Last month, during the Iowa State Fair, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey recognized Century and Heritage Farm families during a special ceremony. Of the 365 Century Farm families recognized, three were from Jasper County.
A farm owned by Lynn Kleinendorst of Newton was the first Jasper County farm recognized for the Century Farm designation. Located one mile southeast of the Iowa Speedway, the farm has been in the same family’s ownership since 1912.
The second farm recognized with Century Farm status was owned by Craig M. Linn, also of Newton. His family has owned the farm in rural Newton since 1913.
The third and final Jasper County Century Farm was owned by Keith R. and Shirley R. Paulson. Their family has held continuous ownership of the farm, located two miles east of Rock Creek State Park and one mile west of the Jasper-Poweshiek county line, since 1902.
The Paulsons were unable to attend the ceremony held Aug. 13.
“It is a great pleasure and distinct honor to help recognize these farm families that have owned the same farm for 100 years,” Northey said. “It is a testament to the values of land stewardship, hard work, patience, dedication and perseverance that are found in Iowa’s farm families.”
No Jasper County farms qualified for Heritage Farm status this year. To qualify for recognition, a family must have owned at least 40 acres for 100 years or more in the case of Century Farms, and 150 years or more for a Heritage Farm.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has partnered with the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation since 1976 to recognize families that have owned and worked a farm for 100 years or more. Including this year’s recipients, now 17,851 farms from across the state have been recognized.
The Heritage Farm program was started in 2006, on the 30th anniversary of the Century Farm program, and now 650 farms have been recognized.
Jasper County currently is tied for 16th with Sioux County in northwest Iowa for the total number of Century Farms (Heritage Farms also qualify as Century Farms) out Iowa’s 99 counties. They each have 255 Century Farms.
“The program acknowledges the deep roots of Iowa agriculture and the special bond that exists between Iowa families and the land they farm,” Northey said. “The Iowa State Fair is a celebration of Iowa and Iowa Agriculture, so it’s a great place to recognize the Century Farm and Heritage Farm recipients.”