FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 10, 2010
CONTACT: Caneta Hankins, Center for Historic Preservation, 615-898-2947
MONTGOMERY COUNTY FARM JOINS STATE’S CENTURY FARMS PROGRAM
122-Year-Old Grant Farm Recognized for Agricultural Contributions
(MURFREESBORO)—The Grant Farm in Montgomery 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, which is located on the MTSU campus.
“Montgomery County was traditionally recognized as a major producer of tobacco, though few farms continue to produce the labor-intensive crop today,” noted Hankins, who added that the Grant Farm in the Southside community continues this tradition that dates from 1888 to the present in the Grant family.
In early 1888, Samuel and J. R. Grant established a farm of 203 acres. Samuel and wife Cora were the parents of Vernon, Sterling, Dellie and Doris. Their farm’s primary crops were tobacco and cattle.
In 1925, most of the original farm acreage went to Samuel and Cora’s son, Vernon, and his wife, Viva. Along with their children—daughters Ruby Grant Harvey and Marie Grant Bumpus and sons Charles and Samuel Grant—they raised both dark-fired and burley tobacco and cattle.
The third owners of the farm were Samuel and Carolyn Grant. They and their son, Kevin, added row crops and other livestock to the burley tobacco and cattle.
Today, Kevin, the great-grandson of the founder has owned and operated the family farm since 1996. He and wife Sherry, along with their two children, Matthew and Ashley, and his parents, continue to live on the farm and raise burley tobacco.
About the Century Farms Program
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 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, please contact the CHP directly at 615-898-2947.
With three Nobel Prize winners among its alumni and former faculty, Middle Tennessee State University confers master’s degrees in 10 areas, the Specialist in Education degree, the Doctor of Arts degree and the Doctor of Philosophy degree. MTSU is ranked among the top 100 public universities in the nation in the Forbes “America’s Best Colleges” 2009 survey.