10 new Century Farms honored (Updated 9:20 a.m., Nov. 11)

Thursday, November 10, 2011
Former Saline County Commissioner Dick Hassler was one of several honored during the annual Saline County Century Farm Celebration and Recognition ceremony held Thursday, Nov. 10, at the courthouse. Above, extension council member Candee Aull presents Hassler with a 2011 Extension Council Honor Roll award. Ten families were also honored as the county's newest Century Farm owners.

Saline County has once again kept the distinction of having the most Century Farms in the state of Missouri. On Thursday, Nov. 10, ten more area farms were honored at the annual Century Farm Recognition and Celebration at the courthouse.

"We realize this is a special recognition for the families to say, 'Hey, this farm has been in our family for 100 years.' So with that, congratulations," said Vince Buck, president of Saline County Farm Bureau, after an opening performance by the Marshall Community Chorus.

Before presenting signs to each family, Saline County Presiding Commissioner Tom Stallings noted the importance of the county's agriculture tradition.

"We are blessed to live in Saline County," said Stallings. "We have a wealth of young farmers. I think part of that is these farms are passed down through families and folks are given an opportunity to stay in farming, stay in agriculture and stay in Saline County."

The ten new farms, honored for being in the same family for 100 years or more, are owned by:

William C. Ash; Linda Page Bergman and Ina, Ed and Megan Dysart; Grace Bock; Ina and Megan Dysart; Helen Gehrken and Gerald Gehrken; Janet and Truman Kirschner; Bellenda Laughlin; Leland and Mary Ann Mueller; Melvin and Jill Reynolds; and James Weaver, Bill Dennis, Dorothy Teeter and Delores Sadewhite.

Several other awards were presented during the ceremony.

Former Saline County Commissioner Dick Hassler was added to the Extension Leader's Honor Roll for his support of the University Extension program. Lora Kiehl was also added to the Honor Roll for her work with Saline County 4-H and Clover Kids.

The 2011 State Fair Farm Family of Rene, David, Brent and Austin Boland were recognized and presented a certificate. The Marshall Rotary Club, represented by Mark Gooden, was honored as the 2011 Extension Partner in Education for their support of the Saline County Leaders of Today program.

State Fair Director Mark Wolfe, a Saline County resident, was the keynote speaker for the evening.

He talked about his the passion for the fair and its connection to agriculture, which he noted is the state's top industry.

"One thing that has always been the focus of our fair in this state is agriculture," Wolfe said. "Everything else is icing on the cake...but the key to what the fair is about is agriculture."

The celebration is hosted annually by the Saline County Commission, Saline County Farm Bureau and the University of Missouri Extension Council and staff.

See our photo gallery of the honorees at: http://www.marshallnews.com/gallery/9923

Contact Marcia Gorrell at mgorrell@marshallnews.com

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