MU Extension has open applications for property owners to apply for 2021.

COLUMBIA — The Backer family first broke ground in mid-Missouri in 1850. Now the family operates multiple pieces of land designated as a Century Farm by MU Extension.

MU Extension has opened applications for property owners to apply for 2021.

Century farms have the distinction of a plaque and a certificate, but one farmer says he also gets the pride of longevity. 

"We're grateful to be apart of something that is well thought of and has always been respected in the community," Harrison Backer said. 

To qualify, the same family must have owned their farm for 100 consecutive years. The current owner must be the children, grandchildren, siblings, nephews or nieces — including through marriage or adoption — of the original settler.

In a news release, MU Vice Chancellor for Extension and Engagement Marshall Stewart said, “The Century Farm program is one way we express our gratitude to those who have contributed so much to Missouri agriculture.”

"We think it's important to know how we got started, and how to use that information into the future," said Garrett Hawkins, senior director of the Missouri Farm Bureau.

According to a news release, since the program began in 1976, more than 8,000 Missouri farms have received the Century Farm designation.

Property owners can submit an application online. The deadline for 2021 is May 1. A $120 fee covers the cost of a certificate, farm sign and booklet for approved applicants. County MU Extension centers present these items.

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