10 Oregon farmers awarded Century status

Oregon Century Farm & Ranch Program Awards Century Status to 10 Farms & Ranches and one Sesquicentennial Farms in 2011
By Oregon Farm Bureau

(Salem, OR) – At an annual awards ceremony at the Oregon State Fair, families from across the state will receive recognition for operating as either a Century or Sesquicentennial Farm or Ranch. The 2011 ceremony will be held on Saturday, September 3, at 1:00 p.m. at the Oregon State Fair. The public recognition ceremony and awards celebration will be held in the Corporate Tent on the west side of the fairgrounds. Please join us and the Oregon Agricultural Education Foundation and its major partners, the Oregon Farm Bureau, the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office, Oregon Travel Information Council, OSU Libraries’ University Achieves and the Oregon Department of Agriculture for this special event.

Ten farms and ranches from eight different counties will be honored this year, bringing the total number of Oregon Century Farms and Ranches to 1,128. The farm and ranches families being honored in 2011 are: Evelyn Bierly, Linn County; Anna Muilenburg Brown, Union County; Howard Cantrell, Union County; Carpenter Family Farm, Jackson County (Rocky Knoll, Inc.); Chegwyn Farm, Yamhill County (Yamhill Soil and Conservation District); Robert & Christy Flowers, Klamath County; Thompson Place, Douglas County, Delbert Langdon Ranch, Douglas County; P.J. Rohde Ranch, Inc., Umatilla County; and Ruth Woods, Tillamook County.

A Sesquicentennial award will be given to one Oregon family who has continuously farmed portions of their original family acreage for 150 years or more. This year’s honoree is Jackie and Charlotte Mader, Marion County. The Sesquicentennial Award program began in 2008 in honor of Oregon’s 150th birthday celebration. Twenty-three families have now received this prestigious sesquicentennial award.

Every Oregon farm and ranch has a unique history and special family story. The Oregon Century Farm & Ranch program encourages agriculture families to share, with a broader audience these stories of century long connections. By promoting family stories, rich cultural heritage is passed down to future generations while educating Oregonians about the social and economic impact of Oregon agriculture. The program has helped ensure that more than 1,100 family farms and ranches statewide attain the Century or Sesquicentennial Farm & Ranch Award.

The Oregon Century Farm & Ranch Program began in 1958 to honor farm and ranch families with century-long connections to the land. To qualify for a century or sesquicentennial award, interested families must follow a formal application process. Members of the Application Review Committee review each application against the qualifications, which include continuous family operation of the farm or ranch; a gross income from farm use of not less than $1,000 per year for at least three years out of five prior to application; and family members must live on or actively manage the farm or ranch activities. Application documentation may include photos, original deeds, personal stories, or other historic records. These records help support Oregon’s agricultural history by providing valuable information about settlement patterns or statistics on livestock and crop cycles. All documents are archived for public access.

Award winners receive a certificate signed by the Governor and Director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Historic and colorful roadside signs are imprinted with the founder’s name and the year the ranch or farm was established. The 2011 award honoree families will receive the signs free of charge, thanks to a generous grant from the Oregon Travel Information Council.
2011 Award Ceremony- Brief Family Descriptions

Century Farms & Ranches

Bierly Farm – Founded in Linn County in 1911 by Mary S. Bierly. Applicant is Evelyn M. Bierly.

Mary Bierly purchased the family farm 8 miles south of Halsey by Bond Butte in 1911. Eleven farm buildings and the 1917 farm house occupy the 139.25 acre farm. In the early days, the family raised cows, hogs, and chickens to sustain the family with rye grass as the main crop. Other crops included oats, barley, wheat and sedan grass. Rye grass is still the main crop today. In 1957, Evelyn and Kenneth purchased and moved on to the farm with their lifestyle remaining relatively unchanged over the years. Evelyn Bierly’s grandson, Charley Wolff farms the land today.

