A century of commitment to the land


By Hope Lecchi - [email protected]



Three generations of the Clevenger family, from left, Scott Clevenger, Barbara Clevenger and Lexi Clevenger listen as the Pettis County Century Farms recipients are announced. Barbara Clevenger had two responsibilities Friday morning at the Pettis County Courthouse at the presentation. As the Pettis County Recorder of Deeds, she explained the roles and duties of her office. She was also on hand as her family was honored as one of the 10 Century Farms for 2015. The Elizabeth Colson Farm has been in the Clevenger family since 1912.


Larry Turner, left, and his wife, Ola Faye Turner, speak to Brent Carpenter, Agricultural Business Specialist for the University of Missouri Extension West Central Region, prior to the official recognition program for the Pettis County Century Farms Friday morning on the first floor of the Pettis County Courthouse. Ten farms were named this year, which is the largest single year total for the county. The Turners own a 50-acre farm near La Monte that has been in their family since 1904.


Ed Cook, left, stands with his son, Bill Cook, as his wife, Ruth Ann, listens to a story about their farm during the Century Farm presentation. The Cooks and their three sons, Steve Cook, David Cook and William “Bill” Cook, have the distinction of having the oldest farm to be named a Century Farm this year. Purchased by their ancestors in 1889, Ed Cook proudly holds the original deed to their family farm.


Lynn Snow, left, shares a conversation with Alan Roehback, secretary of the Pettis County Ambulance District Board. Snow, along with his sister, Joyce Neavils, have two farms included as Century Farms this year. The Riecke-Snow Farm of 125 acres was acquired in 1913, and the Elliott-Snow Farm, comprised of 75 acres, was purchased in 1900. Both farms are in southern Pettis County.


Pettis County Presiding Commissioner David Dick shares a light-hearted comment with the audience at the Pettis County Century Farm announcement hosted at the Pettis County Courthouse Friday morning. Dick served as the master of ceremonies for the event that recognized nine families. To be named a Century Farm the property must be 40 or more acres, belong to the descendants of a single family for 100 years or longer, and still provide income for the family.


By Hope Lecchi

[email protected]

Three generations of the Clevenger family, from left, Scott Clevenger, Barbara Clevenger and Lexi Clevenger listen as the Pettis County Century Farms recipients are announced. Barbara Clevenger had two responsibilities Friday morning at the Pettis County Courthouse at the presentation. As the Pettis County Recorder of Deeds, she explained the roles and duties of her office. She was also on hand as her family was honored as one of the 10 Century Farms for 2015. The Elizabeth Colson Farm has been in the Clevenger family since 1912.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/web1_tsd091515centuryfarms11.jpgThree generations of the Clevenger family, from left, Scott Clevenger, Barbara Clevenger and Lexi Clevenger listen as the Pettis County Century Farms recipients are announced. Barbara Clevenger had two responsibilities Friday morning at the Pettis County Courthouse at the presentation. As the Pettis County Recorder of Deeds, she explained the roles and duties of her office. She was also on hand as her family was honored as one of the 10 Century Farms for 2015. The Elizabeth Colson Farm has been in the Clevenger family since 1912.

Larry Turner, left, and his wife, Ola Faye Turner, speak to Brent Carpenter, Agricultural Business Specialist for the University of Missouri Extension West Central Region, prior to the official recognition program for the Pettis County Century Farms Friday morning on the first floor of the Pettis County Courthouse. Ten farms were named this year, which is the largest single year total for the county. The Turners own a 50-acre farm near La Monte that has been in their family since 1904.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/web1_tsd091515centuryfarms-21.jpgLarry Turner, left, and his wife, Ola Faye Turner, speak to Brent Carpenter, Agricultural Business Specialist for the University of Missouri Extension West Central Region, prior to the official recognition program for the Pettis County Century Farms Friday morning on the first floor of the Pettis County Courthouse. Ten farms were named this year, which is the largest single year total for the county. The Turners own a 50-acre farm near La Monte that has been in their family since 1904.

Ed Cook, left, stands with his son, Bill Cook, as his wife, Ruth Ann, listens to a story about their farm during the Century Farm presentation. The Cooks and their three sons, Steve Cook, David Cook and William “Bill” Cook, have the distinction of having the oldest farm to be named a Century Farm this year. Purchased by their ancestors in 1889, Ed Cook proudly holds the original deed to their family farm.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/web1_tsd091515centuryfarms31.jpgEd Cook, left, stands with his son, Bill Cook, as his wife, Ruth Ann, listens to a story about their farm during the Century Farm presentation. The Cooks and their three sons, Steve Cook, David Cook and William “Bill” Cook, have the distinction of having the oldest farm to be named a Century Farm this year. Purchased by their ancestors in 1889, Ed Cook proudly holds the original deed to their family farm.

Lynn Snow, left, shares a conversation with Alan Roehback, secretary of the Pettis County Ambulance District Board. Snow, along with his sister, Joyce Neavils, have two farms included as Century Farms this year. The Riecke-Snow Farm of 125 acres was acquired in 1913, and the Elliott-Snow Farm, comprised of 75 acres, was purchased in 1900. Both farms are in southern Pettis County.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/web1_tsd091515centuryfarms41.jpgLynn Snow, left, shares a conversation with Alan Roehback, secretary of the Pettis County Ambulance District Board. Snow, along with his sister, Joyce Neavils, have two farms included as Century Farms this year. The Riecke-Snow Farm of 125 acres was acquired in 1913, and the Elliott-Snow Farm, comprised of 75 acres, was purchased in 1900. Both farms are in southern Pettis County.

Pettis County Presiding Commissioner David Dick shares a light-hearted comment with the audience at the Pettis County Century Farm announcement hosted at the Pettis County Courthouse Friday morning. Dick served as the master of ceremonies for the event that recognized nine families. To be named a Century Farm the property must be 40 or more acres, belong to the descendants of a single family for 100 years or longer, and still provide income for the family.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/web1_tsd091515centuryfarms51.jpgPettis County Presiding Commissioner David Dick shares a light-hearted comment with the audience at the Pettis County Century Farm announcement hosted at the Pettis County Courthouse Friday morning. Dick served as the master of ceremonies for the event that recognized nine families. To be named a Century Farm the property must be 40 or more acres, belong to the descendants of a single family for 100 years or longer, and still provide income for the family.

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

Sedalia Democrat

Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484

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