Each year at the Indiana State Fair, Indiana farms that have been in the family for more than 100 years are honored with the Hoosier Homestead Award. Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann said this is the heritage of rural Indiana and shows our state’s farmers are family farms, “Today we celebrate the agricultural heritage of our farming families. 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!” She told HAT that recent action to eliminate the inheritance tax will be a big help in keeping farms in the family and helping with the passing of farms from one generation to another.
“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,” said ISDA director Gina Sheets. “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.”
A J Booher from Tippecanoe County is the 6th generation to farm his land, “Our farm started in 1897, and it has always been a part of our family. I cannot imagine doing anything else.” He feel confident the farm will continue to be farmed and in the family for many years to come. He thinks it is important for one generation to train the next and then, when it is time, move out of the way and let them take over.
Dean Scott from Carroll County, whose farm has been in the family since 1905, told HAT it is getting harder and harder to keep a farm in the family, “My son has been farming with us for the past several years, and we have done some estate planning to make it possible for him to take over the farm in the future.”
Ted Huber from Clark County said his farm is best known for the Huber Wine it produces, but it all started over 150 years ago as a fruit farm, “My great- great grandfather started farming with apples and grapes, and we will produce these today.” It has been a good week for the Huber family as their wine won a major award at the International Wine Competition at Purdue.
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. On Wednesday, 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. 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.
Hoosier Homestead Awards
|County||farm location||Date||Local Contact|
|Adams||Bluffton||1880||Jerry L. Gerber|
|Allen||Ft. Wayne||1871||Lois Barrett|
|Allen||Ft. Wayne||1913||Evan Beebe|
|Blackford||1838||June Butler Ladd|
|Carroll||Bringhurst||1905||Mary Anna Scott|
|Hunington||Warren||1843||Audra Kay Riggers|
|LaPorte||Michigan City||1861||Shirley Kurtzhals|
|LaPorte||Michigan City||1904||John Zink|
|Miami||Macy||1900||Gary L. Raber|
|Morgan||Martinsville||1911||Warren J. Goss|
|Newton||Kentland||1900||Walter Dewing Jr.|
|Posey||Mt. Vernon||1862||Charles Ries|
|Pulaski||Medaryville||1863||Robert M. White|
|Putnam||Putnam||1840||John B. Michael|
|Starke||North Judson||1913||Lynn Seghetti|
|Switzerland||Bennington||1843||Judith Bradford Kappes|
|Switzerland||Bennington||1848||Judith Bradford Kappes|
|Tippecanoe||West Lafayette||1897||Anthony Booher|
|Tippecanoe||West Lafayette||1892||Janet Nesbitt|
|Tippecanoe||New Richmond||1913||Mark Nesbitt|
|Wabash||North Manchester||1910||Ken Metzger|
|Wells||Keystone||1860||C. Benjamin Smith|
|Whitley||Columbia City||1863||Deloris Ware|