OREGON COUNTY -- The search is on again in Oregon County for any Missouri family farm that has been in same family for 100 years or more.
The farms will be recognized in the Missouri Century Farm program. According to Stacy Hambelton, ag business specialist with the University Extension Office at Alton, the program was launched in the bicentennial year of 1976. In 1976, 2,850 farmers across the state were recognized as owning centennial farms.
In 1986 the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and the University of Missouri Extension planned a Century Farm program in which 1,080 more farms were recognized. The first farm in Oregon County, the Herbert and Meda Dethrow farm of Myrtle, joined the program in 1986.
Since 1987, an additional 2,725 farms have been recognized.
Last year 255 family farms joined the program in the state. The most recent Oregon County farm to join the ranks is the James Clyde Grooms farm of Couch in 2005.
One-hundred-year farms in the county besides the Dethrow and Grooms farms include: Frank and Bonnie Gilmore, Myrtle; A.W. Lewis Simpson, Alton; Malcolm German, Alton; David and Geneva Sorrell, Myrtle; Bill and Barbara Cotton, Couch; Calvin and Susan Sheets, Thayer; Jerri Thompson, Alton; Don and Linda Williams, Couch; Don and Nancy Alford, Thayer; Sam Crase, Myrtle; Floyd and Katherine Wickins, Koshkonong; Dave and Patsy Norman, Thayer; and Carl and Shirley Burkhead, Alton.
Hambelton said to qualify as a Missouri Century Farm, a farm must meet these guidelines:
* The farm must have been owned by the same family for 100 years of more as of Dec. 31, 2006.
* The family must consist of direct descendants (spouse, child, grandchild, sibling, nephew or niece). If the farm is a family coperation or partnership, one of the principal stockholders must be a direct descendant.
* The present farm shall consist of no less than 40 acres of the original land and must make a financial contribution to the overall farm.
Application forms for the Century Farm Program are available at the Oregon County Extension Office located in the basement of the courthouse at Alton.
Hambelton said a $25 fee covers the cost of certificates and farm signs for approved applications. He said checks should be made out to Missouri Century Farms and should accompany a completed application. If more than one Century Farm sign is requested an additional $11 will be needed for each sign.
Applications must be returned by May 15.
For further information call the local Extension office at 417-778-7460.