The annual Iowa Century and Heritage Farm celebration will be held on Thursday, August 17, at the Pioneer Livestock Pavilion at the Iowa State Fair.

The celebration recognizes families who have owned at least 40 acres of their original farm for 100 years or more in the case of Century Farms and 150 years or more for a Heritage Farm.

"These awards are an opportunity to recognize the hard work and commitment by these families that is necessary to keep a farm in the same family for 100 or 150 years," said Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey. "If you consider all the challenges and unexpected obstacles each of them would have had to overcome during their life on the farm, it gives you a greater appreciation of the dedication and perseverance of each of the families being recognized."

Deep roots

The program, sponsored by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, began in 1976 as part of the bicentennial celebration, when more than 5,000 certificates and farm markers were distributed across Iowa at local ceremonies. Since then, more than 19,000 farms from across the state have received the Century Farm recognition.

The Heritage Farm program was started in 2006, on the 30th anniversary of the Century Farm program. Since then, more than 900 farms have been recognized.

At this year’s celebration at the Iowa State Fair, more than 350 Century Farms and nearly 120 Heritage Farms will be honored.

For more information, visit Iowa Farm Bureau’s State Fair page at