Farm Horizons, February 2014

Farm Bureau launches new online century and sesquicentennial farm list

By Ivan Raconteur

The Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) recently launched an improved online century farm and sesquicentennial farm directory.

According to the MFBF, this is the only comprehensive online century farm and sesquicentennial farm directory available in Minnesota.

The listing is easy to use and provides a wealth of information about century and sesquicentennial farms across the state.

The directory provides a complete listing of the over 9,700 century farms in Minnesota with copies of the original applications available for viewing and printing.

Each year, MFBF and the Minnesota State Fair recognize family farms that have been in continuous family ownership for at least 100 years, and are at least 50 acres in size as century farms. In addition, the directory lists over 165 sesquicentennial farms in Minnesota.

To view the directory, visit the MFBF website, and click on “century and sesquicentennial farm” under “consumer engagement.”

Users can research information about farms in a variety of ways.

The site includes a map of the state for century farms, and another for sesquicentennial farms. By hovering over a county on the map, one can see at a glance how many farms are registered in that county.

By clicking on a county, users can see a list showing the current owners of the century or sesquicentennial farm, the city, and the year the family purchased the farm.

Users can also search for farms by name or year.

In addition to the basic information noted above, site users can click on a link to the application submitted by the farm owners.

These applications provide a variety of information about the farm, including:

• contact information for current owner;

• farm street address and section information;

• number of acres included when the family originally purchased the farm, as well as the current size of the farm;

• legal description of the farm; and

• proof of 100 (or 150) years of farm ownership, including names of owners, years of ownership for each, and relationship to previous owner.

The “additional information” section of the application provides information about from whom the original farm was purchased by the family, how many acres were purchased, and the cost of the land per acre when purchased.

Information about where the first owner in the family was born (and, in some cases, from what country the original owner came to the US).

The form also includes information about what trades or occupations the owner was engaged in, other than farming.

The application also asks whether the original residence or any portion of it is still standing, and if any other original farm buildings are still standing.

Finally, the application asks what major crops or other products are produced on the farm.

Applicants are also invited to share any other information they think appropriate.

How to apply for century (or sesquicentennial) farm certification

The Minnesota Farm Bureau and the Minnesota State Fair work in conjunction on the century farm program to honor Minnesota families that have owned their farms for at least 100 years (150 years for sesquicentennial farms), are at least 50 acres in size, and are currently involved in agricultural production.

Since the program began in 1976, nearly 10,000 farms in Minnesota have been recognized as century farms, with about 250 farms being designated each year.

The Minnesota State Fair designates century farm and sesquicentennial farm status in early summer of every year. Century farm families receive a commemorative sign, as well as a certificate signed by the president of the state fair, president of the Minnesota Farm Bureau, and the governor of Minnesota.

The deadline for applications is April 1 each year. Applications are available on the website.

For information regarding Century Farms signs, contact the Minnesota State Fair at (651) 288-4400 or

Local farms in the directory

The directory includes 246 century farms and five sesquicentennial farms in McLeod County; 209 and seven in Carver County, 177 and three in Wright County, and 162 and one in Meeker County, respectively.

Local sesquicentennial farms include:

McLeod County

• Clinton Halverson, Lester Prairie, 1856;

• David and Donna Anderson, Lester Prairie, 1854;

• James Baird, Winsted, 1856;

• Michael Keenan, Glencoe, 1857;

• Robert Otto, Lester Prairie, 1857

Carver County

Charles Wagner, Chaska, 1858;

• Gerald and Genelle Schimmeppfennig, Norwood Young America, 1856;

• James and Lois Hendricks, Watertown, 1860;

• John H. Ecklund, Watertown, 1859;

• Kenneth and Barb Lenzen, Chaska, 1859;

• Marvill and Nancy Buckentine, trustees of the Earl Schmidt family trust, Cologne, 1861;

• Shirley and Meldon Melcher, Norwood Young America, 1859;

Wright County

• Florence Roth, Delano, 1848;

• Richard Lindenfelser, Albertville, 1856;

• William Wendele, Buffalo, 1860; and

Meeker County

• Milton Housman, Litchfield, 1856.

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