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Record year for Homestead Awards for Indiana farms

Record year for Homestead Awards for Indiana farms Record year for Homestead Awards for Indiana farms

Recognized for their families’ long-standing commitment to agriculture, 106 Indiana family farms were presented the Hoosier Homestead Award from Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and Bruce Kettler, Indiana State Dept. of Agriculture director.

“Recognizing and engaging Indiana’s historic farming families with Hoosier Homestead awards at the Indiana State Fair is an honor for me each year,” said Crouch, who is Indiana’s Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development. “The hard work, consistency and long-standing values within these families is inspirational. These families and their farms are securing a strong future for many generations to come.”

To be named a Hoosier Homestead, farms must be owned by the same family for more than 100 consecutive years and consist of 20 acres or more, or produce more than $1,000 in agricultural products per year.

Based on the age of the farm, families are eligible for three different distinctions of the Hoosier Homestead Award. They can receive the Centennial Award for 100 years, Sesquicentennial Award for 150 years or Bicentennial Award for 200 years of ownership.

“Since the formation of these farms, these families have provided for their communities, our state and the Indiana agriculture industry,” Kettler said. “It is hard to put into words the value and impact these family farms have on Hoosier agriculture as a whole.

“It is my utmost pleasure to recognize these record number of long-standing families for their hard work in providing the food, fuel and fiber necessary to sustain our state,” he said.

Since the program’s inception in 1976, more than 6,100 families have received the award. Often, a Hoosier Homestead farm is easily recognized because most recipients proudly display their awarded sign on their property.

Locally, the Richmer farm received the sesquicentennial award; the farm was established in 1847.

“Farming is not an easy business, and generation after generation, Hoosier homesteaders work tirelessly to help feed our state,” State Rep. Karen Engleman, R-Georgetown, said. “Harrison County would not be what it is today without the contributions of farming families like the Richmers, and I wish them continued success for years to come.”

The Richmer Farm was among more than 100 awardees recognized at the Indiana State Fair for their commitment to Indiana agriculture.

“The Richmer farm is a testament to the continuous and monumental impact the agriculture industry has in our state,” State Sen. Gary Byrne, R-Byrneville, said. “I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to recognize them for their strong work ethic and dedication to supporting our local communities and state.”

During the presentations in April, the Wolfe Brothers farm, established in 1889, and the Bickel, Seitz, Stewart and Webster farm, in operation since 1888, were given centennial awards.

“It is hard to put into words the value these farming families have provided to their communities, our state and the Indiana agricultural industry since the formation of their farms,” Kettler said.