FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sept. 21, 2007
CONTACT: Caneta Hankins, 615-898-2947
STATEWIDE PROGRAM RECOGNIZES FRANKLIN COUNTY FARM FOR CONTRIBUTIONS
105-Year-Old Mountain Cove Farm Becomes County’s 12th Century Farm
(MURFREESBORO, Tenn.)—The Mountain Cove Farm in Franklin 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.
Located four miles South of Winchester, Mountain Cove Farm was founded by T. A. Roberson in 1902. This farm, advised the family, is a portion of a tract of about 1,000 acres that was earlier homesteaded by David Roberson. T. A. and wife Maggie had one child, Mable Roberson. On 116 acres, the family produced corn, hay, wheat, oats, cattle, horses and hay.
The next owner of the property was the grandson of the founder, John Thomas Wilkerson. Married to Alma Wilkerson, they were the parents of two children, Glenn Thomas and Kenneth James. John and his family cultivated corn, wheat, hay and soybeans and raised cattle, horses, mules and hogs. In the 1940s, the farm experienced many improvements and acreage was added to the operation. Electricity came to the area in 1944 and a county road was built in 1948.
In 2004, Glenn Thomas Wilkerson, the great-grandson of the founders, acquired the property. Today, Glenn and his sons, Paul and Mark, produce cattle, hay, corn, wheat and soybeans. A granary that was constructed in 1910 and a tenant house dating from 1906 are used for storage.
“Mountain Cove Farm is recognized along with 11 other certified Century Farms in Franklin County,” Hankins said.
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 CHP 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 the farm’s owners, or to obtain jpegs of the farm’s founders the general store and barrel-making factory mentioned herein, please contact the CHP directly at 615-898-2947.