Century Farm Program
WHAT IS THE CENTURY FARM PROGRAM?
On July 23, 1987 Governor Michael N. Castle announced the establishment of the Delaware Century Farm program. This program honors Delaware farm families who have farmed the same land for one hundred years or longer.
To qualify, a farm family must have owned the same farmland for one hundred years. The family does not have to currently live on the farm. As little as ten acres of the original parcel of land will qualify such a farm as long as the land is currently being farmed. It is not necessary for the landowner to farm the land; tenant farmers may currently be farming the land.
An application form is provided by the Delaware Department of Agriculture, which is to be filled out and returned with a copy of a deed, orphans court document or a Will which shows that the property has been in the possession of the family for one hundred years or longer. Copies of other deeds, etc. must also be provided which show the transfer of the land through the various family members to the current landowner. A copy of a map of the farm parcel or a legal description of the property is also required.
Once a year a Century Farm presentation ceremony is held, at which the New Century Farm Award recipients receive recognition from the Secretary of Agriculture. Each family receives an engraved pewter tray and a certificate suitable for framing. Also, a plate giving the name of their farm and the names of the owners is placed on two large plaques on display at the Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village, and the Delaware Department of Agriculture.
Please note: The annual deadline for applications is September 1st.
WOULD MY FARM QUALIFY FOR THE CENTURY FARM PROGRAM?
- The farm must have been in your family for 100 years or longer. It may be passed down through any type of family relationship: marriage, father to son/daughter, uncle to niece, grandmother to grandchild, etc., it does not have to be directly from father to son.
- The owning farm family does not have to live on the farm.
- As long as at least ten acres of the original tract of land are currently being farmed the parcel will qualify.
- The land may be farmed by tenant farmers.
- A copy of the a deed one hundred years old with copies of deeds/will showing the farm being passed on through the family up to the present time. Note: if the farm has been in the family longer than one hundred years, then copies of deeds showing the older date would be required.
- A copy of a map of the farm parcel or a legal description of the property is necessary.
- The application form must be filled out, with the questions answered to the best of your ability (which means there will probably be certain questions you will be unable to answer.)
For further information, please contact Rebecca Vaughn at the Delaware Department of Agriculture, (800) 282-8685 (New Castle & Sussex Counties) or (302) 698-4531 (Kent County). Note: TDD users should call the Delaware Relay Service number at (800) 232-5460 for assistance.