The Ohio Department of Agriculture’s (ODA) Historic Family Farms Program registered 975 historic farms between 2010-2019. That’s a 26% increase in historic farms during the decade. In comparison, during the program’s first 16 years (1993-2009), 749 farms were registered. The top registering counties in the last decade were: Putnam County, 122 farms, Mercer County, 65 farms and Hancock County, 33 farms.
Ohio’s Historic Family Farms program was developed in 1993 to honor Ohio’s founding farm families for their contributions to agriculture in Ohio. Farms under same-family ownership for 100 years or more qualify to be designated as a historic family farm.
“In 26 years, we’ve seen this program grow from eight recipients in its inaugural year to nearly 1,800 registered farms today. The level of enthusiasm from farm families receiving their historic designations is indisputable,” said Erin Dillon, program administrator for the Ohio Historic Family Farms Program. “The successes of the Historic Family Farms Program can be solely attributed to families who proudly continue their farming heritage — it’s our duty and honor to acknowledge that perseverance.”
In 2019 alone, ODA recognized 106 new historic farms owned by the same family for at least 100, 150 or 200 consecutive years. There are now more than 1,700 farms registered across the state in the Ohio Historic Family Farms program.
Each family received a certificate signed by Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Agriculture Director Dorothy Pelanda to keep with their historic documents and to pass down to future generations.
“I am the fourth generation to grow up at my family’s homestead in Danbury Township near Lakeside on the Marblehead Peninsula where my father and his father lived and farmed the land,” said Mary Ahrens Kuehn, a Sesquicentennial Historic Family Farm owner. “I grew up with stories of farm life, all working together in the fields and dairy barn. We are very grateful to have this opportunity as landowners and treasure our Historic Family Farm sign.”
Ohio’s Historic Family Farms is a voluntary program administered by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. ODA has recognized families who have owned their farms for at least 100 years since 1993.
A complete list of Ohio’s bicentennial, sesquicentennial and century farms is available at: https://agri.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/oda/divisions/markets/resources/historic-family-farms-search.
Ohioans who can verify that a currently owned farm has remained in their family for at least 100 years may register for a historic family farm designation. For more information, visit https://agri.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/oda/divisions/markets/ohio-historic-family-farms/, or contact Erin Dillon by phone or email at 614-752-4505 or Erin.Dillon@agri.ohio.gov.