Georgia has a rich agricultural heritage dating back to its founding as a British colony in 1732 when settlers experimented with growing a variety of crops. Thanks to the Georgia Centennial Farm Program, about 595 farms that have been in continuous operation for 100 years or more have been recognized since the program began in 1993.
On Oct. 13, 29 Georgia farm families were honored during a ceremony held at the Georgia National Fair in Perry for operating their farms for at least a century. Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black, Georgia Commissioner of Community Affairs Christopher Nunn and Georgia Farm Bureau President Tom McCall were among the event speakers.
“As we celebrate one hundred years of Georgia family farms, we can celebrate how far Georgia agriculture has come,” Nunn said. “Each and every family being recognized today have held on to your family farms that have contributed to your communities through the years.”
This program is administered by the Historic Preservation Division of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs with support from Georgia Farm Bureau, Georgia EMC, the Georgia Department of Agriculture, Georgia Forestry Commission and Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter. GFB was one of the original program partners that started the awards program.
“Farm Bureau is so proud to be a part of this awards program. None of us farm for our ancestors. We borrow our land from our grandkids and are working to leave our farms better than we got them for our grandkids,” McCall said. “Thank each of you for promoting and enhancing the largest industry in this state.”
Farms may be recognized with one of three awards. The Centennial Heritage Farm Award honors farms owned by members of the same family for 100 years or more that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). The Centennial Family Farm Award recognizes farms owned by members of the same family for 100 years or more that are not listed in the NRHP. The Centennial Farm Award does not require continual family ownership, but farms must be at least 100 years old and listed in the NRHP.
“Congratulations and thanks to your families for what you do,” Black said before discussing how farmers properly maintain their equipment so it’s ready to be used when needed and repair their fences quickly. “People are looking to agriculture and rural America to repair some of the things that are broken in this country.”
An awards ceremony was not held last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s ceremony honored qualifying farms from 2020 and 2021.
The 2020 recipients of the Georgia Centennial Farm Awards.
Photo courtesy of Ga. Dept. of Ag/Amy Carter
2020 Centennial Heritage Farm Awards
A.J. Casey Farm, Floyd County
Cedar Rock Farm, McDuffie County
2020 Centennial Family Farm Awards
Two Branch Farm, Bulloch County
A.H. Rocker, Sr. Family Farm, Candler County
Samuel Watson Farm, Candler County
Pineywoods Farms, Colquitt County
J.M. Cook Homeplace, Dodge County
Mud Creek Farm, Dougherty County
Griffin Farms, Hall County
Arthur Lane Perrin Farm, Irwin County
Dan T. Paulk-Missouri Merritt Paulk Family Farm, Irwin County
Walker Farm, Irwin County
Terry D. Harrell Farm, Mitchell County
Smith Family Farm, Pierce County
Massey Family Farm, Taylor County
Lee Family Farm & Orchards, Ware County
Greenview Farms, Inc., Wayne County
Gordon-Phinney Farms, Wilcox County
The 2021 recipients of the Georgia Centennial Farm Awards.
Photo by Jennifer Whittaker
2021 Centennial Family Farm Awards
Ford Farms, Calhoun County
Fairview Market at Holloman Farms, Carroll County
Charlie & Betty Harris Farm, Crawford County
Burns Homeplace, Effingham County
Hillsboro Farms, McDuffie County
JCT Farms, Randolph County
Lance Family-Grassy Knoll Farm, Union County
Everett-Chandler Farm, Walker County
M.A. Hicks Farms, Walker County
Robert Calhoun Farm, Whitfield County
N.H. Bacon Farms, LLC, Wilkinson County
Want to nominate a farm?
Farm owners interested in nominating a farm for recognition should visit www.gfb.ag/centennialfarmsapply to download an application or contact Allison Asbrock at 770-389-7868 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The postmark deadline for applications is May 1 each year.