Monday, December 13, 2010

[240] Marion County Farm Joins Ranks of State's Century Farms Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 13, 2010
CONTACT Info: Caneta Hankins, Center for Historic Preservation, 615-898-2947


Roberts Ranch Recognized for Agricultural Contributions

(MURFREESBORO)— Roberts Ranch, located in Marion 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 at Middle Tennessee State University.
The Century Farms Program recognizes the contributions of Tennessee residents who have owned and kept family land in production continuously for at least 100 years.
Marion County was established in 1817 and named after the Revolutionary War hero, Brig. Gen. Francis Marion of South Carolina, who also was known as the “Swamp Fox.” The Sequatchie Valley is home to many productive and beautiful farms, and Marion County currently has five certified Century Farms. The most recent application comes from the family of William C. Shirley, who founded a farm just west of the Sequatchie River in 1886. He and his wife, Semiramis Andes, primarily raised corn and cows on their farm. The couple had no children so the farm passed to their nephew, James Albert Roberts, who was married to their niece, Sarah Elizabeth Shirley Roberts. The Roberts were the parents of six children. Thirty years passed, and Buell Oscar Roberts acquired the land from his parents. He and his wife Hattie White had 10 children.
The current owners of the farm are Randy and Kim Dreller Roberts. They are the parents of Austin and Lauren, raise cattle and hay and have a large vegetable garden. Barns, a corn crib and the fertile fields of the valley are a part of the heritage of Roberts Ranch.
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 Farms Program. For more information about the Century Farms Program, please visit Center for Historic Preservation also may be contacted at Box 80, MTSU, Murfreesboro, Tenn., 37132 or 615-898-2947.

• ATTENTION, MEDIA: To interview the farm’s owner or request jpegs of the farm for editorial use, please contact the CHP at 615-898-2947.

Founded in 1911, Middle Tennessee State University is a Tennessee Board of Regents institution located in Murfreesboro and is the state’s largest public undergraduate institution. MTSU now boasts one of the nation’s first master’s degree programs in horse science, and the Council of Graduate Schools in Washington, D.C., acclaims MTSU’s Master of Science in Professional Science degree—the only one in Tennessee—as a model program. This fall, MTSU unveiled three new doctoral degrees in the sciences.

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