Book commemorates Missouri's agricultural heritage

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

At the 110th Missouri State Fair, Gov. Jay Nixon unveiled a new book honoring Missouri's Century Farms. The book, entitled "Missouri's Century Farms: Preserving Our Agricultural Heritage," commemorates the 35th anniversary of the program.

Sponsored by Missouri Farm Bureau, University of Missouri Extension and The University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR), the book recognizes the farming traditions passed down through generations and families who have attained Century Farm recognition.

Gov. Nixon, who contributed to the book, stated, "Throughout our state's history, Missouri's farm families have passed down their legacy of dedication, perseverance and innovation to future generations. Their tenacity through good times and tough times alike is a true testament to the great men and women of our Century Farms who are pillars of Missouri's deeply rooted agricultural tradition."

The book highlights the history of the Century Farm program, the history of Missouri agriculture and personal recollections of Missourians who have successfully passed on their passion for agriculture to the upcoming generation.

The 400-page book, three years in the making, reveals nearly 1,000 Missouri farms that have been farmed by the same family for at least 100 years. To date, 8,120 farms have been awarded the distinction, and a listing of all Century Farms is incorporated in the book.

"We're honored to be a part of the effort to preserve the heritage of Missouri agriculture and the Century Farm families that are dedicated to working the land and preserving a way of life that established a strong foundation for the state of Missouri," stated Missouri Farm Bureau President, Blake Hurst.

Hurst's mother, Millie Hurst, gives an account in the book of her memories of growing up on her family's farm in Northwest Missouri.

Michael Ouart, vice provost and director of University of Missouri Extension said, "We are pleased to have been a part of the partnership responsible for the Century Farms program since its inception in 1976."

The University of Missouri Extension administers the Century Farm program.

For more information or to order a copy of the book, visit or call Estil Fretwell, director of public affairs, at 573-893-1468.

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