Continuing a proud tradition of honoring hardworking Texas farmers and ranchers, Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples has invited families to apply for the Texas Department of Agriculture’s Family Land Heritage (FLH) Program.

The program recognizes family farms and ranches that have been in continuous agricultural production by the same family for at least

100 years. Applications are due May 1, 2013.

“Family farms and ranches are the backbone of Texas agriculture,” Commissioner Staples said. “Currently, more that 98 percent of all farms and ranches in Texas are family owned. Recognizing this enduring commitment to Texas agriculture is what makes the Family Land Heritage program so special. Through generations of hard work, perseverance and love of the land, these families have operated their farms and ranches for 100 years or more, making Texas a $100 billion powerhouse of agricultural productivity.”

The 2013 Family Land Heritage ceremony will be held this fall at the Texas Capitol in Austin and will recognize farms and ranches established in 1913 or earlier. Eligible farms and ranches must still be owned and operated by the descendants of the founder, either through blood, marriage or adoption. At least 10 acres of the land must be in continuous agricultural production for the past 100 years or more. There is no cost to apply for the recognition.

To date, TDA has recognized more than 4,700 properties in 237 counties across Texas. In 2000, the FLH program began honoring families for 150 and 200 years of continuous agricultural production. Since then, 122 farms and ranches have been recognized for 150 years of operation and six ranches have been honored for 200 years of operation.

Fayette County has been recognized more than any other county since the FLH program began. Applications for the 2013 Family Land Heritage recognition are available for download here or at by clicking the Family Land Heritage icon in the middle section of the home page. For more information, e-mail Jill Selman at

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