Century Farm Families honored

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Barry County University Extension Council honored three Century Farm families at its annual meeting on Aug. 5. This year's honored Century Farm families are from the Eagle Rock, Verona and Purdy areas.

Farms owned by Doug and Felicia Tudor, of Verona, Rodney and Michelle (Ball) Ozbun, of Eagle Rock, and Randy and Susan Roller, of Purdy, were added to Barry County's list of honored Century Farm families last week.

The Tudors' 120-acre farm, which is located in the McDowell area, was originally purchased by Felicia's grandfather, William Marbut, in 1892. Felicia is the third generation to live on the farm.

"My grandfather received the Century Farm Family honor in 1992," said Felicia, "so this is the second time our family has been honored. Today, we use the farm for a commercial cattle operation."

Felicia has named the farm M & T Farms to recognize her grandfather's name as well as her married name.

The Ozbuns' farm, which is located on Highway F between Roaring River State Park and Eagle Rock, was originally owned by Michelle's great-grandfather, Finas Newton Ball.

"My grandpa purchased the farm in 1906," said Michelle's father, ND Ball. "There were 80 acres originally. He paid $45 per acre for the land."

Today, ND lives on 12 acres of the original farm and his son owns an additional three acres of the property. The Ozbuns manage 63 acres of the original homestead.

The Ozbuns introduced Mike Cooper and his family, who was also raised on a portion of the Ball-Ozbun farm.

Although the Rollers were unable to attend the honorary event, Barry County Extension agent Tony Rickard gave a brief description of the property, which was originally purchased by Randy's great-grandfather, James M. Roller, in 1908.

Since the University of Missouri Extension Century Farm program began in 1976, over 60 area families have been recognized for maintaining land in Barry County for at least 100 years. The first Barry County property owner recognized with the Century Farm honor was Maurine Cupps.

To qualify for the Century Farm program, each family must own the farm for 100 years, be direct descendants of the original landowner and own at least 40 acres of the original property. The qualifying acreage must also make a financial contribution to the farm income.

Property owners interested in applying for the Century Farm Family honor can request applications by writing to Extension publications, Missouri University, 2800 Maguire Boulevard, Columbia, MO 65211. Applications can also be obtained at the Barry County University Extension office located on the second floor of the Barry County Courthouse in Cassville.

Applications are available from Feb. 15 to June 15 each year. A small fee is required to cover clerical costs, a certificate and a Century Farm sign.

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