Century and Heritage Farms recognized during Iowa State Fair


Rush family farm recognized as Heritage Farm ... Members of the Elmer J. Rush and Marcia Rush families were present at the Iowa State Fair August 15 to receive the recognition of the family’s farm located at 1151 Rush Drive, Waukon as a Heritage Farm. Submitted photo.

Bakkum family farm recognized as Heritage Farm ... Members of the Jason and Katelynn Bakkum and Keith and Carol Bakkum families were present at the Iowa State Fair August 15 to receive the recognition of the family’s farm located at 1461 Bakkum Road, Waukon as a Heritage Farm. Submitted photo.

Ness family farm recognized as Heritage Farm ... Scott and Karen Ness were present at the Iowa State Fair August 15 to receive the recognition of the family’s farm located at 1509 Family Lane, Waterville as a Heritage Farm. Submitted photo.

Hanson family farm recognized as Century Farm ... Members of the James A. Hanson family were present at the Iowa State Fair August 15 to receive the recognition of the family’s farm located at 1230 Iron Mine Drive, Waukon as a Century Farm. Submitted photo.

Mellick family farm recognized as Heritage Farm ... Members of the Thomas and Mary Mellick family were present at the Iowa State Fair August 15 to receive the recognition of the family’s farm located at 1749 Liddiard Bottoms Road, Waukon as a Heritage Farm. Submitted photo.

Schoon family farm recognized as Century Farm and Heritage Farm ... Members of the Nancy Lee Schoon family were present at the Iowa State Fair August 15 to receive the recognition of the family’s farm located at Red Oak Road on the south, Mullarkey Drive on the NW Corner, Harpers Ferry as a Heritage Farm and Century Farm. Submitted photo.

Todd and Mari (Rush) Mellick have unique honor of farms in each of their families being recognized

Iowa Department of Agriculture and Farm Bureau celebrated families that have owned a farm for 100 years or 150 years

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig recognized Century and Heritage Farm families during a ceremony at the Iowa State Fair August 15. To qualify, a family must have owned at least 40 acres for 100 years or more in the case of Century Farms and 150 years or more for a Heritage Farm.

This year 332 Century Farms and 153 Heritage Farms were recognized. Among them were several Allamakee County farms, some of which are pictured below. The Frederick L. Miller family farm near Waukon was also recognized as a Heritage Farm but a photo was not available.

Todd and Mari (Rush) Mellick of Hastings, MN had the unique honor of having farms belonging to each of their families honored at this year’s Heritage Farm recognition. Todd Mellick is the son of Thomas and Mary Mellick, whose family farm is located at 1749 Liddiard Bottoms Road in rural Waukon, and the former Mari Rush is the daughter of the late Elmer and Darlene Rush, whose family farm is located at 1151 Rush Drive in rural Waukon. They were both graduates of Waukon High School, Todd in 1986 and Mari in 1987, and they were in attendance at the August 15 ceremony at the Iowa State Fair to see farms in each of their families honored as Heritage Farms.

“To keep a farm in the same family for 100 or 150 years is a testament to the passion and perseverance of these families and a true picture of sustainability,” Naig said. “These families inspire all of us to roll up our sleeves, identify innovative conservation solutions and forge new public-private partnerships to ensure our agriculture industry remains strong for generations to come.”

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has partnered with the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation since 1976 to recognize families that have owned and worked a farm for 100 years or more.  Including this year’s recipients, 20,060 farms from across the state have been recognized. The Heritage Farm program was started in 2006, on the 30th anniversary of the Century Farm program and 1,360 farms have been recognized.

The 2019 Century and Heritage Farms Program ceremony was held at the Iowa State Fair in the Pioneer Livestock Pavilion. Craig Hill, President of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, or Joe Heinrich, Vice President of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, joined Naig to recognize all award recipients. “It was a great honor to help present these awards and celebrate the rich history of these farms and farm families,” Naig said.

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