Monday, May 21, 2018

Clay County farm joins ranks of state's Century Farms program

Bazle & Bertha White Farm recognized for agricultural contributions

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — An historic Clay Countyfamily farm is now part of the Tennessee Century Farms Program, administered by the Center for Historic Preservation at MTSU, and is being recognized for keeping continuously owned family land in agricultural production for at least the last 100 years.

The Bazle & Bertha White Farm, a 58-acre property located 15 miles west of Celina, Tenn., was founded in 1917 by brothers James and Robert Lester. Along with James’s wife, Ethel Sims Lester,2and their three children, the family raised food crops, chickens and cattle. In 1950, James and Ethel’s eldest daughter, Bertha Lester White, inherited the property, and she and her husband, Bazle White, and their three daughters continued improving the farm. They raised cattle, pigs, chickens, guineas and turkeys and added a barn and pond to the property.

Today, the founder’s granddaughter, Shirley White McLerran, and her husband, Aaron McLerran,continue to grow food crops and hay on the Bazle & Bertha White Farm.

Since 1985, 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 program, visit or contact the Center for Historic Preservation at 615-898-2947 or P.O. Box 80, MTSU, Murfreesboro, TN 37132.

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