Local farms honored with Hoosier Homestead Award
Area legislators recently announced the latest recipients of the Hoosier Homestead Award, which recognizes farms owned and maintained by the same family for 100 consecutive years or more.
The Hoosier Homestead Award Program honors families who have made significant contributions to Indiana agriculture. Instituted in 1976, the program recognizes the impact these family farms have made on the economic, cultural and social advancements of Indiana. In the past 40 years, more than 5,800 farms have received the honor.
Represented by State Sen. Erin Houchin, R-Salem, and State Reps. Stephen Bartels, R-Eckerty, Steve Davisson, R-Salem, Karen Engleman, R-Georgetown, and Shane Lindauer, R-Jasper, eight locally owned farms were recently honored.
Those receiving the Sesquicentennial Award were the Beckort and Felker farms in Harrison County and the William O. Martin farm in Washington County.
The McIntosh farm in Crawford County received the Centennial Award.
Farms receiving both the Centennial and Sesquicentennial awards were the Goepfrich and the Himsel farms, both in Dubois County, and the Alfred and Ruth Thomas farm in Perry County.
“Agriculture has played and continues to play an incredibly important role in our Indiana economy and history,” Houchin said. “I am thankful for thriving and historic Southern Indiana farms and the hard-working men and women who have maintained them over the years. Hoosier Homestead recipients should be proud of the work they and their families have done to benefit Hoosiers across our great state.”
Bartels said, “Owning and operating a farm for a century is an amazing accomplishment and a reason to celebrate. Indiana’s economy depends on the farming industry, and, as vice chair of the House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, I will work hard to ensure the next generation of farmers will be able to keep their family’s business going for many more years.”
“As new generations step up to lead their family farms, the Hoosier Homestead Award proves careers in the agricultural industry are sustainable and provide a livelihood for Hoosiers,” Davisson said. “We all see so many of these families staying busy every day, and this is the chance to honor their work. Thank you for all you have done for more than a century.”
Engleman said, “Indiana is home to many families who make long-term sacrifices to provide for our community and state. We celebrate these Hoosier families for working their land, preserving their farms for the future, succeeding during good times and fighting through the bad.”
“Farming is hard work and not a career just anyone can do,” Lindauer said. “It’s encouraging to see a number of family farms still operating and with great success in our area. This is certainly a noteworthy accomplishment.”
To be named a Hoosier Homestead, farms must be owned by the same family for at least 100 consecutive years and consist of more than 20 acres or produce more than $1,000 of agricultural products per year. The award distinctions are Centennial, Sesquicentennial and Bicentennial, for 100, 150 and 200 years, respectively.
To learn more about the program or to apply for a Hoosier Homestead Award, visit www.in.gov/isda/2337.htm.