Growing up on a family farm is something that very few ever get to experience.
It is a treasured part of an individual's life that provides them with a sense of pride and accomplishment as they help out on the farm that was once owned by a relative they may or may not have met.
However, as the economy and landscape has changed, the number of true family farms has decreased.
Family farms maybe decreasing in numbers, but their importance is not.
The Hoosier Homestead Award is a program that recognizes farms that have been owned by the same family for 100 years or more and stresses the contributions these family farms have made to the economic, cultural and social advancement of Indiana.
The award was created in 1976 by former Lt. Gov. Robert D. Orr, and the Indiana Department of Commerce's Division of Agriculture (now the Office of the Commissioner of Agriculture).
During the past 30 years, almost 4,500 farms have received the Hoosier Homestead Award. Families who want to enter their family farm in the program may qualify for the following:
* Centennial Award -- 100 years of ownership,
* Sesquicentennial Award -- 150 years of ownership, and
* Bicentennial Award -- 200 years of ownership.
In Clay and Owen counties, there have been numerous Hoosier Homestead Award recipients.
Clay County is home to 45 Hoosier Homestead Award recipients.
During the first year of recognition, Clay County residents were awarded a total of nine Hoosier Homestead Awards.
The oldest homestead that was recorded was established in 1830 and awarded the Hoosier Homestead Award in 1988.
That homestead's application was submitted by Kenneth Killion.
Two Clay County residents were awarded Hoosier Homestead Awards as recent as 2010.
Owen County is home to 39 Hoosier Homestead Award recipients. During the first year of recognition, Owen County residents were awarded a total of 12 Hoosier Homestead Awards. The oldest homestead that was recorded was established in 1823 and awarded the Hoosier Homestead Award in 1976. That homestead's application was submitted by Homer White. Two Owen County residents were awarded Hoosier Homestead Awards as recent as 2008.
A complete list of all the Hoosier Homestead Award recipients in Indiana and in a particular county can be obtained by going to http://in.gov/serv/icpr_homestead.
If you feel that your homestead would qualify for the Hoosier Homestead Award, you can submit an application by going online to http://in.gov/serv/icpr_homestead.
Please contact your local Purdue Extension Office if you would like a copy of this application and are unable to obtain one online. The application will ask you several questions, including who originally purchased the farm, when was the present home built, what are the farm's major crops or products, and more.
It is an honor to receive the Hoosier Homestead Award. Congratulations to all farm families who have received the distinction.
As always, if you have any questions or would like information on any agriculture, horticulture, or natural resource topic, then please contact your local Purdue Extension Office at 448-9041 in Clay County or 812-829-5020 in Owen County, or reach me directly at email@example.com.
Purdue University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.
Upcoming opportunities available to you through Purdue Extension include:
* Today -- Arbor Day (events will be at Cooper Park, Spencer, on Saturday),
* Saturday -- Worthington Plant Auction, 10 a.m., Worthington, Ind.,
* May 5 -- Owen County Homemaker Council, 1 p.m., lesson, Owen County Extension Office,
* May 6 -- Area V Share-the-Fun, 6 p.m.,
* May 7 -- Community Farmers' Market of Owen County opening day, 8 a.m.-noon, at the courthouse parking lot in Spencer (runs every Saturday until Oct. 15),
* May 7 -- Owen County Garden Club Annual Plant Sale at the Community Farmers' Market of Owen County opening day,
* May 7 -- Owen County 4-H Tag Day,
* May 21 -- Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment Forest Tour, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Martinsville. Cost is $5. Call 765-342-1010 to register (limited seating), and
* May 30 -- Extension Office closed, Memorial Day.