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Century Farm Reunion News

 

Reunion photos

We had a great time at the 2012 reunion. Here are some photos that we took.

Update - Aug. 6, 2012

Save the date! The reunion will be held Oct. 17, 2012. Address changes and photos should be submitted by Aug 15. Address & names changes should be submitted via an Update Form. Photos can be uploaded here.

Update - July 3, 2012

N.C. farm families encouraged to apply for Century Farm program
Deadline for inclusion in 2012 printed directory is Aug. 1

Century Farm Family Reunion Logo RALEIGH – Eligible N.C. farmers interested in joining the Century Farm Family program are encouraged to apply for membership soon if they want to be included in the printed 2012 Century Farm Directory. The deadline for inclusion is Aug. 1.

All members of the program will be invited to the Century Farm Family reunion at the N.C. State Fair on Wednesday, Oct. 17. The event will begin at 11 a.m. in Dorton Arena. Attendees will receive a copy of the 2012 directory.

The reunion, held every four years, honors the heritage of farms that have been owned continuously by the same family for at least 100 years. There are more than 1,600 Century Farms in North Carolina. All counties except Dare and Swain have a Century Farm.

“The family farm is the backbone of North Carolina agriculture,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “I want to encourage every eligible farm owner to recognize their family’s history by registering as a Century Farm Family and by joining us at the State Fair for a reunion to remember.”

A farm is eligible for membership if all or part of it has been owned continuously for at least 100 years by a blood relative of the original owner, or a legally adopted child of a descendant. Continuous residence in North Carolina by that relative or descendant is not required.

Proof of ownership for 100 years or more by the same family is required. This proof can be an abstract of a title, an original deed or land patents. Other authentic land records may be acceptable in some cases.

For more information and to fill out an application, visit the Century Farms website at www.ncagr.com/paffairs/century, write to 1001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1001, or call the NCDA&CS Public Affairs Division at 919-707-3001.

 

Update - October 23, 2008:

2008 Slide Show

Update - October 7, 2008:

The next Century Farm Family Reunion will be held Oct. 23, 2008.

Century Farm News Update - October 28, 2005:

  • The 2005 Century Farm Family Reunion was a success! Thank you to everyone who attended and especially to everyone who volunteered their time to serve lunch, work the registration desk and oversee the activities. We hope everyone who attended had a great time. The next reunion will be held at the 2010 N.C. State Fair, so start making plans to attend!

  • All pictures and the slide show displayed at the reunion will be placed online in the coming weeks. Pictures will soon be returned to their owners as well.

  • One 2005 Membership Directory and one ornament will be mailed to each family who did not attend the reunion. We have only made provisions for each family to receive one directory and one ornament.

  • Please contact the Public Affairs Office of the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services with any questions or comments about this prestigious program. Contact information can be found here.

 

Update - October 19, 2005:

More than 1,650 Century Farm members celebrate
agricultural heritage during reunion at N.C. State Fair

RALEIGH-Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler declared the seventh gathering of the Century Farm Family reunion a success today at the N.C. State Fair. More than 1,650 North Carolinians who have owned a farm in their family for 100 years or more gathered in Dorton Arena to meet, greet and eat with Troxler, N.C. Speaker of the House Jim Black and Fair Manager Wesley Wyatt.

The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services started the Century Farm Program in 1970 to recognize North Carolina's agricultural heritage and those families who built the foundation of this farming state. Every five years, the State Fair hosts a reunion for members of this prestigious program.

"I've owned my land for 31 years now, and I understand the hard work it takes to run a successful farm," said Troxler. "It's an honor to be here today among the legacy holders of North Carolina's agricultural history."

Black joined Troxler on stage for the keynote address. Black was raised on a farm and his roots run deep in Mecklenburg County.

"As difficult as it may be in this day, I will not sell out my heritage," Black said. "Hold on to your farms."

"The Century Farm Program has meant so much to me and what I've been able to do with my farm," said Phyllis Pate, century farmer from Robeson County. Pate has turned her Century Farm, which she no longer tends for herself, into an education and research station for local youth, 4-H and Cooperative Extension groups to use.

