INDIANAPOLIS — Four farms in Noble and LaGrange counties were recently recognized with a Hoosier Homestead Award, an award recognizing farms that have been owned and maintained by the same family for 100 years or more.

The Hoosier Homestead Award Program honors families that have made significant contributions to Indiana agriculture. The program, instituted in 1976, recognizes the impact these family farms have made to the economic, cultural and social advancements of Indiana. In the past 40 years, more than 5,500 farms have received the honor.

Local farms that were recognized this year included:

• The Riddle farm in Noble County received Centennial and Sesquicentennial Awards

• The Shultz farm in Noble County received a Centennial Award

• The Weaver farm in LaGrange County received a Sesquicentennial Award

• The Wilkinson farm in Noble County received a Centennial Award

“Indiana continues to hold strong agricultural ties in the midst of farming challenges year-to-year,” said state Sen. Sue Glick, who represents both counties. “Congratulations to these families who continue to make our communities strong. Your dedication, hard work and contribution to Indiana does not go unnoticed.”

“Successfully maintaining a farm over several generations takes hard work, devotion to a certain type of lifestyle and serious commitment to the process,” said state Rep. Dave Abbott, who represents all of Noble and part of LaGrange County. “For these families being honored, farming isn’t a business, it’s a way of life. They deserve recognition for their efforts and should be proud of their accomplishments. I’m grateful they’re in our community.”

“These family operations help build a sense of identity for many in rural Indiana,” said state Rep. Denny Zent, who represents part of LaGrange County. “After 100 years or more of working the land, these farms are an essential part of our communities. They are more than deserving of such recognition, and I wish them many more successful years moving forward.”

To be named a Hoosier Homestead, farms must be owned by the same family for at least 100 consecutive years and consist of more than 20 acres or produce more than $1,000 of agricultural products per year. The award distinctions are Centennial, Sesquicentennial and Bicentennial — for 100, 150 and 200 years respectively.

Two Hoosier Homestead award ceremonies are held each year — one at the Statehouse in March and one at the State Fair in August. To learn more about the program or to apply for a Hoosier Homestead award, visit in.gov/isda/2337.htm.

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