Nearly five dozen Indiana families who have owned their farms for more than 100 years have received Hoosier Homestead Awards. Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann and Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Gina Sheets honored them during a ceremony Wednesday at the Indiana State Fair. August 7, 2013

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann and Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Gina Sheets Wednesday recognized 58 Indiana farming families with the Hoosier Homestead in celebration of their 100-year plus commitment to Indiana agriculture.

“Today we celebrate the agricultural heritage of our farming families,” said Lt. Governor Ellspermann. “We salute their innovation, their determination, and their dedication, which have allowed them to succeed for more than a century – here's to at least 100 more successful years!”

To be named a Hoosier Homestead, farms must be owned by the same family for more than 100 consecutive years and consist of more than 20 acres or produce more than $1,000 of agricultural products per year. Today 42 families received centennial awards, 14 families were recognized with sesquicentennial (150 year) awards, and two families celebrated more than 200 years of Hoosier farming.

“As the practices of agriculture continue to evolve, families like those honored at today's ceremony remind us of the deep cultural roots farming has in our state,” Sheets said. “Although business and technology play a significant role in farming, the recipients of the Hoosier Homestead award show us that agriculture is ultimately about family and community.”

More than 500 attendees packed the Farm Bureau Auditorium at the Indiana State Fair, including family members traveling from as far away as San Antonio, TX and Atlanta, GA. Attendees ages also spanned 100 years, from newborns to Sylven Gerber of Bluffton who was born on his family's Adams County farm over 99 years ago.

Since the Hoosier Homestead Awards were created in 1976, more than 5,000 Hoosier families have been recognized. Annual celebration ceremonies are held in March (during National Ag Month) and August at the Indiana State Fair.

Event photos are being posted today on the ISDA and Lt. Governor's websites. Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann also serves at the state's Secretary of Agriculture and Secretary of Rural Affairs.

Source: Office of Indiana Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann

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