Farm program is good for Alabama

In Alabama – and especially here in Franklin County – we are proud of the agricultural heritage that, in large part, defines who we are as a people.

The tireless efforts of our ancestors shaped this land into what it is today. As caretakers of the land and producers of every kind of fruit and vegetable, our farming forefathers were instrumental in creating the Alabama we all now get to enjoy.

With the current focus on marking the state’s bicentennial – as well as those birthday milestones in Franklin County and Russellville – it seems only fitting that the farms and farmers of yesteryear should have their place among the festivities.

The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries is celebrating these heroes of history by accepting applications for the annual Century and Heritage Farm and Bicentennial Farm programs. This program is being promoted by the Franklin County Extension, and it is one in which our local farmers just might have interest.

Program coordinators say they aim to “recognize family farms that have played a significant role in Alabama’s history.”

Putting the spotlight on farms that have been in the same family for at least 100 years – or 200 years, for those seeking Bicentennial Farm status – is a great way to celebrate all that farming means to our community.

The state is seeking farms that boast important historical and agricultural aspects, for the “Heritage Farm” status – a way to memorialize everything farming has done to contribute to a prosperous future for the state.

We hope farm owners in Franklin County will look into whether their farm qualifies for one of these honors and fill out the necessary paperwork to have the farm designated as a Century, Heritage or Bicentennial Farm, as appropriate. Franklin County has easily one of the best farming communities in the state, and farms from our area deserved to be recognized among these hall of fame farms.

Anyone whose farm meets the qualifications can find out more by reading the story on page __ or by calling 334-240-7126 or emailing 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.”

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