The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries is now accepting applications for the 2007 Century and Heritage Farm program.

This program is designed to recognize and honor those farms that have been in operation as a family farm over a long period of time and have played a significant role in Alabama history.

A Century Farm is one that has been in the same family continuously for at least 100 years and currently has some agricultural activities on the farm. The farm must include at least 40 acres of land and be owned by the applicant or nominee.

A Heritage Farm is one that has been operated continuously as a family farm for at least 100 years. The farm must possess interesting and important historical and agricultural aspects, including one or more structures at least forty years old. The farm must be at least 40 acres of land owned and operated by the applicant, who must reside in Alabama.

"The Century & Heritage Farm Program is a way to acknowledge and preserve family farms, which have been so vital to the culture and our way of life here in Alabama," said Agriculture & Industries Commissioner Ron Sparks.

All applicants must complete an Ownership Registration Form supplied by the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries. If you feel your farm meets the above qualifications and you would like an application, or if you have any questions about the program please contact Amy Belcher at 1-334-240-7126, or by e-mail amy.belcher@agi.alabama.gov.

The application deadline for the 2007 Century and Heritage Farm program is Aug. 24.