NORTHWEST INDIANA - Three Northwest Indiana farms are being recognized at the Indiana State Fair for their significant contributions to Indiana agriculture and have been given the Hoosier Homestead Award.
Area legislators (on Tuesday August 13) announced the latest recipients of the award earlier this week, which recognizes farms that have been owned and maintained by the same family for 100 years or more.
The Bryant & Dowd farm, in Lake County, received a Sesquicentennial Award, the Roberts farm in Benton County, and the Roberts farm in Jasper County both received Centennial Awards.
State Senator Rick Niemeyer, a Republican from Lowell who represents District 6, was one of the Indiana lawmakers representing the award recipients. He says having a farm for at least 100 years is no easy task.
"You know it means a lot because it means that those family farm ideas have stayed on these particular farms and they were able to financially keep them in the family, they are able to keep enough of their family members interested to stay in agriculture and be part of it," Niemeyer says. "It's quite an award in today's world when so many of the family farms over the last 20 years have changed hands and things have changed and the industry has changed so much. It means a lot when you've had a farm for that many years."
The Hoosier Homestead Award program, instituted in 1976, recognizes the impact these family farms have made to the economic, cultural and social advancements of Indiana. In the past 40 years, more than 5,500 farms have received the honor.
To be named a Hoosier Homestead, farms must be owned by the same family for at least 100 consecutive years and consist of more than 20 acres or produce more than $1,000 of agricultural products per year.