Cantrell Ranch – Founded in Union County in 1881 by William J. Cantrell and Sara A. Cantrell First. Applicant is Howard Cantrell.

Nestled along a portion of the Oregon Trail, the 240 acre ranch raised and leased horses to the army in the Pendleton area, for building the railroad over the Blue Mountains and for the stagecoach company. At one time, they had a herd of more than 600 horses. Multiple generations managed the ranching raising cattle, chickens and cows for their meat, milk and eggs, which was sold to nearby logging operations. Without electricity or indoor plumbing until the 1950s, ranch life was tough, but lead to long lives of its owners (85 and 93, respectively). The ranch has since grown to 640 acres where they now raise beef, horses, goats and an extensive herd of llamas.

Carpenter Family Farm – Founded in Jackson County in 1909 by Alfred and Leonard Carpenter. Applicant is Emily Mostue on behalf of Rocky Knoll, LLC.

Nearly 7,000 pear trees were planted in 1910 using draft horses on 60 acres on what the brothers called Veritas Orchards. Leonard helped organize the Southern Oregon Sales fruit cooperative, where the farm’s pears were packed until the late 1950s. Leonard was also instrumental in forming the Medford Irrigation District. When Dunbar Carpenter took over the farm around 1950, he added 10,000 chickens, cattle and pigs. In the 1970s, five acres of wine grapes were planted. In the 1990s, the pear trees were replaced by hay. Today, current crops include grass hay, vegetables, grains and eggs. The wine grapes are made into their own brand of wine, Rocky Knoll.

Chegwyn Family Farm – Founded in Yamhill County in 1909 by Herbert Chegwyn. Applicant is Tim Sieber on behalf of the Yamhill Soil and Water Conservation District.

Charles Chegwyn gifted the family farm to the Yamhill Soil and Water Conservation District in 2009. He maintains a life estate on the farm, living in the home built in 1929, and continues to manage the more than 170 acres at the age of 78. The farm has a rich and diverse history. Apples were the first primary crop. Then during WWII, the apple trees were removed to make room for grain, sheep for wool, lambs and Jersey cows for milk, cream and meat. Hay, alfalfa, clover and corn were grown for feeding livestock. Dairy farming was discontinued and today grass seed and hay are grown in the larger fields. Walnuts and filberts, the most profitable crops are harvested and marketed commercially.

Delbert Langdon Ranch – Founded in Douglas County in 1902 by Newton Dodge Clark and Mary Elizabeth Langdon Clark. Applicant is James Langdon.

The approximately 260 acres on Red Hill was purchased by Newton Clark and Mary Langdon Clark. After Newton’s death, Oscar Langdon, Mary’s brother, lived on the farm with his seven children, raising sheep, wheat and hay. Various generations farmed the land, with few changes in crops raised; the major modification is the use of modern farm machinery. Delbert Langdon raised and sold lambs for wool and meat. He not only sheared his own sheep, but for other farmers. The original homestead was built in 1866 and was restored in 2002 by James Langdon, a nephew. He farms today, raising Angus cattle, Appaloosa horses, milk goats, timber and hay.

Flowers Farms – Founded in Klamath County in 1911 by Francis Flowers. Applicant is Robert and Christy Flowers.

The 1,000 acre dairy farm was built on overflow irrigated land, which meant in late winter and early spring the river would rise and flood part of the land. By early summer it could be hayed and grazed by the cows. The hay was ferried across the Klamath Straights, which was large enough to support a steamboat business. The focus of the farm switched to growing crops instead of dairy farming when the Klamath Straights were changed during WWWII. In addition to small grains and potatoes, the farm now experiments with crops not normally grown in the region such as sweet corn and orchards.

Muilenburg Farm – Founded in Union County in 1911 by Andrew Muilenburg. Applicant is Anna Belle Muilenburg Brown.

