Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson has announced that five Florida properties have qualified for recognition as Century Pioneer Family Farms.

Recognition in this program means the families have maintained continuous ownership of the property for at least 100 years.

The families that qualified are the Terrie B. Ellis and Maribeth B. Wood’s property in Gadsden County, Ben Fant and Margaret Fant Blagg’s property in Levy County, James W. Stokley Jr’s. property in Wakulla County and Lise Renee Andrews’ property in Marion County. In addition, the Jim Tiller farm in Washington County qualified for the program in December of 2007.

“These families have been able to retain ownership of their land through the depression, diseases, droughts, freezes and the urbanization of Florida,” Bronson said. “That is a great tribute to the many generations of these families.

The 160 acre Tilller property is mostly now in timber production, but previously was the site of the Tiller Saw Mill. The Fant/Blagg property has 600 acres and has been used for cattle grazing and pine tree production. The Stokley property has 17 acres of pine trees and is part of the old Grimes Bay property. The Andrews property in Marion County is 46 acres and is used to raise black angus cattle. The 215 acre Sullivan Family Farm is owned by Terrie Ellis and Maribeth Wood and is located in Gadsden County, where shade tobacco has been replaced by hay and pine tree production.

Since the program began 25 years ago, 144 family farms have received the Century Pioneer Farm designation. The program is administered by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services with assistance of the Florida Agricultural Museum.

For more information about the program or to apply for membership into the program contact Richard Gunnels at gunnelr@doacs.state.fl.us or call 1-850-488-3022.