As part of the Arkansas Century Farm program, Gov. Asa Hutchinson and the state’s Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward honored the Frisby Farm of Lonoke for 100 years of farming.


The farm was officially established in 1916, but its roots are deeper than that.


“Rice was first farmed here in 1912, but we can’t verify that,” said Debbie Frisby, who, along with her husband, Hugh Frisby Jr., were recognized at the state capitol last Friday, Oct. 26.


“To be in the program, you have to apply and show deeds and proof that it has been in the same family and continuously farming for at least 100 years.”


While rice was and still a crop for the farm, the focus has turned to aquaculture.


“Fish were added in 1963,” Debbie Frisby said, as she confirmed her answers with Hugh. “And we still farm, our sons, well two of our sons, are still involved and farming, so it will stay in the family.”


The Frisby Farm was one of 40 farms honored last week.


Among the other requirements is that the farm be at least 10 acres.


The Arkansas Agriculture Department began the Century Farm program in 2012 as a way to highlight the contributions of these families to the agriculture industry well as their overall contributions to our state. Agriculture is Arkansas’s largest industry, contributing more than $20 billion to the state’s economy annually and providing one in every six jobs in the state.


“Through obstacles and challenges you have maintained your commitment to your farm and to your family,” Hutchinson said in a release. “When families are strong, our communities are strong, and our state is strong” said Governor Hutchinson to the Century Farm Families.


Including new inductees, 376 farms are currently recognized as Arkansas Century Farms. The newly inducted Century Farms are located in Arkansas, Calhoun, Clay, Cleburne, Columbia, Craighead, Drew, Faulkner, Franklin, Greene, Independence, Jackson, Jefferson, Little River, Logan, Lonoke, Marion, Montgomery, Newton, Searcy, Pope, Prairie, Sebastian, Sharp, Stone, Union, White and Woodruff counties.


Applications for the 2018 Century Farm Inductees will open in February 2018. For questions about the Arkansas Century Farm program, contact Mary Elizabeth Lea at maryelizabeth.lea@aad.ar.gov.