INDIANAPOLIS — Over 150 Hoosier farm families have been awarded the Hoosier Homestead Award in recognition of their commitment to Indiana agriculture by Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch and Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler.
To be named a Hoosier Homestead, the farm must be kept in the same family for at least 100 consecutive years and consist of more than 20 acres or produce more than $1,000 in agricultural products per year.
“Heritage and endurance are two words that come to mind when reflecting on our great state,” Crouch said. “This award captures the essence of Indiana and the many individuals that help ensure Indiana agriculture perseveres.”
Since the program was established in 1976, more than 5,800 families have received the award.
Families were eligible for three different award distinctions. Based on the age of their farm, they received the Centennial Award for 100 years, Sesquicentennial Award for 150 years or Bicentennial Award for 200 years of ownership.
This year, two families are being recognized with the Bicentennial Award; the Paul E. Henry farm from Fayette county was established in 1819 and the Ferguson farm from Lawrence county was established in 1820.
“To keep a family farm working and in the same family for over 100 years is a tremendous feat,” Kettler said. “Agriculture has always been at the core of Indiana and of these individuals. Recognizing our longstanding Hoosier farming families is always an honor.”
Locally, the state recognized several farms in Jasper, Newton, Pulaski and White counties, including:
JASPER — Stath family farm, established in 1920, Centennial Award.
NEWTON — Hayworth-Zoborosky family farm, established in 1860, Centennial and Sesquicentennial awards … Voglund family farm, established in 1919, Centennial Award.
PULASKI — Bruce family farm, established in 1846, Sesquicentennial Award … Malchow family farm, established in 1920, Sesquicentennial Award … Mitchell family farm, established in 1919, Centennial Award … Ploss/Lanz family farm, established in 1920, Centennial Award … Yaggie family far, established in 1912, Centennial Award.
WHITE — Jacob Booher-Philip Booher farm, established in 1873, Centennial Award … Mark and Kerri Lear farm, established in 1920, Centennial … Marvin, Janet and Lisa Lear farm, established in 1918, Centennial Award … Rick and Julie Lear farm, established in 1920, Centennial Award … Turnipseed/Ploss family farm, established in 1916, Centennial Award.
Due to the current ongoing pandemic, Lt. Governor Crouch and ISDA Director Kettler were unable to host a traditional Hoosier Homestead Award Ceremony. Individual family ceremonies were held at the Statehouse this week and more families are set to be recognized on Aug. 7, all following Governor Holcomb’s ordinances, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett’s orders and the CDC guidelines.
ABOUT ISDA The Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) was established as a separate state agency by the Legislature in 2005. The Director is appointed by the Governor and is a member of the Governor’s Cabinet. Administratively, ISDA reports to Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann, who also serves as Indiana’s Secretary of Agriculture. Major responsibilities include advocacy for Indiana agriculture at the local, state and federal level, managing soil conservation programs, promoting economic development and agricultural innovation, serving as a regulatory ombudsman for agricultural businesses, and licensing grain firms throughout the state.