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Local farms honored with Hoosier Homestead Award

Mar. 27—STATEHOUSE — Area legislators are recognizing the latest local recipients of the Hoosier Homestead Award, which recognizes farms owned and maintained by the same family for 100 years or more.

Represented by State Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg), State Rep. Cory Criswell (R-Middletown), State Rep. Lindsay Patterson (R-Brookville) and State Rep. Alex Zimmerman (R-North Vernon), three locally owned farms were honored at the Statehouse.

* The Amy & Edward Rodriguez farm in Ripley County received a Sesquicentennial Award.

* The Halterman/Wallace/Mull farm in Rush County received a Centennial Award.

* The Werner farm in Franklin County received a Centennial Award.

The Hoosier Homestead Award Program honors families who have made significant contributions to Indiana agriculture. Instituted in 1976, the program has recognized more than 6,000 family farms that have impacted Indiana's economic, cultural and social advancement.

"Indiana is the seventh-largest agricultural exporter in the nation, exporting $7.4 billion in 2022," Leising said. "This fact alone shows just how much our farmers contribute to our state's and communities' development, which is why, as chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, I am pleased to see these local farms recognized for their years of hard work and dedication to agriculture."

"I'm thankful for the opportunity to honor these committed and longstanding family farms in our area," Criswell said. "Operating for more than 100 years is a huge accomplishment, and I applaud them for reaching this amazing milestone."

"Thanks to the persistence and dedication of these families, Indiana's agriculture industry has flourished, not only feeding the state but also the world," Patterson said. "These Hoosiers have made tremendous sacrifices and overcome countless challenges to remain in operation, and it's important to recognize their efforts."

"Not only have these families helped propel our agricultural industry forward, but they've also preserved an important part of Indiana's history," Zimmerman said. "These longstanding family farms are a testament to what you can achieve through hard work, determination and perseverance."

To be named a Hoosier Homestead, farms must be owned by the same family for at least 100 consecutive years and consist of more than 20 acres or produce more than $1,000 of agricultural products per year.

The award distinctions are centennial, sesquicentennial and bicentennial — for 100, 150 and 200 years, respectively.

To learn more about the program or to apply for a Hoosier Homestead Award, visit www.in.gov/isda/2337.htm.

Leising represents Senate District 42, which includes all or parts of Decatur, Fayette, Franklin, Henry, Ripley, Rush and Shelby counties.

Criswell represents House District 54, which includes portions of Hancock, Henry, Rush and Shelby counties.

Patterson represents House District 55, which includes all of Fayette, Franklin and Union counties, and portions of Decatur, Ripley and Rush counties.

Zimmerman represents House District 67, which includes portions of Decatur, Jefferson, Jennings and Ripley counties.