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Delaware recognizes three longstanding family farms

Three Delaware families were recognized Tuesday for their dedication to farming over the last century.

Agriculture technology and markets changed substantially over the past 100 years, but that hasn’t stopped over 130 Delaware families from maintaining farms in their communities.


On Tuesday, three families with farms in Smyrna, Milton and Greenwood were named Century Farm Award recipients - honoring their 100 years of continuous farming in the First State.


The Joseph family’s 162-acre farm continues under the watch of third generation farmer Harry Joseph.  He said the farm teaches the entire family - especially his five grandchildren - a sense of responsibility.


"They have a place to work in the garden, see things grow and harvest different things like that that the other children don’t have the opportunity to see where the food is grown from or the milk comes from or what have you," Joseph said.


Their farm has been in the family for three generations.


"It feels very good to have this where it’s been in the family for 100 years, so hopefully it’s in there another 100 years," Joseph said.


The other families recognized were the Warfels from Greenwood and the O’Neills from Smyrna.


And it's the long-standing  commitment of families like the Josephs, Warfels and O'Neills that shows the state’s farming strengths, said Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Austin Short.


"We benefit from our location," Short said. "We’re very close to markets. Millions of people live within a six-mile drive of our borders so we can market our produce or our grain very locally and nearby in the region."


The state’s climate also allows farmers to grow a variety of produce and grain, Short said.


One-hundred and thirty-three family farms have been honored as Century Farms over the last 29 years.



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