As you have driven along the backroads of Oregon, you've probably seen a sign similar to the one pictured here standing off the roadway. Did you wonder what it signified or how it came to be posted in that location? We have seen several such signs along the rural roadsides in Marion and Polk Counties. As we are showcasing our agricultural heritage this year, we thought we would see if we could find the answers to these questions. Lo and behold, not only did we discover a lot of information about this program sponsored by the Oregon Farm Bureau, but we learned that a friend of our show would be most happy to come and talk with our listeners about this special heritage award.
There are specific criteria to be addressed and considered when reviewing an application for designation. The family must prove legal ownership of the property, document that it was under the same family ownership for at least 100 years, and demonstrate that the farm produced a gross profit of at least $1000 per year. A committee made up of folks from across the state reviews the applications, with an average of 12 farms receiving the award each year. Andy explained that there are several similar programs across the nation, each with its own character--some are ongoing, like Oregon's, and others honored farms for specific events.