INDIANAPOLIS — Recently at the Indiana State Fair, Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch and Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler presented 96 farming families with the Hoosier Homestead Award, setting a new record in the program’s 40-year history.

To be named a Hoosier Homestead, the farm had to be kept in the family for at least 100 consecutive years, and consist of more than 20 acres or produce more than $1,000 in agricultural products per year.

Since the program was established in 1976, more than 5,600 families have received the award.

The Myers-Fruits farm in Montgomery County (1918) earned a centennial award. From Boone County, the McDonald farm (1857) received a sesquicentennial award and the Peabody/Batts farm (1908),received a centennial award. From Parke County, centennial awards were given to the Clarence and Gladys Pyle Family Farm (1919) and the Summers farm (1912), and from Tippecanoe County, the Klutzke farm (1916) also earned a centennial award.

“The vast majority of farms in Indiana are family owned and operated,” Crouch said. “They are the foundation we rely on as a society, which is something we must never take for granted. It was an honor to recognize these families at the great Indiana State Fair.”

Families were eligible for three different award distinctions. Based on the age of the farm, they received the Centennial Award for 100 years, Sesquicentennial Award for 150 years or Bicentennial Award for 200 years of ownership.

Notably, the Bicentennial Award was presented to five families during Friday’s ceremony.

“Seeing so many generational farming families all in one place was truly humbling,” Kettler said. “They are the lifeblood of our state, and recognizing their legacy and perseverance today was a tremendous honor.”

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