Entries for this year’s Iowa Century and Iowa Heritage Farms are due soon. Becky Lorenz coordinates the program at the Iowa Department of Agriculture, which singles out the state’s long-time family farms.

“A Heritage Farm has 150 years of continuous ownership in the same family, while a Century Farm has 100 years of continuous ownership,” Lorenz says. “You need to have at least 40 acres of your original piece of property to qualify.” There are more than 19-thousand Century Farms in Iowa and just over 12-hundred Heritage Farms. A ceremony is held each year during the Iowa State Fair that recognizes each of the farms as they reach the landmark — and the 2018 event was unusual.

“We had 359 Century Farm award winners and 148 Heritage Farms,” Lorenz says. “This will be my 9th show this year and last year was the most combined numbers that we’d ever had.” The deadline to enter is June 1st. The Heritage Farm program was started in 1976 while the Century Farm program began in 2006.

Learn more about the program and find an application here: