It takes a minute for Wayne Koehler to think about what his great-great-grandparents would think about the drone hovering over the family’s farm fields or the idea of using auto-steer technology.

"I’d sure hate to give them up," Koehler says.

But then again, the family has a long history of innovation in the Charles City area.

The Koehler family is set to receive its Heritage Farm designation this week at the Iowa State Fair. The designation, which is sponsored by the Iowa Farm Bureau and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stew­ardship, recognizes families who have had a farm in their family for 150 years or more.

This year, 103 families will be honored with the Heritage designation. Families who have had the farm in the family for 100 years or more will receive the Century Farm designation at the fair this year. Approximately 320 families are set to receive that designation this week.

The Koehler family’s story...