The University of Missouri and the Farm Bureau honored 10 legacies Friday morning as nine families in Pettis County were honored with the distinction of being named a Century Farm.
Created in 1976 to honor the nation’s Bi-Centennial at the request of then Missouri Gov. Christopher Bond, the awards are granted to farms of more than 40 acres that are still producing income for the families who own them.
The 40 acres must be owned and kept throughout the 100 years by decedents of the land’s original purchaser.
“You are all part of a very unique group,” Roger Cordes, Pettis County Farm Bureau president, said. “Not many things last 100 years any more and certainly don’t play the role that you have in Missouri’s economy.”
Cordes explained that agriculture is the most important industry in the Missouri.
“You and the others farmers in the state are responsible for producing the food, fiber and fuel we all need to live,” Cordes said. “Throughout the 84 counties the Farm Bureau serves, 227 farms were named as Century Farms this year. That in itself is very significant.”
This year the 10 Pettis County farms represent the largest number ever inducted in a single year. The family of Lynn Snow had two farms that received the award this year.
The county now has 106 named Century Farms.
“I don’t know if there is any one reason why we have such a large number of farms named this year,” Brent Carpenter, Agricultural Business Specialist for the University of Missouri West Central Region, said. “Each farm has a unique history and it’s important to bring these individuals together so they can share their stories for others and future generations to know.”
“History is important,” Pettis County Presiding Commissioner David Dick said at the ceremony. “I’m proud to live in a county where there are more cattle than people.
“You can’t always see that, but it’s true and it means that these families provide a way of life that is necessary for all of us to have our standard of living,” Dick added. “Their farms represent not just family projects, but community projects as well.”
In his closing remarks, Carpenter reiterated those of Dick and Cordes.
“As farmers you have had good years and bad years,” Carpenter said. “Often, it has been a struggle to keep going, but you have succeeded.
“As you look back on the past 100 years, be proud of your heritage,” he added. “As you look forward to the future, know someday others will look back with pride on the second 100 years.”
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484