Five New Family Farms Inducted into Century Farm Program

By Craig Gautreaux, Ph.D., LSU AgCenter

NEW ORLEANS — For a family farm to survive one hundred years, it needs a little luck. It also really needs people willing to work extremely hard for mostly very small rewards.

    Five family farms were fortunate enough to survive the trials and tribulations of farming and received the Louisiana Century Farm Award during the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation’s 97th Annual Convention in New Orleans.

     The Century Farms program was created through a partnership between the Louisiana Land Bank, Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation, the LSU AgCenter and the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.

     Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain stressed the importance of farming to America and told the history of his family farm. His family is the third one to own the tract of land that is now the Strain family farm, and he plans to go back to farming upon his retirement.

     “It gives us strength to stand where our ancestors stood. Agriculture is were wealth begins. It has a bright future. The world needs American agriculture,” Strain said.

     Named for its founder, the William H. Brabham Farm is located in St. Helena Parish. The farm was started in 1893 and now consists of 216 acres where hay, cattle and timber are produced. Silage and dairy were other commodities produced at the farm during its existence.

     The H & J Gossen Properties, LLC farm is located near Rayne in Acadia Parish. Rice, soybeans, oats, corn, wheat, sweet potatoes, cotton and beef have been raised on the farm since its creation in 1908. Today, the three main commodities are rice, soybeans and crawfish.

     Located in Pointe Coupee Parish, the Guarino Stock Farm currently raises cattle on 325 acres. Started by Rosairo Guarino in 1918, sugarcane, cotton, corn sweet potatoes, swine, poultry, horses and mules have been raised on the farm.

     The Marsalis Cattle Company, LLC got its start in 1890 in Claiborne Parish. Many crops and animal enterprises have been raised on the farm including cotton, corn, oats, hay, hogs, dairy and beef cattle. Today, the mainstay crops are cattle, hay and timber.

     Since 1870, Moro Plantation in Concordia Parish has grown cotton and corn and raised cattle. The 200-acre farm now is involved producing cattle, hay and trees.

     Lillie Adams Wiley, who coordinates the Century Farm program with the Department of Agriculture and Forestry, said it is important to recognize this individuals who have toiled for at least 100 years in agriculture.

     A total of 64 family farms have been recognized in the program representing all aspects of farming in Louisiana.

Monica Velasquez