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Smith Farm Honored as Pennsylvania Century Farm

Friday, August 19, 2016 @ 12:08 AM

Posted by Chris Rossetti

GeneandConnieSmithROCK SPRINGS, Pa. – A Clarion County man was honored on August 16 for having a 100-year old farm during Penn State’s Ag Progress Days by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

[Photo of W. Eugene (Gene) and Connie Smith) Photo courtesy of the Smith’s granddaughter, Jessica Craig]

The W. Eugene (Gene) and Connie Smith Farm outside of Strattanville dates back to the late 1800’s when David Benjamin Smith married Ella C. Callen, and they built a house in 1885 followed by a barn in 1889 on 100 acres in the parcel. David and Ella were Gene’s great grandparents.

David Smith then deeded the farm to his son Reid, the grandfather of Gene, who then deeded it back to David who eventually deeded it to William and Margaret Smith, Gene’s parents.

William Smith fell ill when Gene was 10-years old and died a few years later leaving the farm to his wife. She deeded the farm to Gene in 1963, and he and Connie still live in the original home, and the original barn is still used.

The Smith Family

The Smith Family

The land is currently farmed by Gene and his first son, Robert Smith, where they raise dairy and beef cattle.

The Smiths with their children, including their oldest son, Robert (far left second row), who works the farm with his dad

The Smiths with their children, including their oldest son, Robert (far left second row), who works the farm with his dad.

At the Penn State Ag Progress Days, the Smith family received a plaque to place at the farm that recognizes it as a Century Farm.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, the Smith Farm is one of 28 century farms in Clarion County, which also is home to three bicentennial farms.

Since the Century Farm Program’s inception in 1977 and the creation of the Bicentennial Farm program in 2004, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has recognized more than 2,100 Century and more than 170 Bicentennial Farms in the commonwealth.

“During a show where so much of our focus is on the future of agriculture, this ceremony gives us the opportunity to step back and honor our past that has delivered our industry to the present,” said Russell Redding, the Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture.

“These farms we’ve honored today embody the diversity of our agriculture industry past and present, and I commend these long-standing farm families for weathering the challenges of our industry and continuing to help feed our growing world.”

In addition to the Smith Farm, six other farms were recognized at the ceremony including the Boyle Farm in East Brady, Armstrong County, which was recognized as a Bicentennial Farm. The Farm was purchased on November 1, 1815, for $103.00, which gave Patrick Boyle 151 acres along with one cow, two steers, eight sheep, and all the grain in the barn and in the field. Today, 134.7 of those original acres remain along with the 1905 farmhouse. The farm is owned by Larry and Alice Boyle.

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