Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., announced Wednesday that they have introduced legislation called the Century Farms Act to recognize farms that have been in continuous operation for 100 or more years.
Eight farms in New London County would be eligible for the designation.
They are: Homberg Orchards in Gales Ferry; Davis-Stanton Homestead in Stonington; Frink Farm in Voluntown; Hathaway Greenhouses in East Lyme; Tiffany Farms in Lyme; David Babcock Lewis in North Stonington; J. Franklin Brown in North Stonington and Gallup Farm in Voluntown, Murphy’s office said in a news release.
To date, more than 30 states, including Connecticut and Arkansas, have established Century or Centennial Farms designations and awards. However, no federal recognition for 100-year-old farms currently exists.
The Century Farms Act will direct the U.S. Department of Agriculture to establish a program honoring and recognizing the invaluable contributions of century-old farms, the news release said.
“It's harder to farm today than ever before,” Murphy said. “Prices are down, costs are up, and good help is hard to find. That's why it's so exceptional that some farms, in Connecticut and across the country, have sustained over one hundred years.”
Family farms represent 97 percent of all farms in the United States, Murphy’s office said. Of those family farms, 90 percent are considered small farms.