Wabash Valley legislators have announced the latest recipients of the Hoosier Homestead Award, which recognizes farms that have been owned and maintained by the same family for 100 years or more.

The Hoosier Homestead Award Program honors families that have made significant contributions to Indiana agriculture. The program, instituted in 1976, recognizes the impact these family farms have made to the economic, cultural and social advancements of Indiana. 

In the past 40 years, more than 5,500 farms have received the honor.

Represented by State Sen. Jon Ford (R-Terre Haute) and State Reps. Beau Baird (R-Greencastle), Alan Morrison (R-Brazil), and Tonya Pfaff (D-Terre Haute), three locally owned farms were designated a Hoosier Homestead:

• The Barbour Family LLC farm in Vigo County received Centennial, Sesquicentennial and Bicentennial awards;

• The Fitzpatrick farm in Vigo County received a Sesquicentennial Award; and

• The Mercer-Summers farm in Clay County received a Centennial Award.

“Farming is an essential part of Indiana’s agriculture industry, contributing more than $31 billion to our state’s economy,” Ford said in a news release. “This is undeniably thanks to hardworking farm families, like those in our own community, who have put in generations of hard work. I greatly admire their persistence and thank them for making our state what it is today.”

“With so many farmers struggling through a difficult planting season this year, due to heavy rains and flooding in the spring, it’s important now more than ever for Hoosiers to support our agriculture industry,” Baird said. “These family farms deserve our praise and recognition for enduring every season for the past 100 years.”

“With 96 percent of Hoosier farms family-owned or operated, it’s imperative for our state economy that we continue to support operations like these,” Morrison said. “Their hard work and commitment have made Indiana one of the largest farming states in the country.”

“To be able to stay in operation for 150 years is an amazing accomplishment,” Pfaff said. “To achieve that longevity while helping feed the world is something that deserves our gratitude. The work done by Hoosier farmers is felt throughout the world, and those who engage in this noble pursuit should be thanked whenever possible.”

To be named a Hoosier Homestead, farms must be owned by the same family for at least 100 consecutive years and consist of more than 20 acres or produce more than $1,000 of agricultural products per year. The award distinctions are Centennial, Sesquicentennial and Bicentennial – for 100, 150 and 200 years respectively.

Two Hoosier Homestead award ceremonies are held each year – one at the Statehouse in March and one at the State Fair in August. 

To learn more about the program or to apply for a Hoosier Homestead award, visit www.in.gov/isda/2337.htm