Today's events included traditional country and bluegrass music from the Malpass Family of Goldsboro, lunch catered by Murphy House Restaurant, and a popular display of more than 200 pictures of Century Farms and families. Troxler recognized the most senior and the youngest attending members, the oldest Century Farm and the family who traveled the farthest to attend the reunion.

For more information about the Century Farm Family program, visit www.ncagr.com/paffairs/century/index.htm.

-nja 1,5-

 

Update - October 17, 2005:

N.C. State Fair hosts Century Farm Family Reunion,
celebrating state's agricultural heritage

WHO/WHAT:

The N.C. State Fair will host the 2005 Century Farm Family Reunion, celebrating North Carolina's rich agricultural heritage and honoring families whose farms have remained in continuous family ownership for 100 years or more. Families will be treated to lunch and a special program recognizing their family's contributions to North Carolina.

WHEN/WHERE:

11 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 19, Dorton Arena, State Fairgrounds, Raleigh

WHY:

The Century Farm Family Reunion is held every five years at the N.C. State Fair. Started in 1970, this marks the 35th year of the Century Farm Family Program. Today there are about 52,000 farms in North Carolina, but only about 1,600 farms have the distinction of being a Century Farm.

OTHER INFO:

Joining Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler, guest speakers will include N.C. House Speaker Jim Black. Photos submitted by Century Farm Family members from across the state will also be on display.

Please note:

This is an invitation-only event, but members of the media are welcome to attend and cover the festivities.

-aea-1,2

 

Update - August 16, 2005:

  • Thank you for submitting such wonderful pictures of North Carolina's Century Farms and farm families. The deadline for photo submission has passed, and we will now select about 10 photos for placement in the 2005 directory. All of the photos will be displayed at the reunion on Oct. 19. You will soon be able to view these pictures online, as well. Check back soon for more details.

Click here for 2005 Century Farm Reunion information.

Update - July 27, 2005:

  • The deadline for publication of the official 2005 Century Farms Registry has been extended until Friday, July 29. All eligible and interested farmers in North Carolina are encouraged to apply.

  • July 29 is also the deadline for current members to notify the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services of any changes to their directory information. Please contact the department if the ownership of your farm has changed hands within your family or if your address or other contact information has changed since 2000.

  • There are now nearly 1,600 registered Century Farms in North Carolina.

  • All counties have a Century Farm with the exception of Dare, Jackson and Swain.

    Contact information can be found here.

Update - May 31, 2005:

Calling all eligible Century Farm families

RALEIGH – Time is running short for eligible and interested farmers to join the Century Farms program and have their family’s information included in the official 2005 Century Farm Registry. The deadline for publication of the registry is Friday, July 15.

While new members will still be invited to celebrate at the Century Farms reunion, slated for Wednesday, Oct. 19, at the State Fair, families who join after the publication deadline won’t appear in the registry for another five years.

Current members will soon be receiving a postcard requesting that each family verify their information and notify the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services of any changes by the publication deadline.

The Century Farms reunion, held once every five years, honors the agricultural heritage of those families who have had continuous ownership of a farm for at least 100 years. Currently there are more than 1,500 Century Farms in North Carolina. All counties have a Century Farm with the exception of Dare, Jackson, New Hanover, Swain and Yancey. As preparations for the reunion celebration shift into high gear, the NCDA&CS hopes to hear from every family who has earned the privilege to celebrate their century-farm heritage, especially from those qualified families in the underrepresented counties.

“We know there are many other families in North Carolina who should be a part of this prestigious program,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “I would encourage every eligible farm owner to recognize their family’s history by registering as a Century Farm Family and by joining us at the State Fair for a reunion celebration that is sure to be an occasion to remember.”

To become a member, a family must have had ownership of a farm for at least 100 years, meaning that the farm must be owned - in whole or in part - by a blood relative of the original owner, or a legally adopted child of a descendent. Continuous residence in North Carolina by that relative or descendant is not required, but the title to the property must be continuous.

Proof of ownership for 100 years or more by the same family is required. This proof can be an abstract of a title, an original deed or land patents. Other authentic land records may be acceptable in some cases.

