TALLAHASSEE -- Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson today announced that three Florida properties are being designated as Century Pioneer Family Farms. Recognition in the program means the families have maintained continuous ownership of the property for at least 100 years.
The families whose properties are being recognized are Claude and Sandra Starling, Donald and Margaret Hurst, and Dianne Priest Joyner.
"These families have been able to retain ownership of their land through the Great Depression, diseases, droughts, freezes and the urbanization of Florida," Bronson said. "That is a great tribute to the many generations of these families."
Originally, the Starling's 40-acre farm in Suwannee County was used for row crops such as corn, peanuts and tobacco, and is currently used for mainly hay production for the cattle raised there.
The 80-acre Hurst farm in Lafayette County was used for peanuts and tobacco production and is now used for straw production under the forestry trees being raised there. The family has an original homesteading letter from President Benjamin Harrison to one of the family's ancestors.
The Priest Joyner 200-acre property in Levy County was originally in watermelon and peanut production and now is used for a cow/calf operation.
Since the program began 27 years ago, 157 family farms have received the Century Pioneer Farm designation. The program is administered by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
For more information about the program or to apply for membership, visit www.floridaagriculture.com/marketing/century_pioneers.htm or contact Richard Gunnels at email@example.com or (850) 488-3022.