Legends – Pride on the Farm

Posted: September 22, 2021

The Illinois Centennial Farm Program was established in 1972 to recognize the importance of agriculture to the economy of Illinois and the pride and determination of the generations who have labored to maintain the family farm.

The plaque presented by the Illinois Department of Agriculture represents great pride in the family farm.

According to the Illinois Department of Agriculture, “The Centennial Farm Program was established to honor the generations of farmers who have worked to maintain family farms in Illinois. Each Centennial Farm designee is a link to America’s heritage and a reminder that the family farm remains a viable entity in today’s agriculture.” It is a great honor to be certified by this program.

A Century Farm or Centennial Farm is a farm or ranch in the United States or Canada that has been officially recognized by a regional program documenting the agricultural property that must have been owned by the same family of lineal or collateral descendants for at least 100 years.

The Oakdale Farm on West Sandwich Road, owned by the Carey family who are Bark descendants, has been in the family for 166 years in rural Sandwich.

Along with a Centennial Farm program, the Illinois Department of Agriculture offers two other categories of farm recognition: A Sesquicentennial farm is agricultural property that must have been owned by the same family of lineal or collateral descendants for at least 150 years. A Bicentennial farm is agricultural property that must have been owned by the same family of lineal or collateral descendants for at least 200 years.

There is a farm on Chicago Road that has unique qualifications for this recognition. The Burgin family has owned the farm on the north side of the road since 1853. In 1896 land on the south side of the road was purchased making it both a Centennial and Sesquicentennial farm.

The Burgin Farm in rural Somonauk is both a Centennial and Sesquicentennial farm. The farm has been owned by the Burgin family since 1853 and is located on Chicago Road.

The certification application process is quite extensive, but definitely worth the work. Proof of lineage must be presented for verification. Information such as present owner, the legal description of the property, all owners and relationship to current owner are required to be documented. All information must be researched and verified. In the verification process, much of the local history is also uncovered.

The Century Farm or Centennial/Sesquicentennial/Bicentennial Farm is a labor of love from one generation to another. It displays the proud family heritage of farming in the DeKalb County area.

Information provided by Sue Breese

To register your Centennial farm with the IL Department of Agriculture go to: https://bit.ly/3tb6Cie.


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