Nine local farms were inducted into the Arkansas Century Farm Program last Monday in Little Rock. Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward accompanied Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders as they recognized 36 farms in total across the state.
The Arkansas Century Farm Program recognizes Arkansas farms of 10 acres or more owned by the same family for at least 100 years. The Arkansas Department of Agriculture established the program in 2012 to highlight the contributions of these families to the agriculture industry as well as our state. The program is voluntary and there is no cost for participating families.
The 2023 Arkansas Century Farm Inducted the Windmill Hill Farm in Izard County established 1911.
The original farm was purchased in 1911 by the late J.I. & Iza Couch, great grandparents of current owner Gay Majors. Gay’s grandparents, Ralph & Nellie Everett, built a residence in the 1950’s on the property. In the early 1970’s, current owners, Jay C. and Gay, purchased the property and added on the existing residence and raised their children Stacy and Jason on the farm. In the 1980’s, Jay C’s father, JC Majors, bought a farm adjacent to the property. Upon his passing, Jay C (Jr) and siblings inherited the farm. Eventually Jay C bought out his siblings and the combination of both farmsteads became Windmill Hill Farm, getting its name from the decorative windmills that have been constructed on the farm.
Over the years the farm haws been used to raise livestock, mostly cattle, and briefly hogs. While the cattle and hog raising has gone by the wayside, Jay C. and Gay still utilize the farm for rental income. The family has also dedicated a portion of the farm to habitat management for wildlife. They enjoy the rich tradition of hunting and enjoy time spent together in the woods.
Since 2012, 604 farms have been recognized as Arkansas Century Farms throughout the state. The 36 newly inducted farms are located in the following counties: Arkansas, Carroll, Cleburne, Conway, Craighead, Dallas, Faulkner, Fulton, Greene, Hempstead, Howard, Izard, Jackson, Jefferson, Lee, Little River, Logan, Lonoke, Mississippi, Monroe, Nevada, Ouachita, Perry, Randolph, and Van Buren.
Agriculture is the largest industry in Arkansas and contributes more than $20.9 billion to the state’s economy annually. Arkansas has 41,900 farms and 96 percent are family owned.
After the induction, Gov. Sanders stated, “A country that can’t feed itself, fuel itself, and clothe itself can’t survive. That’s why it’s so important to thank and support our farmers. I was honored to join the newest inductees to Arkansas’ Century Farm Program. These 36 families have farmed the same land for over a century.”