Mike Naig

DES MOINES—Iowa secretary of agriculture Mike Naig is encouraging eligible farm owners to apply for the 2020 Century and Heritage Farm Program.

The program was created by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation to recognize families that have owned their farm for 100 years in the case of Century Farms and 150 years for Heritage Farms.

“I look forward to the Century and Heritage Farm day at the Iowa State Fair each year,” Naig said. “Recognizing and hearing the stories of each of these farm families is a great way to celebrate the history and impact that agriculture has on the state.

“It was an honor for my family to be on the stage a few years ago and I look forward to recognizing other farm families who are receiving this honor in 2020.”

Applications are available on the department’s website at https://iowaagriculture.gov/century-and-heritage-farm-program by clicking on the Century Farm or Heritage Farm link under “Programs.”

Applications also may be requested from Kelley Reece, coordinator of the Century and Heritage Farm Program, via phone at 515-281-3645, e-mail at Kelley.Reece@IowaAgriculture.gov or by writing to Century or Heritage Farms Program, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Henry A. Wallace Building, 502 E. Ninth St., Des Moines, IA 50319.

Farm families seeking to qualify for the Century or Heritage Farms Program must submit an application to the department no later than June 1.

The Century Farm program was started in 1976 as part of the Nation’s Bicentennial Celebration.

To date, more than 20,000 farms from across the state have received this recognition.

The Heritage Farm program was started in 2006, on the 30th anniversary of the Century Farm program, and more than 1,000 farms have been recognized.

Last year 332 Century Farms and 153 Heritage Farms were recognized.

The ceremony to recognize the 2020 Century and Heritage Farm award winners is scheduled to be held on Thursday, Aug. 20, in the Pioneer Livestock Pavilion at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines.