DOVER, Del. – Four families which have owned their farms for at least 100 years were honored as owners of Century Farms on Tuesday in a ceremony honoring Delaware agriculture's long heritage and historic roots.
“Delaware's agricultural success rests on the shoulders of our farm families, more than 2,400 strong, many of which have worked the land for generations,” said Delaware Secretary of Agriculture Ed Kee. “These families we honor today are the personification of the virtues of hard work, dedication and innovation that have made our industry so strong. I hope that their children and grandchildren continue in that long tradition of excellence.”
The inductions into the Century Farms Program bring the total number of farms recognized to 129, said Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Austin Short, who heads DDA's Planning and Preservation Section. The Century Farm Awards have been presented annually since 1987.
“These farms are all active and working, producing fruit, vegetables, grain, livestock and poultry and contributing to Delaware's $1.3 billion agricultural economy,” Short said. “We look forward to adding even more farms to this distinguished list in the years to come, and for all of our Century Farms to thrive and become 200-year farms.”
The families recognized Tuesday at the Delaware Agricultural Museum & Village included:
The Malfitano family (Joseph M. Malfitano), which owns a 56.5-acre farm near Greenwood, in the family since 1913 and now producing vegetables, fruit, soybeans and corn.
The Cook family (Mr. and Mrs. H. Wallace Cook Jr.), which owns a 109-acre farm near Newark, in the family since 1855 and now producing dairy, corn, soybean, wheat, alfalfa, beef and pork.
The Peterson family (Charles, Andrew and Brian Peterson), which owns a 31.5-acre farm near Bridgeville, in the family since 1909 and now producing corn and soybeans.
The Hudson family (Margaret T. Hudson, Jeffrey M. Hudson and Gregrey N. H udson), which owns a 300-acre farm near Millsboro, with the original 132-acre parcel in the family since 1908. The farm now produces corn, soybeans, wheat and poultry.
Legislative tributes were also presented from state Sens. Gary Simpson, Brian Pettyjohn, Gerald Hocker, Bruce Ennis and Bethany Hall-Long, and from state Reps. Dave Wilson, John Atkins, Earl Jacques and Harvey Kenton. Also in attendance were Reps. Bobby Outten and William Carson.
Century Farms must have been farmed by the same family for at least 100 years and must include at least 10 acres of the original parcel or gross more than $10,000 annually in agricultural sales.