FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 15, 2006
CONTACT: Caneta Hankins, 615-898-2947
(MURFREESBORO)—The Moore Farm in White County recently was designated as a Tennessee Century Farm, reports Caneta S. Hankins, director of the Century Farms program at the Center for Historic Preservation (CHP), which is located on the campus of MTSU.
Located three miles from Sparta, the Moore Farm was established by Joseph Henderson Moore and his brother William Luther Moore in 1905. Three years later, Joseph bought his brother’s interest in the farm. In 1909, Joe married Maggie Jane Jones, an 1897 graduate of Pleasant Hill Academy who taught school in Cumberland, Putnam and White counties.
Joe and Maggie had four children; namely, Joseph Edward, Gertrude, Frances (who died at the age of 2) and Maggie Lorene. The family farm produced hay, corn, cattle, hogs, tobacco and timber. During the winter months, hogs were butchered and taken to Sparta by wagon and sold to customers.
In 1940, Joe and Maggie deeded nearly 30 acres to son Joseph Edward Sr. After serving in the army during World War II, Joseph Edward returned to college and received a bachelor of science degree from Tennessee Tech in 1946. That same year, he married Mabel Joyce Austin.
In addition to managing the farm, Edward served as a teacher and principal in the White County school system, while Mabel was a teacher, and later, a senior guidance counselor at White County High School. Before becoming an educator, Mabel was an active member in the Home Demonstration Club. In addition, she participated in the county fairs, where she received many ribbons and cash prizes for her cooking and sewing skills, according to the family’s records.
Joseph and Maggie had two children, Joseph Edward “Joe Ed” Moore Jr. and Lisa Austin Moore, both of whom were involved with 4-H from an early age. They participated in 4-H rallies, kept scrapbooks and entered contests. Joe Ed received his bachelor of science degree in plant and soil science from Tennessee Tech and a master’s degree from the University of Tennessee. While at UT, he served as a research assistant and spent a summer in Greeneville, Tenn., where he raised tobacco and collected samples for analysis for the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.
Lisa earned a bachelor of science degree in business and a master’s degree in guidance and counseling, as well as an Ed.S. (education specialist) degree in administration and supervision. She currently serves as the senior guidance counselor at White County High School.
Today, Mabel Moore and husband Joseph Edward Moore Sr. own the farm, along with son Joe Ed, who is married to Vickie Lynn Arney. Joe Ed and Vickie have two children, Joseph Kyler and Kaci Maree, who are the fourth generation of the family to call the farm home. Members of the Moore family hold membership in the Farm Bureau and the White County Farmer’s Co-op. The farm mainly produces hay, cattle and goats.
About the Tennessee Century Farm Program
The Tennessee Century Farm Program, now 30 years old, recognizes the contributions of Tennessee residents who have continuously owned, and kept in production, family land for at least 100 years. Since 1984, the Center for Historic Preservation at MTSU has been a leader in the important work of documenting Tennessee’s agricultural heritage and history through the Tennessee Century Farm Program, and continues to administer this program.
The Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) began the Tennessee Century Farm Program in 1976 as part of the nation’s bicentennial. Today, the TDA provides a metal outdoor sign, noting either 100, 150 or 200 years of “continuous agricultural production” to Century Farm families.
To be considered for eligibility, a farm must be owned by the same family for at least 100 years; must produce $1,000 revenue annually; must have at least 10 acres of the original farm; and one owner must be a resident of Tennessee. There are more than 1,000 Century Farms across the state and all 95 counties are represented.
“The Century Farmers represent all the farm families of Tennessee,” Hankins said, “and their contributions to the economy, and to the social, cultural, and agrarian vitality of the state, both past and present, is immeasurable. Each farm is a Tennessee treasure.”
For more information about the Century Farms Program, please visit its Web site at http://histpres.mtsu.edu/histpres. The Center for Historic Preservation also may be contacted via mail at Box 80, MTSU, Murfreesboro, Tenn., 37132, or by telephone at 615-898-2947.