6 local families recognized for having Saline County Century Farms

Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Hannah Sandidge Erickson gives the keynote speech at the Saline County Century Farms Recognition ceremony held at the Saline County Courthouse Nov. 14. (Kelly Melies/Marshall Democrat-News)

The Saline County Commission, in association with Saline County Farm Bureau and University of Missouri Extension, recognized six new local family farms as this year's Saline County Century Farms on Thursday, Nov. 14, at the Saline County Courthouse.

The evening began with a welcome and introduction from Amanda Struchtemeyer, Saline County 4-H director. She introduced the musical entertainment Sweet Springs Sound Wave, which is a small orchestra group directed by Anthony Webb. The group performed several selections.

Saline County Commissioners Tom Stallings, Charlie Guthrie and Monte Fenner introduced and recognized the new inductees to Century Farms. The 2013 Saline County Century Farms recognized were Dorothy Clements family, Barbara E. Gauldin Thiel family, Kenneth and Karen Weber family, Morrison-Wise family, Borgman-Gessling family and Jim Lewis and family. The farms are located throughout Saline County including Miami, Slater, Sweet Springs, Malta Bend and Marshall.

"Saline County has 158 family farms and that's the most in any county," Stallings said.

The Century Farms program was established in 1985, and is sponsored by University of Missouri Extension and the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources at University of Missouri. Criteria for being designated a recognized farm includes an application on file, the same family must have owned the farm for 100 years or more, the family shall consist of direct descendants and the present farm shall consist of at least 40 acres or more of the original land and make a financial contribution to the overall family income.

The evening continued with a presentation of extension leader's honor roll. Extension Council Officer Leigh Ann Leimkuehler and Extension Council Member Kile Guthrey presented a certificate to recipients Shelly Arth and Christi Bentley.

The 2013 State Fair Farm Family was the Mendell and Anita Elson family. Council members Don Boland and Bob Fuehring presented the family with a gift.

The commission introduced the keynote address for the evening. Hannah Sandidge Erickson spoke about her involvement with 4-H and agriculture as a young girl, and continuing that education and experience in college. She said she has enjoyed her involvement with the programs and believes in agriculture and encourages other children to get involved.

Struchtemeyer introduced Jared Singer, Saline County farm service agency executive director, as he spoke about the Women in Agriculture regional conference. Registration begins Jan. 6, 2014. For further information call 660-886-7447 or log on to www.womeninag.net.

The commission closed the evening and welcomed everyone to a reception downstairs where refreshments were served.

Watch for further stories as each of the new family century farms will be featured.

Editor's note: A series on the six Century Farm families will follow.

Contact Kelly Melies at kmelies@marshallnews.com