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The Missouri Century Farm program’s history dates to 1976, a result of the Missouri Committee for Agriculture. It was co-chaired by James B. Boillot, director, Missouri Department of Agriculture, and Elmer R. Kiehl, dean of the College of Agriculture, University of Missouri.
The committee’s purpose was to organize the American Revolution Bicentennial celebration in Missouri. One activity that was initiated by the committee was the “Centennial Farm” project, which awarded certificates to persons owning farms that had been in the same family for 100 years or more. Interest in the program continued after 1976.
The program has been sustained as a yearly event with over 100 farms recognized each year. In 2008, Missouri Farm Bureau became a program co-sponsor of the Century Farms with the MU Extension.
This year, 251 farms in Missouri will receive recognition. Among those are three family farms in Ray County receiving the Century Farm recognition.
• Mike and Teresa Arnold (pictured right) and Dale Arnold of Orrick; the farm of 33 acres was originally purchased in 1910.
• (Left) Karen Swafford and Richard and Dixie Swafford of Rayville; the farm of 120 acres was originally purchased in 1910.
• Gooch Family Farm of Orrick; the farm of 97 acres was originally purchased in 1852. Beth Gooch of Greenwood attended to represent the family (Below).