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The Portz family carries on Iowa’s farming tradition

The Portz family’s farm roots date back to the very early days of Iowa. It was Oct. 15, 1864 when 32-year-old John Portz, just back from the Civil War, purchased the first 80 acres for $1,200.

The Bellevue farm celebrates its 150th year in the Portz family this year, and was recognized as a Heritage Farm at the Iowa State Fair this week.

"It’s an honor because how many people can say that their family farm is 150 years old and the family’s still got it," said Tom Portz, a Jackson County Farm Bureau member.

The Portz farm will be among the 86 farms receiving the Heritage awards at the Iowa State Fair this year. A record 344 family farms will be recognized as Century Farms. The Century Farms and Heritage Farms program is a long-time effort between the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.

"You feel obligated," Roxanne said. "To carry it on," Tom added.

No doubt the farm has seen changes in its 150-plus years of existence.

As the family grew,...




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