Iowa Farm Families honored with Century, Heritage awards

Hamburg Reporter

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation President Craig Hill and Vice President Joe Heinrich honored 681 Iowa farm families with Century or Heritage Farm designations at the Iowa State Fair on Thursday, Aug. 19. 

The program celebrates farms that have been owned by the same families for 100 and 150 years, respectively.

Among the honorees were six families from Fremont County: three in the Century Farm category and three in the Heritage Farm category.

Receiving Century Farm honors were Steven and Peggy Laughlin of Imogene, Troy and Kelly Nielsen of Imogene, and the Lorimor Family of Farragut.

The Laughlin farm in Monroe Township was first purchased in 1902 by Steven’s great-grandparents Micheal J. and Mary J. Laughlin. The land cost $50 per acre, and the Laughlins bought 160 acres.

The farm passed to Steven’s grandparents, Martin William and Mary Gertrude Laughlin, then to anuncle, Ralph Laughlin. Steven and Peggy raise corn, soybeans and cattle on the 160-acre farm today.

The O’Brien/Nielsen farm in Monroe Township was first purchased in 1917 by Troy’s great-grandparents Matt and Genevieve O’Brien, then a great-uncle Gerald J. O’Brien. The 240 acres were purchased for $80 per acre. Today, the Nielsens raise corn and soybeans on their 240-acre farm.

W.T. and Grace Lorimor Family’s Spring Valley Farm in Prairie Township was purchased for $505 per acre for the original 240 acres. The property passed to Bert and Marie Lorimor, then Margaret and Fred Ball, Scott and Elizabeth Lorimor, and Shirley and Stanley Schaaf.

Today, brothers Mike and Gregg Lorimor, and brothers Brent and Steve Lorimor, along with Brent’s wife Kathleen and Steve’s wife Kathy, raise corn and soybeans and custom-feed cattle on their 770-acre farm. Steve and Kathy’s daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren use some pasture on the farm for their cow herd. The original house and barn are still standing on the property. 

Receiving Heritage Farm honors were Elizabeth Kellogg Leuth of Percival; Gregg Dixon, Kathi Edgmon, Jeff Dixon, and Kirk Dixon of Hamburg; and Jay W. Longinaker, Lora L. Damme, and William W.D. Longinaker of Randolph.

The initial 500 acres of Kellogg Farms in Benton Township was purchased in 1858 (with additional land purchased in 1866) by Elizabeth’s great-great-great grandfather Martin Kellogg. The farm passed to her great-great grandfather Samuel J.M. Kellogg, her great grandfather Samuel Latimer Kellogg, her grandfather, who was also named Samuel Latimer Kellogg, her father, who was also Samuel Latimer Kellogg, before being handed down to Lueth and her sister, Jane Kellogg Brust. Today, Kellogg Farms is a 700-acre farm.

B P D (as in Boston Police Department) Farms in Washington Township was initially more than 14,000 acres. It was purchased in 1859 by Gregg Dixon’s great-great grandfather, Moses U. Payne, and passed down to his great grandfather, Moses M. Payne Sr., grandfather Moses M. Payne Jr. and mother Barbara Payne Dixon (who favored the pronunciation given at the start of the paragraph) before passing to Gregg and his siblings. Today, B P D Farms is a 2,592-acre property.

The original 120 acres of Longinaker Farms in Riverside Township were purchased in 1870 by current owners Jay Longinaker’s great grandfather and William W.D. Longinaker’s great-great grandfather D.W. Longinaker. The property passed to grandfather/great grandfather L.O. Longinaker, uncle/great uncle and father/grandfather L.M. and C.W. Longinaker, parents/grandparents, C. Woodrow and Ruth Longinaker, to the current owners and Lora C. Damme. Today, Longinaker Farms is a 3,000-acre property.

“The Century and Heritage Farm program is a great way to recognize the strength and resiliency of Iowa’s multi-generation farm families who have overcome challenges, adapted to changing markets and embraced new technologies to be successful,” said Secretary Naig. 

“I always look forward to celebrating along with these families and hearing stories about their incredible journeys. I am grateful for these families’ continued commitments to our state’s agriculture community,” he said.

“Every family farm receiving this incredible honor should be proud of where they began and where they are now. We’re seeing five, six even seven generations of farmers being recognized who have paid homage to the legacy their ancestors built while also cultivating their own way through innovation and sustainability practices,” said Craig Hill, Iowa Farm Bureau president. 

“This award reinforces what we already know—Iowa’s backbone continues to be in agriculture, and it’s been fortified through the strength of our state’s family farms,” said Hill. 

The Century Farm program began in 1976 as part of the nation’s Bicentennial celebration. 

This year, 476 Century Farms and 205 Heritage Farms were recognized, including recipients from 2020 and 2021. To date, 20,541 Century Farms and 1,566 Heritage Farms have been recognized across the state of Iowa.

B P D Farms
Kellogg Farms
Laughlin Farm
Longinaker Farms
W.T. and Grace Lorimor Family’s Spring Valley Farm
O’Brien/Nielsen Farm