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Indiana Honors 100-Year-Old Farms

Seventy-five farms have been in the same family for more than 100 years in Indiana, and those families say this year's drought is one of the worst in history.

skillman

Photo: AJ Mast/Indiana Department of Agriculture

Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman presents awards at the Summer 2012 Hoosier Home Stead Ceremony in Indianapolis Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012.

Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman on Wednesday honored 75 families who have kept their farms going through thick and thin for more than 100 years.

Skillman says in the seven and a half years she has been giving out the Hoosier Homestead Awards, she always expected the number of honorees to go down.

“Today’s ceremony was the largest number of recipients we’ve had during my time as lieutenant governor,” she says.

With Indiana the middle of one of the worst droughts in years, some of those farmers say they and their ancestors weathered times like these before.

“We’ve seen droughts before but I’m not sure that one has ever affected us as much as it has this year,” says Margaret Mardis, who owns a farm in Johnson County with her sister June. Their farm has been in the family since 1906.

Margaret Mardis says with the drought, it is going to be a struggle to make enough money to plant again next year.

“You know, usually rain is spotty, and the spots have missed us,” she says.

Still, Margaret and June say they are confident they will survive and be back to receive their Homestead award next year.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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