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South Dakota Farm & Ranch Families Honored for a Century or More on the Land





September 9, 2015



Scott VanderWal, South Dakota Farm Bureau

(605) 695-5479 / scottvanderwal@msn.com


Jody Heemstra, South Dakota Department of Agriculture

(605) 773-4073/ jody.heemstra@state.sd.us



South Dakota Farm & Ranch Families Honored for a Century or More on the Land


HURON, S.D. – More than 100 farm and ranch families who have owned their land for a century or more were honored at the 2015 South Dakota State Fair, receiving a Century Farm or Quasquicentennial Farm award from the South Dakota Farm Bureau and the South Dakota Department of Agriculture.


This year, 67 families were honored with the Century award for 100 years of ownership and 44 were honored with the Quasquicentennial award for 125 years of family ownership. More than 80 of the families were able to be in attendance for the awards ceremony, held at the fair on Sept. 3 on the Farm Bureau Dakotaland Stage. Each family had the opportunity to say a few words about their farm or ranch as they were presented their award by Lucas Lentsch, South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture, and Scott VanderWal, president of the South Dakota Farm Bureau.


“Agriculture might appear much different today than it did a century or 125 years ago, but the heart of agriculture has not changed—farmers and ranchers who are proud to care for the land and the livestock, their families and communities. South Dakota is built on the hard work, faith, and perseverance of these farm and ranch families. On behalf of Farm Bureau, I offer our congratulations to each and every one of these deserving people,” VanderWal commented.


Secretary Lentsch added, “It is a true honor to meet all of these families who’ve been able to keep farms in their family for 100 years, 125 years or even longer, and to hear their stories. These families are the backbone of agriculture in South Dakota. It’s a privilege to serve them and all of South Dakota’s farm and ranch families.”


Since the program began in 1984, South Dakota Farm Bureau and the South Dakota Department of Agriculture have honored more than 2,880 farm and ranch families with these awards. To be recognized, at least 80 acres of the original land must have been continuously owned by the same family, and they must be able to provide proof of the original date of purchase.


More details about the program can be seen on Farm Bureau’s website http://www.sdfbf.org/public/347/all-about-ag/agriculture-101. Photos of each of the families can be seen at https://www.flickr.com/photos/sdfarmbureau.

To see a map of the Century Farm recipients, go to http://sdda.sd.gov/office-of-the-secretary/century-farms/.

For a map of the Quasquicentennial Farms, go to http://sdda.sd.gov/office-of-the-secretary/century-farms/.




South Dakota Farm Bureau (SDFB) is a grassroots agriculture organization representing more than 14,300 member families across the state. Founded in 1917, SDFB works hard every day to represent, uphold, and improve our state’s #1 industry – agriculture. Visit www.sdfbf.org


Agriculture is South Dakota's No. 1 industry, generating $25.6 billion in annual economic activity and employing over 115,000 South Dakotans. The South Dakota Department of Agriculture's mission is to promote, protect, preserve and improve this industry for today and tomorrow. Visit us online at http://sdda.sd.gov or find us on Facebook and Twitter.