Extension Council honors five local families
The Barry County University Extension Council honored five Century Farm families at its annual meeting on Sept. 1. This year's Century Farm families are from the Cassville, Butterfield and Verona areas.
Farms owned by Laverne Black and Randall Black, of Cassville, Ruth Higgs and Betty Lamberson, of Purdy, and the late Joe Higgs, Odell and Joyce Mattox, of Verona, Jeff and Eva Holder, of Butterfield, and John and Linda Sperandio, of Monett, were added to Barry County's list of honored Century Farm families last week.
The Blacks' 40-acre farm, which is located on Flat Creek in Cassville, was originally purchased by Randall's grandfather, John Black, from the Missouri Land Bureau of Scotland in 1892. John Black paid $4 per acre for the land.
The 108-acre farm owned by Jackie Higgs and Betty Lamberson is located on Highway W four miles from Wheaton and five miles from Butterfield. The land was acquired by Betty's great, great grandmother, Georgia Edna (Brattin) Higgs, in 1902.
Jeff Holder owns 80 acres of the original Holder farm, which was purchased by his grandmother in 1903. The land is located on Highway 37 in Butterfield across from George's.
Odell and Joyce Mattox's farm, which was originally owned by CH and Emma Mattox, is located south of Aurora. The couple owns 99 acres of the original 320-acre farm that was purchased in 1906.
The Sperandio's 40-acre farm is located east of Monett. The land was originally purchased by John's grandfather in 1911.
Since the University of Missouri Extension Century Farm program began in 1976, over 65 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.