FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Dec. 13, 2006
CONTACT: Caneta Hankins, 615-898-2947
McGaugh Farm Recognized for Agricultural Contributions
(MURFREESBORO)—The McGaugh Farm in Obion 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 Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU).
Just north of Union City is the McGaugh Farm, which was founded in 1887 by Robert McGaugh. Married to Mary Hale, the couple had five children, though two of their daughters died at the age of 17 from typhoid fever. In 1906, the McGaughs built a farmhouse on the 92.5 acres.
In 1918, the founder’s son, Joseph A. McGaugh, acquired the land. Along with wife Ellen Alexander, the couple had one son, Joseph W. McGaugh, who became the third generation to own the farm. Joseph W. wed Ocella McGehee and they had four children—Ruth, Joseph B., Shirlee and Donald W.
In 1995, the great-grandson of the founder, Donald W. McGaugh, obtained the land. Currently, Donald and his wife Caroline (Robinson) continue to work the land that produces wheat, soybeans and corn.
The farmhouse that is one hundred years old this year remains the family home. Over the years, the house has been remodeled and the attic rooms were converted into bedrooms for their two daughters, Kellye and Amanda. Today, the McGaughs report that their granddaughters, Parker and Kyndall Albright, daughters of Kellye and James Paul Albright, are the sixth generation to enjoy the homeplace.
The Tennessee Century Farm program 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, or to read about the histories of Gibson County farms as well as others across Tennessee, please visit its Web site at 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.
ATTENTION, MEDIA: To interview Hankins or the farm’s owners, or obtain jpeg images of this farm for editorial use, please contact the CHP directly at 615-898-2947.