Three added to Florida's pioneer farms list

Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson has announced that three north Florida properties have qualified for recognition as Century Pioneer Family Farms.

Recognition in this program means the families have maintained continuous ownership of the property for at least 100 years.

The properties being designated are the Gable property and M & S Farms, both in Jackson County, and the Johnson Homestead in Hamilton County.

“These families have been able to retain ownership of their land through the depression, diseases, droughts, freezes and the urbanization of Florida,” Bronson said. “That is a great tribute to the many generations of these families.

The William and Faye Gable property is currently in row crops and cattle production and has been used for cotton and swine production in the past. The Johnson Homestead has been used for row crops and cattle and is now used for tomato and timber production. The Johnson’s have a family tradition of grinding sugar cane for cane syrup every Thanksgiving. M & S Farms, owned by Myra Phillips Hurst, is used for pasture, hay and cattle, and also has the Dry Creek Grits Mill located on the property. Some people used to call it the “Tharp Mill”.

Since the program began 26 years ago, 152 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 into the program contact Richard Gunnels at [email protected] or call 850-488-3022.

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