For more information and to fill out an application, check out the Century Farms Web page at www.ncagr.com/paffairs/century/index.htm, or write to 1001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699-1001. The State Fair runs October 14-23.

-nja, 2,5-

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Update -March 17, 2005:


Century Farm Family program preserves
history of North Carolina farmers

RALEIGH - Tucked away in the Wayne County barn of E.L. Aycock Jr. rests a museum of restored antique farm equipment. Three bright green Oliver tractors, a red butter churn, and an array of pulleys, Mason jars and other oddities are only a few of the treasures Aycock keeps on his 103-year-old farm.

Aycock“Many of these tools and toys belonged to my grandfather,” Aycock said as he pointed out a wooden ironing board hanging in the barn’s rafters. “I like to restore antiques so that they can be appreciated and enjoyed for a while longer.”

In order to preserve his land with the same pride he takes in preserving his antiques, last year Aycock registered his farm with the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Century Farm Family program. The program honors families who have had continuous ownership of a farm for at least 100 years by including the family name and farm history in an official registry. Farm owners receive a Century Farm sign for the property, and a celebration is held for the families every five years at the State Fair in Raleigh. The next celebration is slated for this year.

“I read about the program in one of my farming magazines, and decided it was important to recognize my ancestors from generations back who tended the land.” Aycock said. “I’ve worked hard to maintain the farm that they built, and no matter what happens in the future, it feels good to know that my family is distinguished.”

Aycock is one of the newest members of the Century Farms program, established in 1970 by Agriculture Commissioner Jim Graham. North in Person County, brothers William and Thomas Tillett, who own the land known today as the Tillett farm, have been members for 20 years.

Tillett brothers

Since the mid 1800s, the Tillett farm has been passed down through the Reade and Tillett families and the remaining 186 acres are now co-owned by the Tillett brothers. The farmhouse that stands on the land was built around 1887, and William Tillett enjoys preserving its history by restoring and upgrading many of the house’s more ancient than antique qualities. One of the first in the area to have electricity and indoor plumbing, the Tillett farmhouse now boasts modern kitchen appliances, an upstairs bathroom and a brand new Century Farm Family sign displayed near the road to replace its 20-year-old predecessor.

“People aren’t proud of their ancestry anymore, but I can trace my family back for 10 generations,” says Thomas Reade Tillett. His great-nephew and niece, 6-year-old Reade McBride and his 8-year-old sister, Melissa, play on a rope swing that hangs from the branches of a 400-year-old oak tree. “I’m confident the future of this family farm is in good hands,” Tillett said.

Both E.L. Aycock and the Tillett brothers have experienced a lifetime of farming and now get to enjoy other pleasures during their daily life. Though each farmer leases out the physical work of tilling the fields, the farms will remain in the ownership of their respective families for as long as the economy allows.

“We know there are many other families in North Carolina who should be a part of the Century Farms program,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “The legacy and heritage of farming runs deep in our state, and I would encourage every eligible farm owner to recognize their family’s history by registering as a Century Farm Family.”

Currently, there are more than 1,500 Century Farms in North Carolina. All counties have a Century Farm with the exception of Dare, Jackson, New Hanover, Swain and Yancey. National Agriculture Week is coming up March 21-25, and the NCDA&CS looks forward to hearing from every family who has earned the occasion to celebrate their century-farm heritage.

To become a member, a family must have had ownership of the farm for at least 100 years, meaning that the farm must be owned - in whole or in part - by a blood relative of the original owner, or a legally adopted child of a descendent. Continuous residence in North Carolina by that relative or descendant is not required, but the title to the property must be continuous.

Proof of ownership for 100 years or more by the same family is required. This proof can be an abstract of a title, an original deed or land patents. Other authentic land records may be acceptable in some cases.

For more information and to fill out an application, check out the Century Farms Web page at www.ncagr.com/paffairs/century/index.htm, or write to 1001 Mail Service Center Raleigh, NC 27699-1001.

-nja, 2,5-

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NCDA&CS Public Affairs Division, Brian Long, Director
Mailing Address:1001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1001
Physical Address: 2 West Edenton Street, Raleigh NC 27601
Phone: (919) 707-3001; FAX: (919) 733-5047