Extension celebrates Century Farms, farm families, 4-H members

Wednesday, September 7, 2016
Everyone got their fill of fried chicken and homemade covered dishes and desserts at the University of Missouri Extension's annual picnic Thursday night at the Rocky Edmondson Park in Cassville. Julia Kilmer/reporter@cassville-democrat.com

Farm families, 4-H youth and Extension staff recognized for contributions

Exeter 4-H Trailblazers Cameron Sloan, Dylan Bridges, Jesse Bridges, Rachel Bridges, Erikia Bridges, Jeremiah Rittenhouse and Tierany Hinson (front), shared the activities they participated in over the past year and summer, and their experiences, through their involvement with the 4-H Club. Some of the activities shared by Rittenhouse included camping, fishing and hiking at Camp Smokey at Roaring River this summer at 4-H camp, arts and crafts activities, attending the state fair, the state 4-H conference. Rittenhouse also became a regional representative to the state 4-H council. Julia Kilmer/reporter@cassville-democrat.com

The University of Missouri Extension recently held its annual picnic to recognize Century Farm families, along with other farm families, 4-H youth and Extension staff.

During the event, which took place at Rocky Edmondson Park in Cassville and included fried chicken, a smorgasbord of home made covered dishes, dessert and tea, 4-H members shared a presentation detailing their annual and summer activities and their experiences, and the Extension introduced Marissa Tucker, the agency's new 4-H Youth Program Assistant. It also recognized Jimmy and Talana Hinson, who were recently selected as Barry County, Missouri Farm Family by the Barry County Extension Council and local Farm Bureau.

"We honor those recipients of the Century Farm award and recognize the fact they've been able to maintain their farms in the same family for 100 years or more," said Reagan Bluel, regional dairy specialist with the Missouri University Extension for Barry County, who facilitated at the event. "That's just very impressive."

The Stumpff family, who were not present, were also recognized for their Century Farm.

Deanna Burch, of Shoal Creek Farm of Exeter, was recognized for her 140-year-old family farm, which was originally purchased in 1875 by her great-great grandfather, James D. Wooten.

"He was a prominent businessman as well as a farmer," Burch said. "He owned the first hardware store in Exeter, taught school for four years, and served as sheriff and assessor for Barry County. Burch was raised in Cassville but now lives in Springfield. Her brother, Larry Henbest now manages the 310-acre farm, which grows corn and soy beans and grazes cattle.

"He has done a great job of keeping things going for me," she said.

Burch said she got serious about finding documentation to prove the farm had been in her family for over 100 years and applied for the recognition with the Extension this spring.

Reagan Bluel, regional dairy specialist for the University of Missouri Extension in Barry County, left, recognizes Exeter farm owner Deanna Burch with a Missouri Century Farm designation from the extension. Burch's 310-acre farm has been in the family since 1875, and currently produces corn and soybeans. Julia Kilmer/reporter@cassville-democrat.com

"Basically, they just need to verify the family has owned the farm for 100 years," she said. "To me, it's very interesting. J.D., as they called him, was born and raised in Tennessee, and came to Barry County as a young man. Just the details of how did he come here, and [he bought that much] land back then, was really interesting.

"When my grandparents passed away, my mom and dad took over, and I inherited the farm from them. I have pictures of J.D. and his children so it's pretty interesting."

Bluel said Jimmy Hinson and family, who were recognized at the state fair, have been strong supporters of the Extension through adult education programming through the FFA.

"They went to the state fair to represent Barry County as a State Fair Farm family," Bluel said. "Each year, the Farm Bureau and Extension work together to honor our farm families across the state. It's a collaborative effort with Farm Bureau. This is also the first year that every county had a participant present."

The Extension said it is currently seeking county council members and invites anyone who may be interested to contact them.

"Council members attend monthly meetings, but their biggest job is to determine the educational events that occur in the county," Bluel said. "They are your first line of Extension out in the community. We rely on them to tell us what Barry Countians would like to know from the university."

Ada Bluel, left, and her sister Lily, also shared their 4-H experiences at camp this summer at the University of Missouri Extension's annual Century Farms celebration picnic. Their mother is Reagan Bluel, Extension regional dairy specialist for Barry County. Julia Kilmer/reporter@cassville-democrat.com

For more information on becoming a council member, or any other information about the Extension and its programs, people may call the local Barry County office at 417-847-3161.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: