Century and Bicentennial Farm Program
The Department of Agriculture recognizes Pennsylvania families who have been farming the same land for 100 and 200 years through the Century and Bicentennial farm programs.
The same family must own the farm for at least 100 (Century Farm) or 200 (Bicentennial Farm) consecutive years. A family member must live on the farm on a permanent basis; and the farm must consist of at least 10 acres of the original holding, OR gross more than $1,000 annually from the sale of farm products.
Applications must be completed, notarized and mailed to the Department of Agriculture for review. Certificates are then either presented or mailed to the recipient.
The idea of a Century Farm Program, aimed at emphasizing the importance of our economic and rural heritage and traditions, was initiated in the New York Agricultural Society in 1937. Farms in the same family for more than 100 years were honored in ceremonies at Albany as members of the Order of Century Farms. In 1948 the Bradford County Historical Society of Pennsylvania began its own program, similar to the one in New York.
Due to growing interest in a Bicentennial Farm Program, and a constant effort to promote our agriculture heritage in the Commonwealth, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture began to administer a Bicentennial Farm Program in 2004. The Bicentennial Farm Program is ruled by similar standards to that of the Century Farm Program. Farms that have been in a family for more than 200 years are presented with a certificate of recognition and are often presented with other awards from organizations at the county and/or local level. The information on the applications and other information supplied by the applicants will be filed in the Archives of the State Historical and Museum Commission.
The Century and Bicentennial Farm Programs have been created to recognize those farms and farm families that have done so much to contribute to Pennsylvania's heritage. The farms and families have greatly varied histories, yet all have the common denominator of a durability and love of the land that is our heritage.