hundred years through the Century and Bicentennial Farms programs. The same family must own the farm for at least one hundred or two hundred years consecutively and a family member must reside on the property. The farm must consist of at least ten acres or gross more than one thousand dollars yearly from the sale of farm products.

The concept of a Century Farm program, aimed at emphasizing the importance of the economic benefits of agriculture and rural heritage, was initiated in 1937 by the New York Agricultural Society. Farms in the same family for one hundred years or more were honored as members of the Order of Century Farms at Albany. In 1948, the Bradford County Historical Society, Towanda, Pennsylvania, launched its own program, similar to New York's. The state Department of Agriculture launched its statewide designation program in 1976 and expanded it in 2004 to recognize Bicentennial Farms.

Approved applications, accompanied by supporting documentation, are contained in Record Group 1, Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Press Office, at the Pennsylvania State Archives, administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

Nomination forms can be downloaded at the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture website.

For Further Reading

pennsylvania-heritage-spring-2012_compac Pennsylvania Heritage Magazine
Spring 2012

Century Farms