By Dieter Gruntam for theWedge.LIVE
First it was 100 years, “Century Farms.” Then 125, “Heritage Farms.” Now Manitoba celebrates its 150th with its cherished farmers yet again, “Legacy Farms.”
The Tamarack family farm in Erickson, Manitoba, is relatively small. They grow quinoa and livestock. They are a second generation farm started in the 70s surely anticipating a third generation. Enduring 50 years in this challenging vocation is commendable.
Will they make it to the 150 year status Manitoba recognizes with its New Legacy Farm Award?
2020 nominees of the award have survived and passed down their thriving farms from generation to generation. We wait for this announcement.
The Legacy Farm is a new category added to the Manitoba Farm Family Recognition program, Agriculture and Resource Development Minister Blaine Pedersen announced here today.
“Agriculture has changed greatly over the past 150 years and it’s important that we recognize those families that have been involved in the industry for generations,” said Pedersen. “With technology advancing at such a rapid rate, it’s exciting to think of where we may be 150 years from now, but it’s important that we don’t forget our past.”
As part of Manitoba’s 150th birthday, the Legacy Farm Award has been created to celebrate farm families that have 150 consecutive years as a Manitoba Farm Family. The Century (100 years) and Heritage (125 years) Family Farm Awards will still be available.
“Going back 150 years ago about 90 per cent of the population were farmers. These farms produced enough to feed their families, with limited surplus to trade or export,” said Pedersen. “Now about four per cent of our population are actively farming and agriculture production is a key economic driver in our province.”
Since the first Century Farm was recognized in 1981, there have been more than 1,810 farms that have received the award. There have been an additional 97 farms that have received the Heritage Farm award since the first was recognized in 2010.
To be eligible for the award, the land must have been held in continuous ownership by direct descendants of the original owner, with a minimum land area of at least 20.23 hectares (50 acres) over the life of the farm.
More information on the Manitoba Family Farm Recognition program can be found at:
Manitoba’s pioneering farm families are honoured through three programs:
- The Century Farm award, celebrating farm families who have maintained continuous production for 100 years or more
- The Heritage Farm award, celebrating farm families who have maintained continuous production for 125 years or more
- The Legacy Farm award, celebrating farm families who have maintained continuous production for 150 years or more
If Manitoba farms qualify, they can receive a gate sign to proudly proclaim their pioneering roots. And the corollary publicity.
- Category 1: Families who own and operate a farm unit for 100/125/150 years or longer and still live on a farm, even if it isn’t the original farm site. (Eligible for Farm Gate Sign and Certificate)
- Category 2: Families who own a farm unit for 100/125/150 years or longer but do not currently live on or operate a farm. (Eligible for Farm Certificate only)
- The land must be held in continuous ownership by direct descendants of the original owner.
- The minimum land area must be at least 20.23 hectares (50 acres) for the 100/125/150 years of the life of the farm.