LAUDERDALE COUNTY FARM JOINS STATE’S CENTURY FARMS PROGRAM
Murley-White Farm 5th in County to be Recognized for Agricultural Contributions
(MURFREESBORO, Tenn.)—The Murley-White Farm in Lauderdale County has been designated as a Tennessee Century Farm, reported Caneta S. Hankins, director of the Century Farms program at the Center for Historic Preservation (CHP), which is located on the MTSU campus.
Joining four other certified Century Farms in Lauderdale County, Murley-White Farm was founded by Macdaniel Casey “M. C.” Murley and Mary Jane Murley in 1902. On the 150 acres east of Ripley, they raised cotton, corn, sorghum and wheat.
When M. C. Murley died in 1935, Mary Jane owned the land until 1948. After her mother’s death, Dorsey Murley White assumed ownership for more than 50 years until her death in 2001. Dorsey’s son, James Elwood White, owned the land for two years until his death.
Today, the farm is owned by his sons, Steve and Greg White, who also are the great-grandsons of the founders. The land supports a variety of crops and cattle. Steve continues to make his home in the farmhouse that his great-grandparents built in 1914.
The 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.
“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.
ATTENTION, MEDIA: To interview Hankins or the farm’s owners, please contact the CHP directly at 615-898-2947.