Family farms are much more than just a slice of the past. They may also be one of the keys to a brighter, greener future -- and nothing proves their timelessness quite like Central Ohio's collection of bicentennial farms, which date back to the time of our Founding Fathers.
Of Ohio's 73,400 farms, 65 were recently certified certified as "bicentennial," meaning they've been owned by the same family for at least 200 years, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
“I live in a museum. That’s a fact,” James Fagan, owner of one of Fairfield County, Ohio's six bicentennial farms, told the Dispatch. “There’s an awful lot of history here. We’re still discovering things that show us what it was like way back in the beginning.”
Bob Martin of Belmont County owns a family farm that dates back to 1805. Through changing times and generations, his ancestors fought to keep the property in the family, and Martin has dedicated his life to upholding their legacy.
"Some men have a golf game that they live and die by. Well, the farm is Bob's golf game," his wife, Marietta Martin, told OurOhio.org. "If there's a building with a loose roof or a bad paint job, he's got to take care of it."
The Ohio Department of Agriculture set up the Century Farm and Bicentennial Farm Program, which recognizes the utter devotion of farming families like the Martins.
"There aren't many businesses in any of our communities that can actually say that they've been in existence for 200 years," David T. Daniels, director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, told Circleville Today. "That's why we think it is so important that we take time to recognize agriculture and all that it means, not only to this state's past, but it's present and it will certainly be the economic driver that leads us into the future we might have."
Learn more about Ohio's most historied farms here.