SALEM – 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 2012 ceremony will be held on Saturday, September 1, at 1 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, OSU Libraries’ University Achieves and the Oregon Department of Agriculture for this special event.

Eighteen farms and ranches from 13 different counties will be honored this year, bringing the total number of Oregon Century Farms and Ranches to 1,144. The farm and ranches families being honored in 2012 are: Maxine Strubhar, Marion County; Hal Balin, Klamath County, John Andrew Bodnar, Klamath County; Lyle Defrees, Baker County; Milton & Delores Fanning, Polk & Yamhill Counties; David & Kari Hiebenthal, Polk County; John and Sandra Kalandar, Clatsop County; Ed & Shirley Kerns, Klamath County; Edward Leavy, Marion County; Sharon Livingston, Grant County; Brenda Morgan and James Baldwin, Lake County; Mark & Kellene Payne, Yamhill County; Mark Walkley, Multnomah County; Schierling Family Trust, Polk County; James and Barbara Jo Sly, Lane County; and Carrie and Ron Gerber, Union County.

Two Sesquicentennial awards will be given to Oregon families who have continuously farmed portions of their original family acreage for 150 years or more. This year’s honorees are Ramsey McPhillips, Yamhill County; and Mark Talcott Trust, Douglas County. The Sesquicentennial Award program began in 2008 in honor of Oregon’s 150th birthday celebration. Twenty-five 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 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.

2012 Award Ceremony: Brief family descriptions

Kalander Farm – Founded in Clatsop County in 1911 by Emil Kalander. Applicant is John and Sandra Kalander.

Emil Kalander emigrated from Finland and settled in Astoria with his bride, Mary, in 1911. They built a new house and barn on their 40 acres with the house resembling a typical Finland house. With two entry doors side by side on the front porch – one door was for the family quarters and other to the parlor for company and a sauna behind the house. The farm raised dairy cows and milk, beef cattle, and grew hay, corn and potatoes. Their son, John, supplemented the farm income through commercial fishing. John and his wife, Selma, brought in a float house in the 1930s and moored on the slough bank of the farm since Emil and Mary lived in the original house. Later, the float house was placed on a foundation and remains on the farm today. The farm has expanded to 78 acres and is used for growing hay and pasture.

AJ Strubhar – Founded in Marion County in 1910 by Andrew and Mary Strubhar. Applicant is Maxine Strubhar.

The original six buildings including the house, wood shed, barn, garage, chicken shed, hog house and small shop on the 27 acres in Hubbard are still in use. In early years, the farm raised small grains, hay, ducks and chickens. Cream from cows was sold to the creamery until it closed. Some produce was sold to the State Prison in Salem. Today, the farm is owned by David and Maxine Strubhar where the emphasis shifted toward beef, hog and chicken production. Sales of filberts, walnuts and fruits via on-farm sales or at local farmers’ markets supplement the family income.

Balin Ranch – Founded in Klamath County in 1910 by Mary Balin. Applicant is Balin Farm Trust, Hal Balin, trustee.

The Balin family came to Klamath Falls from Kansas in the early 1900s. Soon after the Klamath Bureau of Reclamation irrigation project was completed, Mary Balin was deeded more than 100 acres of farm land. Early day crops were hay, grain and potatoes. The operation expanded throughout the years to include 800 acres on the original homestead and 1,000 acres of pasture land 45 miles away. Today, the farm is one of the largest producers of USDA certified organic grass-fed beef. The farm also produces hay for livestock and dairy hay, plus some commercial and organic potatoes.

Bodnar Ranch – Founded in Klamath County in 1912 by John Bodnar. Applicants are John A. Bodnar and John A. Bodnar II.

John Bodnar emigrated from Czechoslovia in 1901. The official papers were filed in 1912 and a fee of $16 was paid for their 160-acre homestead near Bonanza. Though a woodsman by trade, he raised Aberdeen Angus and hay crops. During WWII, local merchants wouldn’t buy from foreign speaking customers, so they switched to raising honeybees until the 1960s. Over the years, additional acreage was purchased to sustain the Angus cattle and hay crops. After power for irrigation was added to the property, the family raised irrigated crops. John and John II now manage the nearly 1,900 acres and raise hay, grain and 75 pair of cross-bred Angus cattle.

Defrees Ranch – Founded in Baker County in 1908 by Jacob Jennings Defrees. Applicant is Albert Defrees, trustee.

Albert Defrees, grandson of Jacob Jennings Defrees, owns the 2,774-acre ranch in Baker City while Albert’s son, Dean, manages day to day operations. The original 120-acre ranch was a dairy farm. Throughout the years, additional acreage was purchased where sheep, chickens, hogs and beef cattle were raised. In 2000, the ranch land was put into a family trust. Today, Dean and his wife, Susan, raise natural fed beef, which they sell through a marketing cooperative to meat wholesalers. The ranch also has more than 1,200 acres of timberland products including saw logs, lumber, firewood, pulpwood, posts and poles.

