TIPPECANOE COUNTY (WLFI) — Family farms across the state continue to be recognized for their commitment to Indiana agriculture.
The Hoosier Homestead Awards are given out through the Indiana State Department of Agriculture every year. 69 Indiana families recently received the award, including two in Tippecanoe County.
“I think we’re fortunate to live in Indiana where they do recognize things that have been longevity and things that have been in the family," said Osborn Farms Owner and Operator, Tom Osborn.
In order to be named a Hoosier Homestead the farm has to be owned by the same family for more than 100 consecutive years.
“I think it says the commitment of the family to holding onto some of this farm ground that we’ve owned for over 100 years,” said Tom. “My family has actually been in Tippecanoe County since about 1850, but they weren’t able to hold onto some of the ground that they owned at that time.”
The Shelle Family and the Osborn Family in Tippecanoe County both received the Centennial Hoosier Homestead Award celebrating 100 years.
“When we bought part of the Osborn farms, where my granddaughter is now living, that gave us the 100 years through the abstract,” said Tom. “I just think it’s just a neat thing to do that signifies a commitment to being in the farm.”
Tom's granddaughter and full-time employee on the farm, Kinzie Osborn, loved working alongside her family everyday.
“There’s four of us,” said Kinzie. “It’s me, my dad, my grandma and my grandpa so we’re all four partners so we all do a little bit of everything.”
Kinzie always knew her grandpa Tom wanted the Hoosier Homestead Award.
“I’ve always known he’s always wanted it and I knew we had some land that we’ve had for over 100 years,” said Kinzie. “So I thought it was a perfect opportunity to look through the abstract and get it submitted.”
Kinzie decided to take matter into her own hands.
“The ground we got it for has been in the family for over 100 years, so while he was busy with harvest I submitted everything and got us approved,” said Kinzie. “On Christmas he opened it and it told him we had to go to a ceremony and that’s where we received the award.”
While celebrating the Centennial Hoosier Homestead Award, Kinzie is thankful to work with her family on the farm.
“I’m very proud,” said Kinzie. “I love everything they’ve done to get us this far and I hope to not be the last generation because I hope it continues past me.”
Osborn Farms consists of corn, beans and a little bit of wheat. Tom says he has a lot to be thankful for.
“If it wasn’t for my wife and the grandkids and great employees that know how to do things, I’d still be in the stone ages as far as the technology side of farming goes,” said Osborn. “The technology has changed dramatically in the last 30 years.”
Most of the ground the Osborn's farm is located in Tippecanoe County. However, they also have a little bit of land in Montgomery and Clinton County.
“I’m very blessed to have family and friends that we farm with,” said Tom. “And also great landlords.”
As the family continues to grow, Tom is hopefully someday they'll be able to reach the Sesquicentennial Hoosier Homestead Award.
“Well I would certainly like to see us get to the 150, that’s the next step,” said Tom. “I obviously probably won’t be here for that, but that’s what my goal would be with my kids, my grandkids and my great grandchildren to hopefully want to stay on the farm.”