A few weeks ago, I was able to participate in an incredible program called the Missouri Century Farm program. The program recognizes family farms that have been owned and farmed continually by the same family for a 100 years or longer.
2016 marks the 100th anniversary of my family’s farm. My great-grandparents started the farm, my grandmother was one of twelve children who grew up on the land, and my great uncles and cousins continue to farm this land today.
We celebrated with a quick ceremony at the old homeplace, which is where my great grandparents old home once was. We then went to a local restaurant for a traditional Southeast Missouri meal – fried bologna sandwiches appetizers, fried catfish or pork steak mains, and loads fried sides.
The last thing the family did together will likely become one of my most meaningful adult memories. My family is deeply religious and after the meal, we sat around, four generations of my family, and sang, and sang many classic Baptist hymns. It’s hard to describe the feeling of sitting among generations of your family, celebrating a physical legacy, but also a spiritual legacy that has woven itself through our family evolution.
My life is so vastly different from those of many of my relatives, but I have never regretted being raised in a close knit, rural, Southern legacy. And this is a memory I know I will cherish for my whole life.