By Veronica Mosgrove, La. Department of Agriculture and Forestry
NEW ORLEANS — Six Louisiana families are the recipients of the Louisiana Century Farm Award. This award, administered by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) and the LSU AgCenter, is given to families who have owned and consistently farmed on Louisiana land for at least 100 years.
“This is one of the most unique awards because it truly proves the resiliency of family farms,” said Ronnie Anderson, president of the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation. The award ceremony was held at the 96th Annual Convention of the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation.
“Everything started with the family farm,” added Dr. Rogers Leonard with the LSU AgCenter. “It is an amazing accomplishment to have a family farm for 100 plus year.”
The family farms recognized are:
A&F Farms (New Iberia, La.)
Ardoyne Plantation (Schriever, La.)
Cornist Family Farms (Delhi, La.)
DeJean Family Farms, LLC (Church Point, La.)
Larry Charles Freeman (Amite, La.)
O.E. Williams Trust (Many, La.)
“It’s kind of amazing,” said Ronald Gonsoulin, who represented A&F Farms. “So many people have left the farms and this is a tribute to those who have persevered through commodity prices, drought, floods and storms.”
“The farm is where our family unit began,” said John Washington of Cornist Family Farms. “When everyone comes home, they come back to the farm. It’s our core.”
Crops and livestock grown include: Beef cattle, corn, cotton, peanuts, soybeans, sugarcane, sweet potatoes and wheat.
“What do these family farms mean? It’s about our families, traditions, our past and our future,” said LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M.
Stephen Austin with Louisiana Land Bank added that this is a true celebration of land ownership, “As we move forward and continue to tell stories and show the passion of farm ownership, hopefully your children will celebrate another 100 years of owning farm land.”
Founded in 1922, the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation is the state’s largest general farm organization representing more than 140,000 member families.