“Many families have had to overcome numerous hardships to hold onto their land,” says Delayne Reeves, marketing representative for IDOA. “This program is extremely rewarding.”
To qualify for Centennial Farm status, an agricultural property must have been owned by the same family (of lineal or collateral descendants) for at least 100 years, or 150 years for Sesquicentennial Farm status. Illinois has more than 9,300 Centennial Farms and more than 600 Sesquicentennial Farms.
“Many families have large celebrations when their farm receives the Centennial or Sesquicentennial designation, and the excitement is contagious,” Reeves says. “As I visit with the families during the application process or at the annual day of recognition at the Illinois State Fair, an immense amount of pride is observed. And they should be proud – they have worked hard over decades, from generation to generation, to care for the land they love.”