Andrew and Maude Muilenburg purchased the 240 acre family farm in 1911 located 4.5 miles East of La Grande. Fondly referred to as the ‘home-place’, was a barn and small home no larger than a one-car garage. Andrew farmed the ground by horse and produced both hay and grain. Beef and milk cows, pigs and chickens helped feed the family. Glen, one of their seven children, even though losing his eyesight in 1963, remained actively involved on the family farm. From tripping the plow, to building fences and feeding the stock, Glen continually worked the farm until 1977. Daughter, Anna, moved back to the farm in 1995. The family has begun to preserve and recondition both the farm house and barn.

P.J. Rohde Ranch – Founded in Umatilla County in 1905 by Jacob Peter Rohde. Applicant is Glenn Louis Rohde.

The original 160 acres in Echo has grown to nearly 2,500 acres with four-generations currently living on the property. The original two-story main farmhouse was built in 1912 and has been continuously occupied by family members and is still in use today. Many out-buildings including a large grain elevator, multiple tool shops and storage sheds are also used today. The ranch raised diverse crops including wheat, Walla Walla Sweet onions, mint for roots, barely and hogs. The Rohde Ranch worked with area families to collaborate on strategic partnerships including utilizing large buildings on the farm to store and process onions. Today the ranch raises a combination of day-land Stevens, Skiles and Tubbs wheat.

Thompson Place – Founded in Douglas County in 1882 by George Washington Thompson and Mary Amelia Thiele Thompson. Applicant is James Langdon.

Both George and Mary were born en route along Oregon Trail, with their families settling in the Yoncalla area. They purchased 350 acres and named the farm Red Hill where they grew wheat and hay, as well as raising sheep, goats and cattle. After George’s untimely death, Mary raised the remaining three of nine children at home on her own. The original barn was built with lumber cut and milled on site. Since then James Langdon, current owner, has harvested and replanted the timber. He raises hay for livestock including milk goats, purebred, registered Angus cattle and purebred, registered Appaloosa horses

Woods Farm– Founded in Tillamook County in 1911 by Charles “Ollie” Woods. Applicant is Ruth Woods.

Located along the Nestucca River in Beaver, the 60-acre dairy farm has always shipped its milk to the Tillamook County Creamery Association, though in the early days before the consolidation of sites, milk was shipped in cans to the local creamery in Beaver. In the 1980s, the importance of registered stock and the significance of pedigree was realized. This farm was the home to QS Legend Tina E94, the ‘cover girl’ for Landmark Genetics advertising campaign for sire, Schultz Performing Legend. This led to genetically recovering the entire herd of which has since grown to more than 300 head. The farm leases an additional 30 acres and is currently purchasing another 130 of neighboring acreage. Ruth, now 80 years old, still lives on the family farm.

Sesquicentennial Farm
Mader Farm – Founded in Marion County in 1858 by Reuben Dickens and William Thomas (TB) Patton. Applicants are Jackie and Charlotte Mader.

Rev. Rueben Dickens and Nancy Phillips arrived via the Oregon Trail in 1848 along with wagon train helper TB Patton from Virginia. TB married one of the Dickens daughters and settled on land claim next to Dickens resulting in a combined farm of 800 acres. The family grew hay, hops, wheat, cherries and strawberries and raised beef and dairy cattle, hogs and sheep in the early years. Today, the 400 acres in agriculture use include growing wheat, fescue, Christmas trees and buffalo. Bob Mader, 6th generation, runs the family farm with cousin Doug and wife Gwen Hendricks. Charlotte and Bob Mader still reside on the family farm.

The Oregon Century Farm & Ranch Program is administered by the Oregon Agricultural Education Foundation. It is supported by a partnership between the Oregon Farm Bureau, the State Historic Preservation Office, the Oregon Travel Information Council, the Oregon Department of Agriculture, and by generous donations of Oregonians. For information about the Oregon Century Farm & Ranch Program contact Sharon Leighty, Program Coordinator, at
503-400-7884 or [email protected].

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