OREGON COUNTY -- The University Extension Office is once again on the look-out for Century Farms.
Oregon County is known across the state as having some of the best and oldest family farms in Missouri.
Extension officials at Alton said to qualify as a Missouri Century Farm, the farm must be in the family for 100 years or more.
In 1986, the College of Agriculture Food and Natural Resources and University Extension planned a Century Farm program in which 1,080 more farms were recognized. Due to continued interest in the program, annual updates are now given each year.
Last year, 224 new farms joined the program including three from Oregon County. They were the Joe and Lavern Cockman farm at Alton, the Fred and Dionne Komm farm at Thayer and the Herb, Curtis and Ken Poulette farm at Thayer.
Loth said to qualify as a Missouri Century Farm farms must meet the following guidelines.
* The same family must have owned the farm for 100 consecutive years or more as of Dec. 31, 2009.
* The line of ownership from the original owner or buyer may be through children, grandchildren, siblings, and nieces, including through marriage and adoption.
* The farm must be at least 40 acres of the original land acquisition and make a financial contribution to the over-all farm income.
Applications certified as owners of a 2009 Missouri Century Farm will be recognized by the Oregon County Extension office.
There are currently 23 Century Farms in Oregon County, they are: Frank and Bonnie Gilmore, Lewis Thompson, Don and Linda/Barb Williams, Don and Nancy Alford, Harold Crass, Floyd and Katherine Wickins, Dave and Patsy Norman, Carl and Shirley Burkhead, James Grooms, Robert and Sarah Crowder, August and Dorothy Herbold and the three farms already mentioned.
For applications received by May 1, a $40 fee covers the cost of certificates, farm signs and booklets for approved applicants. If the application is received between May 1 and May 15 the cost is $50. Applications must be postmarked by May 15, to be considered.