The Arkansas Agriculture Department (AAD) is accepting applications for the 2019 Arkansas Century Farm program that recognizes Arkansas families who have owned and farmed the same land for at least 100 years.


Applications are available at www.aad.arkansas.gov/arkansas-century-farm-program. There is no cost to apply.


Arkansas has more than 43,500 farms, of which 97 percent are family owned and operated, according to a news release.


“Century Farm families have persevered challenges for at least 10 decades and have contributed greatly in making agriculture in Arkansas the success story that it is today as our state’s largest industry with an economic impact of over $21 billion annually,” Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward said.


To qualify, Arkansas farms must meet the following criteria:


• The same family must have owned the farm for 100 years by Dec. 31, 2019. The line of ownership from the original settler or buyer may be through children, grandchildren, siblings, and nephews or nieces, including through marriage and adoption.


• The farm must be at least 10 acres of the original land acquisition and make a financial contribution to the overall farm income.


The program began in 2012 and since then, 418 farms have been certified. Other Arkansas Century Farm families are listed at www.aad.arkansas.gov/arkansas-century-farm-program.


Applications must be postmarked on or before May 31 to be eligible for designation as a 2019 inductee. Details: Mary Elizabeth Lea at maryelizabeth.lea@agriculture.arkansas.gov or 501-219-6363.


The Arkansas Agriculture Department offers its programs to all eligible persons without discrimination. The AAD is dedicated to the development and implementation of policies and programs for Arkansas agriculture and forestry to keep its farmers and ranchers competitive in national and international markets while ensuring safe food, fiber, and forest products for the citizens of the state and nation, according to a news release.