Over the past 200 years, Indiana’s legacy has been largely shaped by farm families who passed down not only their land and wealth from generation to generation but also their uniquely-Hoosier traditions and culture.

That’s why the Indiana State Department of Agriculture created the Hoosier Homestead Award Program, which recognizes families with farms that have been owned by the same family for 100 years or longer, department director Ted McKinney said.

Three family farms in Bartholomew County received that recognition this year: The Voelz family (farm founded in 1875), the Andrews family (1894) and the Shoaf family (1902).

The three have joined about 5,000 other Indiana farm families who have received the Hoosier Homestead Award since the program’s inception in 1976.

Recent recipients

More than 90 individuals or families in Bartholomew County have received the Hoosier Homestead award since 1976. Those honored during the past 10 years, as well as the year their homestead was established, include:

The Hendrickson-Slipsch-Capper-Kalkwarf family (1851)

David, Mary and Tom Manley (1852)

Mike Tiemeyer (1852)

John W. Thayer (1856)

The Schulz-Reid family (1965)

Richard and Debra Flohr (1879)

Andrew, Scott and Janet Maley (1881)

The Jarouz family (1884)

James Reed and Judy Moore (1889)

Mark Zigler (1894)

The Wichman family (1896)

David and Rebecca Mobley (1908)

J. William Fear (1913)

To qualify, farms must not only be owned by the same family for more than 100 consecutive years but also consist of more than 20 acres or produce more than $1,000 in agricultural products per year.

The Hoosier Homestead Award is facilitated by the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. For more information online, go to in.gov/isda.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.