Monday, June 17, 2013

[541] White County Farm Joins Ranks of State's Century Farms Program

K & M Farm Recognized for Agricultural Contributions

MURFREESBORO — The K & M Farm in White County has been designated as a Tennessee Century Farm, reports Dr. Carroll Van West, director of the Century Farms Program at the Center for Historic Preservation at MTSU.

The Century Farms Program recognizes the contributions of Tennessee residents who have owned and kept family land in continuous agricultural production for at least 100 years. 

Robert Wesley Howard purchased 300 acres north of Sparta on April 15, 1900. He and his wife Mary Ray Howard, and their seven children raised a tobacco crop as well as hay and corn for beef cattle. After more than 25 years, their son Turney acquired the farm and is remembered for growing “the first burley tobacco in the community.” Married to Roxy Ann, this second generation of Howards had six children. 

Sam Merrill Howard, a son of Turney and Roxy Ann, became the owner of the intact original acreage in 1989. With his wife, Lucille, and their four children, Merrill Vaughn, Gary Lee, Dennis and Diane, the family continued to raise the traditional crops and livestock. The Howards were active in 4-H and FFA and showed cattle, hogs and crops at the local and state fairs Sam also was on the county committee of the Farm Service Agency.  

Merrill Vaughn Howard acquired 57 acres of the original farm in 1995. Three generations including Merrill and his wife Ruth, and their son Merrill Howard II, his wife, Jennifer, and their children, Holden and Hanna, live on the farm today. Merrill II manages and works the farm, where he continues to raise row crops and beef cattle in the second century of the family’s farm ownership.
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 The 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.

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