Fanning Farms – Founded in Polk and Yamhill Counties in 1912 by Alonzo Milton Fanning and Nettie Bailey Fanning. Applicants are Milton and Delores Fanning.

A native of Michigan, Alonzo purchased 640 acres seven miles west of Amity. The four member family worked the ground with horses and had milk cows. In 1926, son, Baylis, took over the farm. He raised barley, wheat, hairy vetch, oats and flax for seed. Livestock include sheep and milk was cows. Grandson Milton, who still helps farm today, grew bent grass and hairy vetch, barley, oats and wheat in addition to 100 head of sheep and lambs 100 chicks and 50 head of hogs. Annual and perennial grass seed including rye grass, fescue and wheat are now the main crop, which is shipped worldwide.

Hiebenthal Farms – Founded in Polk County in 1912 by August and Frieda Hiebenthal. Applicants are David and Kari Hiebenthal.

The Hiebenthals, both of German descent, purchased 296.25 acres in Perrydale, near Dallas, in 1912. The land included rolling hills with half in open crops and pasture land, and half in timber. The cut timber was shipped to Portland. Picking the crops of cherries and prunes were a family affair each year. The family also raised cows and grew hay. Over the years, the farm produced grass seed, wheat, cherries, prunes and Polled Herford cows. David and Kari Hiebenthal and their two sons, are proud to continue the family’s tradition by growing similar crops and raising grass-fed livestock.

Kerns Ranches – Founded in Klamath County in 1889 by Benjamin Schuster Kerns. Applicant is Earl Martin Kerns.

Benjamin S. Kerns purchased 4,000 acres of mostly swampland in the Keno area in 1899. He and his sons, George, Benjamin and Walter, built eight miles of dikes to reclaim the land. George purchased 700 acres from his father in 1910. Even though multiple generations/family members owned and operated the ranch, cattle remained an emphasis. Over the years, the family acquired additional land and increased the herd size. Video livestock sales, rather than trucking the cattle to auction, allow the family to use their time to raise oats, barley and wheat. Currently the ranch is 1,500 acres and managed by great-great grandson, Lyndon Kerns.

Leavy Farm – Founded in Marion County in 1912 by Patrick, Ella and James Leavy. Applicant is Edward Leavy.

The Leavy brothers emigrated from Ireland in the mid-1880s. The original parcel in Wilsonville, purchased by Patrick and his wife, Ella, and James Leavy, consisted of 73.55 acres where they grew oats and vetch, flax, wheat, hops and hazelnuts. They raised cattle, chicken and hogs. The farm relied on draft horses until the 1940s with hops being harvested by hand until the 1950s. The original house, built in 1927, now serves as the farm’s office building. The Leavy farm has more than doubled in size to 193 acres with hops as the primary crop. A hazelnut orchard is being added. Edward Leavy, son of Patrick and Ella, now owns the farm.

Livingston Ranch – Founded in Grant County in 1888 by John W. and Charles W. Conger. Applicants are Sharon Livingston and son, Clayton Livingston.

The 160-acre ranch near Long Creek was used for cattle ranching and growing wheat and rye. The original homestead, which uses a spring on the property as its water source and refrigerator, still stands. All cropland has been seeded to permanent pasture for cattle grazing during the summer and fall. The ranch is now 5,000 acres. Seventy-three year- old, Sharon, granddaughter of Rose Conger Carter, still rides a horse when working and moving cattle. Though her son, Clayton, operates the ranch of Angus and Herford cattle and calves, Sharon actively participates in all facets of the ranching business.

Morgan Ranch – Founded in Lake County in 1912 by Cora Bell Johnson Morgan. Applicants are Brenda Morgan and James Baldwin.

Cora Bell (C.B.) Johnson Morgan acquired the 680 acre family farm eight miles from Paisley in 1912. Cora and her husband, Vancil’s, primary income came from cattle sales each summer. Their eight children would hand milk about 15 cows twice daily. The milk was sold to the Lakeview Creamery to supplement their income. In the early days, the farm also grew rye and meadow grass. Alfalfa has since been added. Angus cattle, with about one quarter remaining from horned Hereford days, are the main source of income for Brenda Morgan, granddaughter of C.B., and James Baldwin who farm the land today.

Payne Family Farms – Founded in Yamhill County in 1882 by Frank Judson Canfield & Delilah Canfield. Applicants are Mark & Kellene Payne.

