FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Nov. 14, 2007
CONTACT: Caneta Hankins, 615-898-2947
STATEWIDE PROGRAM RECOGNIZES CHESTER COUNTY FARM FOR CONTRIBUTIONS
114 -Year-Old F & W Farm Becomes County’s 7th Designated Century Farm
(MURFREESBORO, Tenn.)—The F & W Farm in Chester County has been 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 MTSU campus.
Located in the Enville community, the F & W Farm was founded in 1893 by John G. Anderson. Married to Cansady Catherine Findley, they had two children, Dossie Benton Anderson and Orpha Anderson. On 214 acres, the family raised cotton, corn, cattle and hogs.
In 1921, Dossie “D. B.” Benton became the second owner of the farm. He and his wife, Hallie Ross Anderson, were the parents of Maerene, who acquired the land in 1984. Married to L. C. Weatherington, Donna was their only child. During this time, the farm produced cotton, corn, beans, cattle and hogs.
In 1994, Donna became the fourth-generation owner. Married to Robert Michael Frank, they had two children, Robert Michael II and Tabbitha Jane. The family raised cotton, corn, beans and cattle.
In 2005, the great-great-grandson of the founder, Robert Michael Frank II, became the owner and manager of the land. He lives on his family’s farm and the primary products grown today are cattle, corn and beans.
F & W Farm is the seventh Chester County farm to be certified as a Century Farm, 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 for editorial use, please contact the CHP directly at 615-898-2947.