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Century Farms gives distinction to family owned farms

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

OREGON COUNTY -- The University Extension office at Alton is once again searching for Century Farms in Oregon County.

According to Kathy Loth from the Extension office, a Century Farm is a farm that has been in the same family 100 years or more.

There are 16 Century Farms in Oregon County. The most recent farm to join the elite group of farms in Oregon County is the Robert and Sarah Crowder farm located on CC Highway, County Road 228, near Alton.

The Crowder's joined the Century Farm program last year.

The farm was purchased in 1899 by James and Amanda Rimel, the current owner's great-grandparents. It has been passed down from generation to generation.

The farm was once a productive farm, producing a variety of agriculture products. It has been used to produce crops of corn, soybeans and wheat. The family has also raised cattle and hogs. The farm is currently in grass production and is enjoyed by the family as a location to meet, visit, hunt and fish.

One of the highlights of the farm is the Rice Watering Hole which is a spot on Piney Creek that runs through the 100-year old property. Family history says the watering hole has never gone dry.

The property has an abundance of deer and turkey, one resident beaver and last year, the Crowders said they saw seven to eight Bald Eagles at the watering hole.

A county road ran through the property in the early 1900s from the Piney Creek Church area to the Garfield Store area.

University Extension started the Century Farm Program in 1979. The first Oregon County farm to join the program was the Herbert and Meda Dethrow farm at Myrtle in 1986.

Every community in the county now has a Century Farm. The Myrtle community has four farms, Alton has four, Thayer has three, Couch has four and Koshkonong has one Century Farm in the program.

Loth said to qualify as a Missouri Century Farm certain guidelines must be met.

* The same family must own the farm for 100 consecutive years.

* The farm must be at least 40 acres of the original land acquisition and make a financial contribution to the overall farm income.

Loth said applicants certified as owners of 2007 Missouri Century Farms will be recognized by the local Extension office at Alton. She said applications may be obtained at the Extension office located in the basement of the courthouse at Alton. The deadline to complete an application is June 1.

For further information about the Missouri Century Farm program call the Extension office at 417-778-7490.

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