The Payne Family Farms, originally purchased by Frank Judson Canfield and his wife, Delilah Cramer Canfield, near Carlton, is unique in the fact it transferred through generations via maternal lineage. Perhaps even more incredible is the fact the mortgage was paid off in four years. Over the years, and multiple family owners, the nearly 120-year-old farm has produced clover, hay, wheat, chickens, turkeys and dairy. Current owners, Mark, the maternal grandson, and his wife, Kellene, purchased the farm in 1998. They have 350 pigs in a farrow to finish operation, a few hundred turkeys and 5,000 meat chickens which are sold throughout Yamhill County and Portland restaurants.

Samuel Luethe Farm – Founded in Multnomah County in 1907 by Samuel Luethe. Applicant is Mark Walkley.

Samuel Luethe and his three brothers purchased a quarter section in Portland for $1,600 in 1904 and evenly divided it among each sibling. Samuel’s 40 acres were cleared of stumps by dynamite and a horse-powered stump puller. The family raised wheat, corn, potatoes, hay, hogs and chickens. The garden was planted, watered and harvested by hand. Samuel also contracted with Multnomah County to help build roads in the area. In the mid-1950s, raspberries grew on nearly an acre, yielding berries until the 1990s. The second growth of Douglas Fir and Red Cedar were logged in 1994. Cattle are now gone, but hay and produce are still raised. Produce not sold is donated to the Oregon Food Bank.

Schierling Farm - Founded in Polk County in 1912 by August Hiebenthal. Applicant is Abram F. Schierling, trustee.

The 90-acre farm near Dallas saw many uses throughout the years, some which brought prosperity, some hardship due to crop loss. Sheep, steers, wheat and rye grass were tried with varying degrees of success. In 1964, a prune orchard was planted. The children and grandchildren picked the prunes by hand, which were bountiful after a seven year wait. Prunes were discontinued in 1990. Other endeavors included raising 75 head of beef cows. All activities were done while Abram worked full time at the post office in town. William Schierling and Timothy Schierling rent, manage and work the farm.

Sly Farm – Founded in Lane County in 1908 by Frank Sly. Applicant is James R. and Barbara Jo Sly.

Frank Sly purchased the 140-acre farm in Creswell on the Lane County courthouse steps in Eugene via auction. His son, Verne, raised grain and a string of milking Shorthorns on the property. Grain farming continued until the early 1960s, until the land was dedicated to hay production. Under the ownership and care of James and Barbara Jo Sly, cattle are now the primary commodity. Several cattle are housed in the restored barn built in 1928/1932. The current farm is 237 acres, where they also grow hay as feed for their livestock , as well as to sell for extra income.

Wheeler Ranch – Founded in Union County in 1903 by Milton and Joseph Wheeler. Applicants are Ron & Carrie Gerber.

The barn, one of the first buildings on the 120-acre plot in Elgin, is still in use today as a calving facility. Previous use was for raw storage, milking and stalling the milk herd, and feeding work horses. Milk, cream, butter and eggs also were produced. Gradually livestock was added. Carrie, granddaughter of Milton, and husband, Ron, raise beef cattle, hogs, turkeys, laying hens, Cornish cross broiler fryers as the main commodity on the property. Acreage has increased to 1,900 where hay and grain are grown, in addition to areas for grazing. To keep the forest healthy, timber is occasionally harvested.

Sesquicentennial Farms or Ranches

McPhillilps Farms – Founded in Yamhill County in 1862 by Bernard McPhillips. Applicant is McPhillips Farms, Inc, Ramsey McPhillips.

Bernard, apprenticed as a shoemaker, made his way to Oregon from Ireland around 1840 via passage to New Orleans, then to California, back to Iowa, overland to Southern Oregon and finally to Yamhill County. His many ventures included odd jobs, gold mining, cattle driving and cattle ranching before purchasing 855 acres three miles from McMinnville in 1862. He and his family grew hay and grass seed and raised sheep, swine, cattle, goats and turkeys. Bernard’s great-great grandson, Ramsey, continues the tradition of sustaining the same type of crops and livestock as it did in the 1800s.

Talcott Ranch – Founded in Douglas County in 1854 by James Watson. Applicant is Mark Charles Talcott Trust, Mark Talcott, Trustee.

Cattle and sheep, along with grass and oats were raised by James and son, Charles 18 miles from the nearest town of Roseburg. They also tried Sudan grass, oat and vetch hay and orchard grass. A small orchard of apples were grown, along with pears, plums, cherries and an English walnut tree. Timber was a major part of the ranch, at one point having 20 million board feet available for use. Mark, great-great grandson of James, and his family, run 80 cows, with plans to go to 100. They also replanted the family orchard, as well as raising butcher pigs and chickens.

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 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 cfr@oregonfb.org.

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