Centennial, Bicentennial Farms Honored at Penn State’s Ag Progress Days
ROCK SPRINGS – Four families that have been farming the same land for more than a century were recognized today by Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff during Penn State’s Ag Progress Days, the state’s largest outdoor agricultural event.
Wolff presented families from Bradford and Lehigh counties with bicentennial farm awards, and families from Allegheny and Franklin counties with centennial farm awards.
“Our state’s history is deeply rooted in agriculture,” said Wolff. “The farms recognized today reflect the diversity of Pennsylvania’s number one industry and represent several generations of farm families who have worked hard to produce wholesome food and fiber for the state’s citizens. These families epitomize what it means to keep Pennsylvania growing, ensuring our state’s thriving agricultural tradition remains viable for generations to come.”
The Department of Agriculture has recognized 1,992 longstanding farms, including 1,848 century and 144 bicentennial farms.
The Rexford C. Russell Farm in Rome, Bradford County, was designated as a bicentennial farm. The crop and maple syrup operation was founded in 1796 and is one of 41 century and bicentennial farms in the county.
The Anna Lou Oswald & Sons Farm in New Tripoli, Lehigh County, was designated a bicentennial farm. Established in 1799, the grain and hay operation was preserved through the state’s farmland preservation program in 1998 and is one of 18 century and bicentennial farms in Lehigh County.
Founded in 1817, the Jeffrey Leindecker – Liberty Farm in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, was designated as a century farm. The vegetable operation is one of six century or bicentennial farms in the county.
The Harold & Esther Hoffeditz Farm, a dairy and crop operation in Mercersburg, Franklin County, was designated as a century farm. Founded in 1887, the farm is one of 60 century or bicentennial farms in the county.
The century and bicentennial farm program was established to help publicize the strengths and durability of Pennsylvania’s farm families and to recognize families who have been farming the same land for either 100 or 200 years.
To be eligible for the program, a farm must be owned by the same family for at least 100 or 200 consecutive years. A family member must live on the farm on a permanent basis, and the farm must consist of at least 10 acres of the original holding or gross more than $1,000 annually from the sale of farm products.
Application details are available online at www.agriculture.state.pa.us by clicking on “Producers” or by calling 717-783-3167.