University of Missouri Extension Community Engagement Specialist Willa Williams (left) recognized Taney County Sheriff Jimmie Russell and Della Russell as the owners of a Missouri Century Farm on Oct. 7

The Missouri Farm Bureau and the University of Missouri Extension in Taney County recognized Jimmie and Della Russell from Taneyville as the owners of a 2019 Missouri Century Farm.

Jimmie Russell, who serves as the Sheriff of Taney County, and his wife own a 67 acre farm in Taneyville that has been in their family since 1919. 

University of Missouri Extension Community Engagement Specialist Willa Williams hosted a small ceremony and presented the Russells with a commemorative plaque and a Missouri Century Farm sign during the Oct. 7 Taney County Commission Meeting. 

“University of Missouri and Farm Bureau do this every year. We like to recognize those families who have owned a farm for more than 100 years,” said Williams. “They’ve owned this farm in Taney County since 1919. So that’s pretty impressive.”

According to a press release from the University of Missouri Extension, in order to qualify as a Missouri Century Farm, the same family must have owned the farm for 100 consecutive years; the line of ownership from the original settler or buyer must be through children, grandchildren, siblings, and nephews or nieces, including marriage or adoption; and the farm must be at least 40 acres of the original land acquisition and make a financial contribution to the overall farm income. 

In 1976, Missouri’s Centennial Farm project began awarding certificates to owners of farms that had been in the same family for 100 years or more. The MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and MU Extension planned a 10-year update in 1986 called the Century Farm Program. Since that time, the program has been an annual event and has recognized more than 100 farms each year, the release stated.

“Missouri Farm Bureau is a proud partner in the recognition of century farms,” said Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst in the press release. “We applaud the hard-working farm families that have kept us fed and clothed for generations. They represent an important part of our heritage and laid a foundation fro the bounty Americans enjoy every day.”

This year 200 farms from the 81 counties in Missouri received Century Farm status. Since 1976, the program has recognized more than 8,000 Missouri Century Farms, the press release stated.

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