The Bell, Flory, Strait Farm of rural Portland was honored at the Indiana State Fair this week as a Hoosier Homestead Farm. The award goes to farms that have been in operation by the same family for 100 or more years. Pictured with members of the family are Indiana Agriculture Director Gina Sheets (left) and Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann (right). (Photo provided)
The Bell, Flory, Strait Farm of rural Portland was honored at the Indiana State Fair this week as a Hoosier Homestead Farm. The award goes to farms that have been in operation by the same family for 100 or more years. Pictured with members of the family are Indiana Agriculture Director Gina Sheets (left) and Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann (right). (Photo provided)
A local family was recognized at the Indiana State Fair on Wednesday for owning the same farm for more than 100 years.
The Bell, Flory, Strait Farm, 1798 N. 400 East, Portland, has been operating since 1902, when Nancy Strait’s great-great-grandmother first started it.
Twice a year — once in February at the Statehouse and once in August at the State Fair — the lieutenant governor and Indiana State Department of Agriculture present Hoosier Homestead Awards to farms that have been opened for at least 100 years.
“Today we celebrate the agriculture heritage of our farming families,” Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann said. “We salute their innovation, their determination and their dedication, which have allowed them to succeed for more than a century — here’s to at least 100 more successful years.”
In order to be named a Hoosier Homestead, farms must be owned by the same family for more than 100 consecutive years and consist of more than 20 acres or produce more than $1,000 of agricultural products each year.
Strait said she was really excited for the ceremony.
“It was very nice,” she said. “We had never been to anything like that, so we were very impressed.”
Her husband, daughter and two oldest grandsons accompanied her to the event.
“It was just exciting to go in and to keep it in the family,” she said.
Strait, who is in the fifth-generation of family members to live on the farm, learned about the award through a cousin whose family farm had received the same honor. She said she began researching the award to find out what she needed to do so her farm could be recognized.
State Rep. Bill Davis, R-Portland, congratulated the Strait family for contributing to Indiana’s livelihood.
“Since our state was founded almost 200 years ago, agriculture has played a significant role in our livelihood. Without the diligent work of Hoosier families on farms such as these, this industry could have never flourished in the way it has,” he said. “I appreciate these families’ commitment to serving our state, and it is with the deepest regard that I congratulate them on their farm’s longevity. I wish them many more years of plentiful harvests.”
The Hoosier Homestead Award was established in 1976 to acknowledge the contributions farm families have made to Indiana agriculture. Since then, more than 5,000 farms across the state have been recognized.