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State seeks historic farms

The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries is accepting applications for the annual Century and Heritage Farm and Bicentennial Farm programs – a program promoted by the Franklin County Extension.

The purpose of both programs, according to coordinators, is to recognize family farms that have played a significant role in Alabama’s history.

A Century Farm is one that has been in the same family continuously for at least 100 years and currently has some agricultural activities on the farm. The farm must include at least 40 acres of land and be owned by the applicant or nominee.

A Heritage Farm is one that has been operated continuously as a family farm for at least 100 years. The farm must possess interesting and important historical and agricultural aspects, including one or more structures at least 40 years old. The farm must also include at least 40 acres of land owned and operated by the applicant, who must reside in Alabama.

To date, more than 600 farms across the state have been recognized by the C & H Farm program.

The ADAI is also accepting applications for the Bicentennial Farm program, which launched last year. Dec. 14, 2019, Alabama will officially observe its 200th birthday. According to a Bicentennial Farm program spokesperson, “agriculture is an integral part of our state’s heritage, and the love of the land demonstrated by these families deserves recognition.”

The Bicentennial Farm program honors family farms that have remained in the same family for 200 years and is administered similarly to the C & H Farm program. To date, only three farms in the state have been recognized by this program – two in Greene County and one in Butler County

A Bicentennial Farm must currently have some agricultural activities, be at least 40 acres in size and owned by an Alabama resident. Applicants for the program are required to complete a registration form that traces the family lineage of property ownership and a description of agricultural activities that took place.

The application also requests photos be included of any structures that remain on the property that are 40 years old or older, even though structures are not required to qualify for the program.

Anyone whose farm meets the qualifications for 2018 C & H Farm program or the 2018 Bicentennial Farm program may contact Amy Belcher at 334-240-7126 or amy.belcher@agi.alabama.gov to receive an application. Applications are also available on the department’s website, www.agi.alabama.gov, under the “Forms” tab at either “Bicentennial Farm” or “Century & Heritage Farm.”

All applicants must complete the appropriate Ownership Registration Form and return it to the ADAI by Aug. 31.

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