Gov. John Carney, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Nikko Brady and state legislators honored four Delaware farm families for their commitment to keeping farmland within the family for 100 years.
The Delaware Century Farm Program was established in 1987 to honor farm families who have owned and farmed their land for at least 100 years. The farms must include at least 10 acres of the original parcel or gross more than $10,000 annually in agricultural sales.
Delaware has now recognized 152 Century Farms over the past 35 years. Delaware Century Farm families receive a sign for their farms, an engraved plate, a certificate and legislative tributes.
Here are the 2022 Delaware Century Farm awardees:
Lana Rae Eashum and family of Dagsboro. The Eashum family is recognized for their 36-acre family farm located in Dagsboro Hundred.
John H. Baker purchased a 36-acre and 15-square-perch farm from Isaac W. Timmons Etux on Sept. 28, 1899, for $11,000. After John died in 1961, the farm was left to his daughter Louise Marie Baker by operation of law.
On Aug. 29, 1994, the farm was sold to Meredith Kay Emory for $1 and bought back the same day by Louise Marie Baker. When Louise Marie died in 1995, she left the farm to her son, J. Caleb Eashum. In 2014, J. Caleb added his wife, Lana Rae Eashum, to the deed. In 2016, J. Caleb died.
Since then, his wife, Lana Rae, has owned the Eashum farm. Her daughter Denise Shortridge and her husband, C.J., who now lives on the farm, received the award on her behalf.
The Everett family of Clayton. The family is recognized for their 274-acre farm located in Kenton Hundred.
The original 417-acre farm was purchased by Levi L. Everett and Katherine F. Everett for $12,750 from James M. Downs on April 23, 1920. When Levi died, the farm was left to his wife, Katherine, and their four children, Levi, Andrew, Roy and James.
In 1936, Andrew purchased the entire farm from his mother for $6,500. After he died in 1981, his will split the farm between his two sons, George Lee Everett and Robert L. Everett. George and his wife, Louise, purchased the 274-acre farm parcel in 1988.
In 2014, with the death of Louise, the farm was willed to her three children: Charles L. Everett, Teresa L. (Everett) Timmons and Chad L. Everett.
The farm produces corn, soybeans, wheat, barley and hay. The family has raised dairy and beef cows, along with hogs. In 2004, the farm had an easement established for Aglands Preservation, permanently preserving it.
The Everett family has also been involved in wildlife conservation. They have four ponds on the farm, and have raised and released quail, Canadian geese and mallard ducks, along with establishing dove plots.
Stanley L. Johnson and family of Millsboro. Stanley Johnson and his family are recognized for their 25-acre farm in Indian River Hundred.
George T. Johnson purchased the 25-acre farm from Annie J. Hudson, John B. and Martha J. Mitchell on Nov. 21, 1918, for $2,000.
In 1976, George died, leaving the farm to his wife, Ella Moore Johnson, with their four children: Elizabeth Smith, Ruth Hudson, Granville L. Johnson and Richard C. Johnson. Ella died in February 1989, leaving Granville as the executor of her estate.
In July 1989, Richard and his wife, Patricia, purchased the farm from Granville. In 2011, the farm was put into the Richard C. Johnson 2011 Asset Preservation Trust by co-trustees Stanley and Thomas C., children of Stanley and Patricia. In 2018, Stanley and his wife, Linda, purchased the farm from the trust.
Stanley’s grandfather, George T. Johnson, raised chickens on the farm for Townsends. The main crops grown on this Delaware farm include corn and soybeans, but they are looking to transition into more specialty crops as the younger generation gets more involved.
Alvin and Normal Warner of Milford. Alvin Warner, and his wife, Norma, were honored at the program for their 29.33-acre farm in Milford Hundred.
James W. Warner purchased a 121-acre farm from Willie and Jennie Russell on Jan. 2, 1921, for $4,500. When he died, the farm was left to his wife, Addie V. Warner, and their 11 children: Blanche Eisenbrey, Gordon Warner, Maude Hall, Harvey Warner, Floyd Warner, Hazel Waldron, Stella Willis, Ethel Burns, Wilbur Warner, Howard Warner and Doris Raughley.
In January 1945, Howard purchased the 121-acre farm from his mother for $1. In 1976, Howard’s son Alvin and his wife, Norma, purchased the 29.33 acres from the original farm. By 1979, it was determined through a survey that under Howard and his wife, Jeannette, the farm was portioned into various percentages of land owned between Joan M. and Earl H. McMullen; Robert L. and Kathleen A. Warner; and Alvin H. and Norma V. Warner.
Alvin and Norma’s portion included the farm they had purchased and an additional 3.72 acres. In 1981, Alvin and Norma transferred the 29.33 acres to Warner Enterprises Inc.
Previously a dairy farm, as evidenced by the milk house and cowshed that still stand on the farm, the family transitioned to raising poultry in 1977. They raise small grains, corn, soybeans and Delaware-grown vegetables and produce to sell at their on-farm market.