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Families Seek 'Century Farm' Recognition

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Owners of 119 Minnesota family farms beat the application deadline to be recognized as a "Century Farm."

The Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation is expected to receive more applications that are postmarked April 1.

"In a typical year, we usually see between 175 and 225 Century Farms applications," said Brianna Schutte of the Minnesota State Fair, which partners with the Farm Bureau for the program.

The requirements are a farm must be in the same family for 100 or more years, and the land must be at least 50 acres.

"Next step, we review all the credentials, the land records and materials, and then we award Century Farm status typically mid-May," Schutte said.

Century Farms receive a certificate signed by Farm Bureau President Kevin Paap, State Fair Board of Managers President Sharon Wessel and Gov. Mark Dayton.

The farm owners also get a special sign to post on their property -- and a lot of pride.

"It's absolutely a matter of pride," Schutte said. "Agriculture is such a huge industry in Minnesota, and family farms are sort of the root of Minnesota's agriculture industry."

More than 10,000 farms in Minnesota have received the official designation since the Century Farm program started in 1976.

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