FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jesse Cordray, Press Secretary
STATEHOUSE (Aug. 7, 2020) – Area legislators recently announced the latest recipients of the Hoosier Homestead Award, which recognizes farms owned and maintained by the same family for 100 years or more.
The Hoosier Homestead Award Program honors families who have made significant contributions to Indiana agriculture. Instituted in 1976, the program recognizes the impact these family farms have made on the economic, cultural and social advancements of Indiana. In the past 40 years, more than 5,800 farms have received the honor.
Represented by State Sen. Stacey Donato (R-Logansport) and State Reps. Jack Jordan (R-Bremen), Don Lehe (R-Brookston), Ethan Manning (R-Denver), Heath VanNatter (R-Kokomo) and Dave Wolkins (R-Warsaw), 14 locally owned farms were recently honored:
"Agriculture plays an important role in our state's economy, contributing billions of dollars each year," Donato said. "I commend these families for their resiliency and determination. Their hard work doesn't go unnoticed."
"Not only have these farms been in business for over a century, but they also continue to pass down their knowledge to the next generation to keep it going," Jordan said. "They provide our community with so much, and remaining in operation for at least a century is truly an accomplishment they should all be proud of."
"As a farm owner and operator, I understand the dedication these families put forth year after year to continue providing for our community," Lehe said. "Not only do they deliver a positive agricultural impact on our state and local economies, but they also support thousands of Hoosier jobs."
"Farming is a profession that requires a tremendous amount of time and physical labor to keep everything up and running," Manning said. "It is a tremendous honor to have these local farms call Indiana home, and I wish them continued success with their operations."
"It takes an abundant amount of determination and perseverance to keep a farm up and running for more than 100 years," VanNatter said. "Hoosier farmers serve a critical role in keeping Indiana's agriculture industry thriving and supporting their local communities."
"Family farms are the lifeblood of rural Indiana," Wolkins said. "The impact they have on our state and communities is immeasurable, and all Hoosiers need to recognize that our everyday lives are better because these farmers go out every day and work hard to feed us. I hope these families, including the younger generations who may have other opportunities in this growing economy, understand just how valuable they are."
To be named a Hoosier Homestead, farms must be owned by the same family for at least 100 consecutive years and consist of more than 20 acres or produce more than $1,000 of agricultural products per year. The award distinctions are Centennial, Sesquicentennial and Bicentennial – for 100, 150 and 200 years, respectively.
State Sen. Stacey Donato represents Senate District 18, which includes all of Cass, Fulton, and Miami counties and portions of Carroll, Kosciusko and Marshall counties.
State Rep. Jack Jordan (R-Bremen) represents House District 17, which includes all of Marshall County and a portion of Fulton County.
State Rep. Don Lehe (R-Brookston) represents House District 25, which includes portions of Carroll, Cass, Clinton, Tippecanoe and White counties.
State Rep. Ethan Manning (R-Denver) represents House District 23, which includes portions of Cass, Fulton and Miami counties.
State Rep. Heath VanNatter (R-Kokomo) represents House District 38, which includes portions of Carroll, Cass, Howard and Clinton counties.
Rep. David Wolkins (R-Warsaw) represents House District 18, which includes Wabash and portions of Kosciusko, Miami and Grant counties.