INDIANAPOLIS (March 15, 2019) — At the Indiana Statehouse, Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch and Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler presented 55 families with a Hoosier Homestead Award, recognizing their commitment to Indiana agriculture. Included in the recognition was Newton County’s Stath/Kindig farm, which received the Centennial Award.
Kathleen (Stath) Kindig’s family records show that Fred Stath came to Newton County in 1876. The Newton County map of 1904 shows that the Stath family owned several parcels of land in Iroquois Township including the farmland that Kathleen has lived upon her entire life – give or take a year or two after high school. In 1890, deeds show that land was under the ownership of her grandfather, William F. Stath, who would later pass it along to his son, Wilbur, father of Kathleen.
To be named a Hoosier Homestead, farms must be owned by the same family for more than 100 consecutive years, and consist of 20 acres or more, or produce more than $1,000 in agricultural products per year.
“Agriculture is very much a family affair, with roughly 97 percent of farms family-owned and operated nationwide,” Crouch said. “For generations, these families have been foundational to the social and economic advancement of Indiana, and recognizing their legacy today was a tremendous honor.”
Families are eligible for three different distinctions of the Hoosier Homestead Award, based on the age of the farm. They can receive the Centennial Award for 100 years, Sesquicentennial Award for 150 years or Bicentennial Award for 200 years of ownership.
Since the program’s inception in 1976, more than 5,500 families have received the award.
“It takes hard work and perseverance to keep a family farm a continued success for so many years,” Kettler said. “This award is a testament to the resiliency of these farmers, as well as their longstanding commitment to Indiana, agriculture and family.”