Governor Larry Hogan honors Century Farm Families

ANNAPOLIS – Governor Larry Hogan Jan. 17 honored Maryland’s farm families for their commitment to farming and leadership in preserving agricultural land by presenting Century Farm designations to nine families from six counties who have farmed the same land for more than 100 years.

Since the program began in 1994, 182 farms – about one percent of the state’s 12,200 farms – have received the Century Farm designation. Four of those have received the Tricentennial Farm designation and 26 have received the Bicentennial Farm designation.

“We are proud to celebrate our state’s strong agricultural history by honoring our century farms, as well as some of our great Maryland farm families,” said Governor Hogan. “Together, we have made incredible progress over the past 3 years, and our farmers and our agriculture community have been an important partner and a key part of that success.”

The Maryland Century Farm Program was established in 1994 by Governor William Donald Schaefer to recognize farms that have been in the same family for at least 100 consecutive years, contain a minimum of 10 acres of the original parcel, and gross annual income of $2,500 or more from the sale of farm products. The Century Farm Program honors families who have passed their farming operations down from generation to generation, making it possible for future stewards of the land to continue in their family tradition.

The Hogan administration re-established this annual tradition last year for Maryland farm families after it had been halted for the past 10 years. The last ceremony was held in 2007.

“The best agricultural preservation program is an economically healthy agriculture industry,” said Maryland Secretary of Agriculture Joe Bartenfelder. “Farming has formed the foundation of our nation’s economy for hundreds of years. The farm families we honor today are stewards of the land who have maintained family traditions and a continuity of agriculture important to our communities and our economy.”

Of the Century Farms 2018 Honorees, included is Transquaking Farms (Cambridge, Dorchester County). The 400-acre farm was purchased in 1916 by August Knauer, the grandfather of current owner Franklin Knauer and great-grandfather to his son Michael Knauer.

The farm is comprised of 50 percent cropland, 20 percent marsh/wetlands and 25 percent woodlands. The present home was built in 1997 after the original farm house burnt down in 1995. The farm also has a workshop, milk house, barn and smoke house.

The farm produces tomatoes, watermelons, barley, wheat, corn and soybeans; and raises cows, horses, pigs, mules and chickens. The farm has been used as a DEKALB Corn Test plot for 10 years.

Maryland currently has 12,200 farms averaging 166 acres in size with a gross annual income of $2 billion.

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