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Century Farm program recognizes more First State farming families

Joe Irizarry
Delaware Public Media

The Delaware Department of Agriculture honors five families as 2019 Century Farm Awards recipients.

The families from Kent and Sussex Counties have farmed their land for at least 100 years, and their farms include at least 10 acres of the original parcel or gross more than $10,000 in agricultural sales.

"I think it shows the long-term commitment of these families to agriculture. It's our number one industry it has been for decades and with families like this it will continue to be in the future," said Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Austin Short. "It is the backbone of our of our state and it has been since it was founded. It's rewarding to see their dedication as they work through decades some cases well over 100 years through all the trials and tribulations of farmers often face and they've kept it in the family."

Short adds there are many reasons it’s tough for families to keep land for that long.

"One of the biggest challenges is obviously a farm is often the family's biggest asset so how do you pass an asset from one generation to the next that's fair and equitable in case some children may want to farm, some may not," said Short. "So, just finding a way [to address] that and also being able to make sure that their parents are able to get enough money out of it so they can retire I think it's a challenge."

The Century Farm program was established in 1987. It has now recognized a total of 148 farms and families.

The five Delaware farm families honored this year are the Carlson Family from Felton, the Carmean Family from Millsboro, the Conaway Family from Georgetown, the Truitt Family from Seaford and the Webb Family from Ellendale.