News for Immediate Release
Aug. 15, 2014
Rock Springs, Pa. – Agriculture Secretary George Greig recognized two
Pennsylvania farm families for their longstanding contributions to
Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry at Penn State’s Ag Progress Days in Rock
Springs, Centre County.
honored Wayne E. and Robin L. Homan and family of Pennsylvania Furnace, Centre
County, with a Century Farm designation, and Robert E. and Deborah A. Jackson
and family of Apollo, Armstrong County, with a Bicentennial Farm designation.
before this land was known as Penn’s Woods, Pennsylvania farmers have helped
feed the world, and made history in the process,” said Greig. “By recognizing
the families who are carrying on their agriculture tradition into the farm’s
next century, we’re highlighting the work of Pennsylvania’s past, which is key
to its future.”
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture administers the Century and Bicentennial
Farm Program, which helps promote the strength and durability of Pennsylvania’s
farm families and recognizes families who have been farming the same land for
100 years and 200 years, respectively.
the Century Farm program’s inception in 1977 and the creation of the
Bicentennial Farm program in 2004, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture
has recognized 1,942 Century and 166 Bicentennial Farms.
Homan farm was purchased March 29, 1913. Nearly 293 of the original 295 acres,
purchased for $40.47 per acre, are still owned and farmed by the family. The
farm primarily produces grain and hay, and was preserved in 1996. Centre County
is home to four bicentennial and 34 century farms.
house was built in 1858 as a wedding present for Jane Lyons and Col. Bucher
Ayers. Ayers graduated from Dickinson College, worked for Secretary of State
Daniel Webster, and became superintendent of the Memphis and Charleston
Railroad. Lyons was the daughter of John Lyons, owner of the nearby
Pennsylvania Furnace iron works, who financed construction of the house as a
wedding gift. The farm’s outbuildings date to before the 1913 purchase.
Jackson farm was purchased April 7, 1797, by John Jackson, an Irish immigrant
who first lived in Hannahstown, Chester County, before moving to Armstrong
County. All 50 of the acres he purchased remain part of the farm today. While
the original home burnt in 1880, the foundation and chimney from the old house
remain. The current home dates to 1900. General Samuel McCartney Jackson often
brought to the farm his young grandson, and later actor, Jimmy Stewart. Today
the farm produces mainly corn and hay. Armstrong County is home to four
bicentennial and 55 century farms.
be eligible for the program, a farm must be owned by the same family for at
least 100 consecutive years. A family member must live on the farm on a
permanent basis, and the farm must include at least 10 acres of the original
holding or gross more than $1,000 annually from the sale of farm products.
Bicentennial Farm Program follows the same guidelines but requires 200
consecutive years of ownership.
history is filed in the archives of the Pennsylvania State Historical and
more information, visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us
and search “Century Farm” or “Bicentennial Farm” or call 717-705-7796.
Media contact: Will Nichols, 717-787-5085